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October 02, 2004

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» http://www.earlymodernweb.org.uk/emn/index.php/archives/2004/10// from Early Modern Notes
The Little Professor drew my attention to this article by Mark Edmundson, All Entertainment All The Time, and I think I was even more irritated by it than she was. A few main gripes (which partly overlap with hers): 1. Talk about biting the hand tha... [Read More]

» Uphill both ways from Ernie's 3D Pancakes
The Little Professor expresses her annoyance at an article by Mark Edmunson decrying the unrelenting creeep of cool consumerism into academia. Commenters at MetaFilter do the same. And with good reason. By putting a world of facts at the end [Read More]

Comments

Sharon

Good post. I'm also really, really fed up of reading articles about the decline and fall of academia, based on a handful of anecdotal assertions that X is happening - which moreover are usually just assertions, and sometimes hearsay at that - with a complete absence of anything that I would consider real evidence that X *is* in fact happening in more than isolated instances. I'm also never particularly impressed by articles that claim to be about students - what they're doing or thinking - without any sign that the writer has actually bothered to communicate with *any* students (let alone made any attempt to be representative) on the subject...

David Foster

"Instead of spending class time wondering what the poem means, and what application it has to present-day experience, students compile information about it. They set the poem in its historical and critical context..." Edmundson seems to think the the tendency to *analyze* the poem while maintaining emotional distance from it, rather than becoming emotionally involved in it, is a function of computerization and consumerism. But hasn't this kind of thing been the trend in the humanities for quite some time? Don't you have to do precisely this kind of analysis (with or without benefit of computer) in order to get a PhD (or even a top grade as an undergraduate)? Isn't it possible that academia itself is contributing to the attitude of "cool" that he decries?

Caleb

Dennis Jerz unmasks Darth Edmundson here.

Caleb

Uh ... oops. here.

abc

Since when does blog hosting cost money? Blogger, e.g., is completely free.

mjones

Yes, and there are various free hosts for web sites, too, if you don't mind some ads. I know, because my students use them for their web projects.

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