The Critical Pulse: Thirty-Six Credos by Contemporary Criticsby Jeffrey J. Williams (Editor), Heather Steffen (Editor)
This unprecedented anthology asks thirty-six leading literary and cultural critics to elaborate on the nature of their profession. With the humanities feeling the pinch of financial and political pressures, and its disciplines resting on increasingly uncertain conceptual ground, there couldn't be a better time for critics to reassert their widespread relevance and
This unprecedented anthology asks thirty-six leading literary and cultural critics to elaborate on the nature of their profession. With the humanities feeling the pinch of financial and political pressures, and its disciplines resting on increasingly uncertain conceptual ground, there couldn't be a better time for critics to reassert their widespread relevance and purpose. These credos boldly defend the function of criticism in contemporary society and showcase its vitality in the era after theory.
Essays address literature and politics, with some focusing on the sorry state of higher education and others concentrating on teaching and the fate of the humanities. All reflect the critics' personal, particular experiences. Deeply personal and engaging, these stories move, amuse, and inspire, ultimately encouraging the reader to develop his or her own critical credo with which to approach the world. Reflecting on the past, looking forward to the future, and committed to the power of productive critical thought, this volume proves the value of criticism for today's skeptical audiences.
Contributors: Andrew Ross, Amitava Kumar, Lisa Lowe, Vincent B. Leitch, Craig Womack, Jeffrey J. Williams, Marc Bousquet, Katie Hogan, Michelle A. Massé, John Conley, Heather Steffen, Paul Lauter, Cary Nelson, David B. Downing, Barbara Foley, Michael Bérubé, Victor Cohen, Gerald Graff, William Germano, Ann Pellegrini, Bruce Robbins, Kenneth Warren, Diana Fuss, Lauren Berlant, Toril Moi, Morris Dickstein, Rita Felski, David R. Shumway, Mark Bauerlein, Devoney Looser, Stephen Burt, Mark Greif, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Mark McGurl, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Judith Jack Halberstam
- Columbia University Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
What People are Saying About This
"Jeffrey J. Williams and Heather Steffen's engaging, diverting, and thought-provoking analysis spells out the predicament facing literary criticism today. The essays collected represent thinking, argument, knowledge, and life experience that should be preserved and kept available, for its own sake."
Brian Lennon, Pennsylvania State University, and author of In Babel's Shadow: Multilingual Literatures, Monolingual States
Reading The Critical Pulse has given me credo envy, a previously little-known neurosis. Sadly (or happily!), it's impossible to read this volume without acquiring it. Symptoms include feverish racing thoughts and bouts of self-consciousness about your own critical efforts and whether you might become more insightful or systematic or self-knowledgeable about them, which soon leads to sporadic outbreaks of critical credo-crafting of your own, which believe me when I tell you is not exactly as easy as these graceful (or should I say, muscular?) examples make it seem.
Laura Kipnis, Professor at Northwestern University, and author of How to Become a Scandal
Meet the Author
Jeffrey J. Williams is professor of English and literary and cultural studies at Carnegie Mellon University. His books include Theory and the Novel: Narrative Reflexivity in the English Tradition; PC Wars: Politics and Theory in the Academy; The Institution of Literature; and Critics at Work: Interviews. He is also a former editor of the minnesota review and coedits the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism.
Heather Steffen is a Ph.D. candidate in literary and cultural studies at Carnegie Mellon University. She is working on a dissertation about academic labor and criticism of the university in the Progressive Era.
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