Literature Lost Social Agendas and the Corruption of the

Literature Lost Social Agendas and the Corruption of the Humanities [PDF] ✪ Literature Lost Social Agendas and the Corruption of the Humanities Author John M. Ellis – In the span of less than a generation university humanities departments have experienced an almost unbelievable reversal of attitudes now attacking and undermining what had previously been considered In the span of less than Social Agendas ePUB ´ a generation university humanities departments have experienced an almost unbelievable reversal of attitudes now attacking and undermining what had previously been considered best and most worthy in the Western tradition John M Ellis here scrutinizes the new regime in humanistic studies He offers a careful intelligent analysis that exposes the weaknesses of notions that are fashionable in humanities today In a Literature Lost eBook ´ clear voice with forceful logic he speaks out against the orthodoxy that has installed race gender and class perspectives at the center of college humanities curricula Ellis begins by showing that political correctness is a recurring impulse of Western society and one that has a discouraging history He reveals the contradictions and misconceptions that surround the new orthodoxy and demonstrates how it is most deficient just where it Lost Social Agendas MOBI · imagines itself to be superior Ellis contends that humanistic education today far from being historically aware relies on anachronistic thinking; far from being skeptical of Western values represents a ruthless and unskeptical Western extremism; far from being valuable in bringing political perspectives to bear presents politics that are crude and unreal; far from being sophisticated in matters of theory is largely ignorant of the range and history of Lost Social Agendas and the Kindle - critical theory; far from valuing diversity is unable to respond to the great sweep of literature In a concluding chapter Ellis surveys the damage that has been done to higher Lost Social Agendas and the Kindle - education and examines the prospects for change.

10 thoughts on “Literature Lost Social Agendas and the Corruption of the Humanities

  1. Josiah Bancroft Josiah Bancroft says:

    Ellis too often begs the uestion and veers into frenzy but the central point of this treatise is worthy of consideration and too moderation To agree with Ellis you must first agree with a number of basic conservative principles of the available options capitalism is most well suited to curb the corrupted nature of humanity; the strength supremacy and accomplishment of the West though vague and inarticulate is an unambiguous moral achievement; dissent is a product of perversity and personal flaws not societal failure; and the West’s value of euality and diversity is the result of clear eyed pragmatism not the intervention of intellectualsEllis argues that the politicization of literary criticism is inherently destructive bringing about the exact barbarism it eschews Ellis does not consider this a theory but a scientific historic fact that is only denied by “the alienated insider and the envious outsider” The evidence of Nazi Germany and the French Revolution are trundled out without irony Whenever Nazis are invoked I prepare for the kind of reductive simple argument that makes fascism so effective and here Ellis does not disappoint Ellis reduces and distills complex social and institutional mechanism to such an absurd degree that he cannot help but to say we must be blind to history insane andor lotus eaters to disagree with his conclusionsIt is unfortunate that Ellis is neither sufficiently focused nor reasoned because there is much here that I agree with I agree that the politicization of critical theory has created a number of sometimes lazy and self gratifying academic careerists agree that “literature” is uantifiable agree that literary theorists have overreached their education and experience in engaging varied social and cultural phenomenon and have been greeted with underserved attention Further I agree that this cultural shift has not improved our understanding of literary works and has often obfuscated texts by adding “theory” that is not without agendaBut Ellis makes it difficult to agree with him because his argument is similarly mired in political and social agenda and his characterization of intellectuals appeals irresponsibly to the brutish biases of anti intellectuals Ellis argues that “political correctness” and the aggrandizing of “the other” is not novel but has occurred throughout history What Ellis is incapable of admitting is his own role in this cycle; he argues for a societal swing back to conservatism emphasizing objectivity and the generalities of “truth” and “value” in service to a society that is perhaps flawed but never the less superior When Ellis draws analogies between ancient Rome and present America he does so with a blithe mistiness that makes me ueasy As liberals idealize the noble savage so does Ellis romanticizes the ancient citizen

  2. lark benobi lark benobi says:

    A beautifully written exceedingly well argued lament In particular Ellis laments the way we have lost faith in literature as a means to connect with the past and with one another He is not saying it's wrong to read a book from a feminist perspective or a Marxist perspective or a Post colonial perspective or whatever other perspective you may want to grab ahold of when you read and experience great literature But he IS saying that insisting on a narrowness of vision or demanding that a work what deconstructionists would call the text conform to a given set of ahistorical standards is terribly wrong and over it's disconnecting us from the best traditions of the past He argues that the modern academic approach to literature is at its heart illogical unlearned and above all antithetical to the reasons we read literature to begin with He decouples his arguments neatly from the edgy concern that a lot of us get whenever someone criticizes feminist or other nontraditional approaches to literature that criticizing these approaches is a manifestation of racismmisogynycultural imperialism He allows the reader to get past the fear of being any of these things and to look at the Humanities and how they are currently taught with fresh eyesI felt enlightened by this book I felt enlightened in particular by the historical threads Ellis weaves together to argue that contemporary literary criticism with its self reflective deeply critical take on works of literature is merely the latest manifestation of a culture of self criticism that the West has embraced and passed through from Tacitus to Rousseau to Marx to Derrida I was persuaded This is a nuanced argument unlike other books The Closing of the American Mind comes to mind that seem fueled primarily by reactionary backlash

  3. Fred Fred says:

    Hell with it five stars great book Lays waste to theorists from F Jameson to A Dworkin and everyone in between The people that one star this probably think Beloved is some great literature and that Twitter should be a grad course There is nobody left in higher ed with this level of erudition and argumentative skill but the humanities have been extinguished at any rate The last place to find diverse thought or a deep base of texts is at a university; sadly everything Ellis forecasts here came to pass both in higher education and popular culture Worth reading but will probably depress you than anything Recommended

  4. Kevin Humes Kevin Humes says:

    Incredibly prescient

  5. Juan Juan says:

    Very compelling arguments put forward in this book from a couple of decades ago I'd love to read an update of where he thinks we stand today if the author is still around

  6. Robert Holm Robert Holm says:

    A late entry in the culture wars in the US in the 1990s this is a strong polemic against race gender class critics ie feminists Marxists and various other practitioners of radical theory in literary studies and the humanities Ellis writes in an eminently lucid style that is easy to read although his polemic is almost too forceful at times verging on conservative flag waving for the West which is not going to make what he has to say any palatable for those who most need to hear itThe one major drawback is that Ellis pp 189 still stubbornly clings to his utterly misguided rejection of author intentionalism first set out in his 1974 misfire The Theory of Literary Criticism A Logical Analysis The result of this is that Ellis is forced to somehow try to defend his own erroneous view while simultaneously attacking the in this particular uestion identical views of his opponents Granted that there is a difference between on the one hand the Barthes style death of the author lunacy that is Ellis's major target here and on the other hand the intentional fallacy nonsense of the New Critics that was the basis of Ellis's own attack on intentionalism but he is still wrong and he should have realized that by nowThe final chapter is mostly a where did it all go wrong collection of curmudgeonly get off my lawn style grumblings about how everything was better in the past which again does harm than good for the book as a whole

  7. Tommy Tommy says:

    If you're triggered by the notion that might might make right this is surely for you A thoroughly uintessentially midwit take on neo maxist post modernism Their failing is they're actually to great surprise insufficiently humanist nor substantively feminist and they DESTROYED the intellectual melting pot of American universities which we can only hope be restored to previous glory by mandatory hate in sessions on tropical cannibals and desert genital mutilators surely to attract screeches of anti Semitism in the contemporary climate so be sure to be explicit you mean Muslims Although you get a nice long shit on feminist theory with plenty of rabid snorts directed at Joseph Stalin and associates one's left feeling a lot herein is really just ad hominid really teenage sophists??? Come on If you're really going to be drilling it into their heads that the Western canon isn't boring you need advances in pedagogy beyond mere attempts at depoliticizing methods of inuiry

  8. Greg Greg says:

    Sometimes you have to step back and clear your head that's what this book did for me It explained very well how anti Western thought periodically arises within western culture In fact a bad attitude or super critical hatred toward western civilization happens every few centuries so regularly that it could be seen as a distiguishing feature of western culture itself Also a good description of literary criticism theories and how they've taken over the intellectual discourse in universities for the last few decades If you want to understand the hypocrsiy of so many academics who hate western civilization and give the benefit of the doubt to some pretty uestionable cultures then you should read this

  9. Ak Hauck Ak Hauck says:

    Enjoyable reading if not completely frustrating The exchange of critical thinking for mere indoctrination in our schools higher education and otherwise is not a cause for despair however it is a call to action This book should awaken a sense of indignation for anyone interested in reforming culture through truth beauty and goodness

  10. LP LP says:

    Mostly persuasive this book is still relevant even though it was written over 15 years ago The poor Humanities Sometimes my cheeks grow soaking wet when I think of what has been done to Romeo and Juliet

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