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Public Access : Literary Theory and American Cultural Politics - Michael Berube

Public Access

Literary Theory and American Cultural Politics

Paperback Published: 17th June 1994
ISBN: 9780860916789
Number Of Pages: 288

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In the years of the Reagan–Bush era, the controversy over ‘political correctness’ erupted on American campuses, spreading to the mainstream media as right-wing pundits like Dinesh D’Souza and Roger Kimball prosecuted their publicity campaign against progressive academics. Michael Bérubé’s brilliant new book explains how and why the political correctness furore emerged, and how the right’s apparent stranglehold on popular opinion about the academy can be loosened.

Traversing the terrain of contemporary cultural criticism, Bérubé examines the state of cultural studies, the significance of postmodernism, the continuing debate over multicultural curricula, and the recent revisions of literary history in American studies. Also included is Bérubé’s witty and self-deprecating autobiographical reflection on why interpretive theory has emerged as an indispensable part of education in the humanities over the past decade

Public Access insists that academics must exercise more responsibility towards the publics who underwrite but often misunderstand their work and its significance. Taken seriously as a potential audience, Bérubé argues, such publics can be weaned from their present inclination to believe the distortions and half-truths peddled by the right’s ideologues. The goal of such ‘public access’ criticism is not just a better environment for teachers and scholars, but a world in which education itself achieves its proper place in a society committed to equality of opportunity and true critical thinking.

Industry Reviews

""Young, witty, and well versed in the languages of academe and popular culture, Mr. Berube is a model of the crossover academic."" -- Chronicle of Higher Education "In this cogent, often hilarious, and always wonderfully readable book, the fearless Michael Berube plunges into the current brawl over 'political correctness' and comes out without a scratch." - Gerald Graff, University of Chicago, author of Beyond the Cultural Wars

Preface
Introduction: American Political Culture and Cultural Politicsp. 1
PC and the Humanitiesp. 41
Discipline and Theoryp. 43
Winning Hearts and Mindsp. 59
Exigencies of Valuep. 87
Critical Theory in the Public Spherep. 117
Just the Fax, Ma'am: or, Postmodernism's Journey to Decenterp. 119
Pop Goes the Academy: Cult Studs Fight the Powerp. 137
Bite Size Theory: Popularizing Academic Criticismp. 161
At the Closing of the American Centuryp. 179
Paranoia in a Vacuum: 2001 and the National Security Statep. 181
It's Renaissance Time: New Historicism, American Studies, and American Identityp. 203
Disuniting America Againp. 225
Epilogue: Harvesting the Humanitiesp. 243
Indexp. 269
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780860916789
ISBN-10: 0860916782
Series: The Haymarket Series
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 17th June 1994
Publisher: Verso Books
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.24  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.45
Edition Number: 1

Earn 93 Qantas Points
on this Book