Michael Bérubé ain't real fucking happy about the way he got done in Horowitz’s book, and proposes another point of plagiarism to go with Mr. Charley Arthur’s earlier breakdown.
By far the niftiest thing about Horowitz's horseshit is watching a full 100 professors getting a minor taste of what happened here in Colorado.
Hell, one might get the impression that the Ward Churchill witchhunt wasn't nothing more than the opening volley in a fullscale war on academic free speech.
Y'know, just like Churchill told us it was.
Last but not least, the “book” is apparently just a bunch of reprints of David’s “Discover the Networks” pages. You probably remember what mine looks like. It’s pretty feeble stuff, really. Here’s how it works. I write something like this, from an old essay on postmodernism:
There really are some remarkably salient differences between the prewar and the postwar world, between the financial crash of ‘29 and the computer crash of ‘87, the phonograph and the Internet. Though some critics prefer 1945 and some prefer 1973 as postmodernism’s Year One, there seems to be a fitful consensus that something like postmodernity does indeed exist—and that it involves the incomplete, deeply contested globalization and digitalization of capitalism.
Postmodernism, in this sense, is based on an electronic global economy and what David Harvey, the geographer and cultural critic, famously calls “the regime of flexible accumulation”—by which he means a world in which part-time labor, adjunct professors, and just-in-time production lines supersede the Fordist logic of modernism, in which laborers were assured wages high enough to allow them to buy the products they made. The important question for cultural critics, then, is also an old question—how to correlate developments in culture and the arts with large-scale economic transformations.
And David summarizes it like so:
Believes in teaching literature so as to bring about “economic transformations."
At least he’s succinct! Or I write something like this, opening a review essay in the journal American Literary History:
Four new books on the state of the academy, and not one of them elaborates a line of argument that bisects any of the others. One gets the eerie feeling that this kind of intellectual noncoincidence is no coincidence, that one could review 20 new books on the state of the academy (if one could take the necessary time away from one’s “normal” academic work) and discover the same result: the contemporary university is so amorphous that it can be described as the research wing of the corporate economy, the final resting place of the New Left, the last best hope for critical thinking, the engine room of global technological advance, the agent of secularization and the advance of reason, the training ground for the labor force, the conservatives’ strongest bastion of antifeminist education, the progressives’ only bulwark against the New Right, the natural home of intellectual isolates, the natural home of goosestepping groupthinkers, and the locus of postmodern skepticism and fragmentation. Perhaps Clark Kerr, whose influence on David Damrosch and Bill Readings seems to me one of the few common threads in the books under review, put it best when he remarked, in a phrase as felicitous as it is cynical: “I have sometimes thought of [the university] as a series of individual faculty entrepreneurs held together by a common grievance over parking.”
And David summarizes it like so:
In a 1998 essay called “The Abuses of the University,” Professor Berube described the university as “the final resting place of the New Left,” and the “progressives’ only bulwark against the New Right.” Critics of this definition—in particular those who failed to regard “feminist or queer theory as a legitimate area of scholarship”—were only perpetuating “ignorance and injustice,” he wrote.
Now, I could dilate endlessly on the random-access technique by which Horowitz cut and pasted those last two phrases into his account of me (they occur near the end of the essay, and have nothing to do with each other), but I think you get the point by now. Horowitz can be a fairly clever guy when he wants to be, but here he’s not even trying. This is genuinely stupid stuff. I mean, Michelle Malkin quality stupid. Personally, I’m disappointed.
POSTED BY MOREDOCK AT 4:30 AM 0 COMMENTS LINKS TO THIS POST