Brenton Faber says,
> While I understand this distinction between "us" and "them" I
> question where "they" came from and whose language are "they"
> using? . . . What is interesting here is that these
> administrators are just as much a product of university education as
> we academics are --
The issue of where they came from seems to me quite irrelevant. We
know that some of the most appalling people in the history of the
world have come from fine university educations and high culture.
Where people "came from" doesn't tell us much about what they believe
or how they act, unfortunately.
> and they derive their authority (both culturally and economically)
> from the degrees earned in our institutions and our classes.
No, in fact they don't. (I'm leaving aside the complications
introduced into the dichotomy by Kenna & Susan's presentation, and
Marcy's summary of it.) Their "authority" does _not_ come from their
degrees. Their power is economic.
> "The language of business and the marketplace" has (until quite
> recently) always been our language
I'm sorry, but this seems to me just flat wrong. Maybe I'm missing
something. That language is a strikingly modern invention. I may
or may not want to adopt some part of it, but the language of the
market hasn't always been "our" language, and isn't now. The
language of the bottom line, of economic efficiency, of the trial by
market, has not, at any rate, been _my_ language. It's a language
which presumes a whole set of values, not many of which I want
anything much to do with. I came into this racket to find, and live
in, another discourse, one which insists that we have social
obligations transcending money and price.
> -- what I find troubling are the ways in which we've positioned
> ourselves against and outside of this quite powerful form of
> discourse. In many ways, it seems like once we've chosen to let go
> of "market discourse" (in favour of theoretical/aesthetic/???
> discourse) we've also given away the ability to construct
> ourselves in many non-academic (non/aesthetic) environments.
I don't want to defend traditional academic values, because, by and
large, I've thought for most of my career they were a lot of hooey.
BUT the "quite powerful" neo-congame discourse which has grown up in
the eighties and nineties, centered around the value of the market
and a kind of pop behaviorism (good examples can be found in just
about anything said or written by Dinesh d'Souza, David Frum, Newt
Gingrich, Barbara Amiel . . . ) is worse.
It's true that if we don't embrace "market discourse" we're at a
disadvantage, because that discourse has become the unmarked form
(why else is the _only_ public issue the deficit?). But to say that
the only way to construct ourselves in other environments is to do so
in that discourse is to assert that exactly the issue Kenna and Susan
presented so neatly is irrelevant. The _question_ is what damage
does adopting that discourse do: the answer, in my view, is rather a
lot. And I think Kenna and Susan made it clear we'd better find an
> Perhaps Kenna and Susan's presentation will help us to envision a
> more appropriate way to "peddle our wares."
Case closed. I have no interest in becoming a pedlar. When we adopt
that discourse, I know where I'll be.
Russell A. Hunt __|~_)_ __)_|~_ Department of English
St. Thomas University )_ __)_|_)__ __) PHONE: (506) 363-3891
Fredericton, New Brunswick | )____) | FAX: (506) 450-9615
E3B 5G3 CANADA ___|____|____|____/ [log in to unmask]
~~~~~~~~ http://www.StThomasU.ca/hunt/hunt.htm ~~~~~~~~