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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: March ::
Re: Postmodernism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0290  Tuesday, 31 March 1998.

[1]     From:   Michael E. Cohen <
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        Date:   Monday, 30 Mar 1998 08:03:00 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0281  Re: Postmodernism

[2]     From:   Evelyn Gajowski <
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        Date:   Monday, March 30, 1998 2:18 PM
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0281 Re: Postmodernism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael E. Cohen <
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Date:           Monday, 30 Mar 1998 08:03:00 -0800
Subject: 9.0281  Re: Postmodernism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0281  Re: Postmodernism

William Godshalk writes

Gabriel Egan describes as off-plant event (the disappearance of the sun)
and says that Einstein and Newton come to different conclusions about
what would happen to this planet if the sun disappeared.  I said merely
that Newtonian physics works fine on this planet, and I suppose I should
have added "given the fact that the solar system remains stable, etc.,
etc." And, yes, let's not talk about physics on this list ever again!

Sorry, Bill, one more note about physics....

The whole strained analogy between physics and post-modern studies is
very amusing. Gabriel Egan's rejoinder about the disappearance of the
sun may, in fact, be the punch line: neither Einsteinian nor Newtonian
physics would allow for the disappearance of the sun in the first place,
since neither world-view allows for the disappearance of matter to begin
with (at least not without the release of a really HUGE amount of
energy). As far as both of them knew, matter (or, in the case of
Einstein matter-energy) is conserved in this universe. Good joke, Dr.
Egan, but your thought experiment proves nothing (except that you are a
first rate debater).

When scientific paradigms shift (such as the shift from Newtonian to
Einsteinian physics, or from relativistic to quantum physics), they do
so because observation no longer correlates with theory. Newtonian
physics STILL works very very nicely-within its limits. It was only when
observation became powerful and subtle enough that Newtonian physics'
limits were encountered, and that led to attempts to build new theories
to explain observed phenomena. But still, force does equal mass times
acceleration (good work, Isaac), and  e pretty much does equal mass
times the speed of light squared (nice job, Albert). If observation
later determines that these equations are not completely accurate, a new
theory will be developed to account for the observations. But, still,
for nearly all practical purposes, both equations will still hold, up to
the limits of observation within which they were derived.

I do not mean to say that scientists (who are people with motives and
egos after all) will not vigorously defend their pet theories when
observation seems to explode them, but, sooner or later, those theories
will succumb if observation no longer supports them. That is how the
physical sciences tend to operate.

Now...how do literary theories develop and how are they superceded, or
refined?

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Evelyn Gajowski <
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 >
Date:           Monday, March 30, 1998 2:18 PM
Subject: 9.0281 Re: Postmodernism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0281 Re: Postmodernism

To Piers Lewis,

The following list is intended to be suggestive rather than exhaustive:

Barker, Deborah, and Ivo Kamps, eds.  *Shakespeare and Gender*.  Verso,
1995.
Belsey, Catherine.  *The Subject of Tragedy*.  Methuen, 1985.
Bredbeck, Greg.  *Sodomy and Interpretation*.  Cornell, 1991.
Dollimore, Jonathan.  *Radical Tragedy*.  Chicago, 1984.
---, and Alan Sinfield, eds.  *Political Shakespeare*.  Cornell, 1985.
Drakakis, John, ed.  *Alternative Shakespeares*.  V. 1.  Methuen, 1985.
Greenblatt, Stephen.  *Renaissance Self-fashioning*.  Chicago, 1980.
---.  *Shakespearean Negotiations*.  California, 1988.
Hall, Kim.  *Things of Darkness*.  Cornell, 1995.
Hawkes, Terry, ed.  *Alternative Shakespeares*.  V. 2.  Routledge, 1996.
Howard, Jean.  *The Stage and Social Struggle in Early Modern England*.
Routledge, 1994.
---, and Marion O'Connor, eds.  *Shakespeare Reproduced*.  Routledge,
1987.
---, and Phyllis Rackin.  *Engendering a Nation*.  Routledge, 1997.
Kahn, Coppelia.  *Man's Estate*.  California, 1981.
---.  *Roman Shakespeare*.  Routledge, 1997.
Kamps, Ivo, ed.  *Materialist Shakespeare*.  Verso, 1995.
Jardine, Lisa.  *Still Harping on Daughters*.  Harvester, 1983.
---.  *Reading Shakespeare Historically*.  Routledge, 1996.
Lenz, Carolyn, Carol Thomas Neely, and Gayle Greene, eds.  *The Woman's
Part*.  Illinois, 1980.
Loomba, Ania.  *Gender, Race, Renaissance Drama*.  Manchester, 1989.
Neely, Carol Thomas.  *Broken Nuptials in Shakespeare's Plays*.  Yale,
1985.
Novy, Marianne.  *Love's Argument*.  North Carolina, 1984.
Rackin, Phyllis.  *Stages of History*.  Cornell, 1990.
Smith, Bruce.  *Homosexual Desire in Shakespeare's England*.  Chicago,
1991.
Traub, Valerie.  *Desire and Anxiety*.  Routledge, 1992.
Wayne, Valerie, ed.  *The Matter of Difference*.  Cornell, 1991.

Hope that some of these may prove to be useful.

Evelyn Gajowski
 

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