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Universalism and Essentialism

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.206  Wednesday, 23 April 2014

 

[1] From:        Larry Weiss < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         April 23, 2014 at 12:14:40 AM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Query 

 

[2] From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:        Wednesday, April 23, 2014

     Subject:    Re: Universalism and Essentialism 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Larry Weiss < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 23, 2014 at 12:14:40 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Query

 

Perhaps the time will come when students will be steered away from contemporary criticism because it is tainted by theory. Personally, I hope so.

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:        Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Subject:    Re: Universalism and Essentialism

 

Dennis Taylor raises an interesting issue:

 

>At a recent conference, the claim was made that one should 

>not advise graduate students to read older scholarship 

>because almost all of it is “tainted by universalism and 

>essentialism.”

 

While I do not agree that graduate students should be advised NOT to read "older" scholarship, I do believe that that all scholarship needs to be placed in context. 

 

I do NOT agree with Larry Weiss that “Perhaps the time will come when students will be steered away from contemporary criticism because it is tainted by theory.” 

 

Students of Shakespeare (undergraduate, graduate, or independent) need to be advised that to argue for a universal meaning as the New Critics, for example, appear to do is to exclude other forms of reading from diverse perspectives.

 

Despite the recent Supreme Court decision, diversity in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, and so on is important to me. To pretend that a 1930-50s white, priviledged, masculine viewpoint is universal to the exclusion of others is simply anachronistic. 

 

 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.