Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0735. Wednesday, 9 October 1996.
Date: Tuesday, 8 Oct 1996 15:03:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0730 Re: The State of the Profession
Comment: Re: SHK 7.0730 Re: The State of the Profession
I thank Gabriel Egan for explaining how he goes about "stuffing students with
politics." He articulated in detail a model of teacher-student interaction
that too often goes unreconsidered.
I see now that describing myself as a "materialist" amounted to a kind of
shorthand that could be misunderstood. Actually, I take all texts to be
ideological expressions of material culture and harbor few illusions, I think,
about the intrinsic values of "Literature" (this was Drakakis's capitalization,
not mine). It makes an interesting commentary on the state of the profession
that John Drakakis jumps the gun and thinks my vagueness on the question of
dedication to materialist principals is an attempt to slip one by. In reply I
must confess that although I certainly consider myself a good materialist (my
work thus far has been grounded in early modern social history and the economic
and demographic conditions necessary for class cohesion), he might well find me
a bad--perhaps overly reconstructed--Marxist.
I honestly cannot figure out how my question, confused as it was, amounted to a
"parade of political prejudice." I was, forgive me, trying to accomplish
precisely what Drakakis expects, "investigate" what materialism means with
respect not only to critical practice but also to pedagogy. Drakakis already
has the answers he needs; I do not. Egan was generous with his reply; Drakakis
was not. Is Drakakis saying that we young people still studying Marx for the
first time and trying to fight the good fight are not welcome in the fold?
University of Florida