Title, Author & Summary



April 8, 2014

Institutional Inertia and the State of the Discipline

Eric Hayot

Do we think that ideas only come in a limited number of sizes? Obviously not. And yet… it would be perfectly reasonable for someone from the outside to accuse us of so thinking. These are the constraints of the institution, and we reinforce them constantly: in, for instance, our evaluations of journal articles, including the ways we count them for tenure; but also, say, in the normal length of the normal end-of-term graduate seminar paper, which is merely a proxy for its potential future as a journal article. And so for historical periods, the graduate curriculum,and reports on the state of disciplines: we think very badly about institutions, when we do at all.

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Ideas of the Decade

January 14, 2014


Adam Miyashiro

Critical examinations of how “periodization" shaped ideas of time and space through “antiquity” and “the Middle Ages" contextualizes the foundations of literary fields alongside the emergence of European nationalisms and empires. These studies have had broad implications for other fields, including postcolonial theory, transnational studies, and globalization studies, and shows us how a historical period, such as “medieval,” can signify anxieties about Western "secular modernity” in its relationship to South America, Asia, and Africa.

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