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Intellectuals occupy a paradoxical position in contemporary American culture as they struggle both to maintain their critical independence and to connect to the larger society. In Anxious Intellects John Michael discusses how critics from the right and the left have conceived of the intellectual's role in a pluralized society, weighing intellectual authority against public democracy, universal against particularistic standards, and criticism against the respect of popular movements. Michael asserts that these Enlightenment-born issues, although not "resolvable," are the very grounds from which real intellectual work must proceed.As part of his investigation of intellectuals' self-conceptions and their roles in society, Michael concentrates on several well-known contemporary African American intellectuals, including Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cornel West. To illuminate public debates over pedagogy and the role of university, he turns to the work of Todd Gitlin, Michael Berube, and Allan Bloom. Stanley Fish's pragmatic tome, Doing What Comes Naturally, along with a juxtaposition of Fredric Jameson and Samuel Huntington's work, proves fertile ground for Michael's argument that democratic politics without intellectuals is not possible. In the second half of Anxious Intellects, Michael relies on three popular conceptions of the intellectual-as critic, scientist, and professional-to discuss the work of scholars Constance Penley, Henry Jenkins, the celebrated physicist Stephen Hawking, and others, insisting that ambivalence, anxiety, projection, identification, hybridity, and various forms of psychosocial complexity constitute the real meaning of Enlightenment intellectuality. As a new and refreshing contribution to the recently emergent culture and science wars, Michael's take on contemporary intellectuals and their place in society will enliven and redirect these ongoing debates.



Publié par
Date de parution 24 avril 2000
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780822381396
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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AcademiAc Professionals, Public INntellectuals, and EnlighXtenment Values IJ OOH N M I C H AUE LS INTELD U K E U N I V E R S I T Y P R E S SDurham and London 2000 LECTS
©  Duke University Press All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper  Typeset in Quadraat by Tseng Information Systems, Inc. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data appear on the last printed page of this book.
Part of chapter  appeared in a very different form as ‘‘Fish Shticks: Rhetorical Questions inDoing What Comes Naturally,’’diacritics (summer ): –.
Chapter  originally appeared in different form as ‘‘Prosthetic Gender and Universal Intellect: Stephen Hawking’s Law,’’ inBoys: Masculinities in Contemporary Culture,ed. Paul Smith (New York: Westview Press, ).
Chapter  appeared in different form as ‘‘Science Friction and Cultural Studies: Intellectuals, Interdisciplinarity, and the Profession of Truth,’’ Camera Obscura (January ): –.
Acknowledgments ix Introduction: Fundamental Confusion
PART ONE Cultural Authority, Enlightenment Traditions, and Professional Anxiety
 Publicity: Black Intellectuals as Inorganic Representatives   Pedagogy: Enlightened Instruction as Oppressive Discipline   Community: Pragmatism as a Profession of Anxiety   Culture: Western Traditions and Intellectual Treason 
PART TWO Projected Identities, Universal Illusions, and Democratic Discourse
 The Critic: Cultural Studies and Adorno’s Ghost   The Scientist: Disembodied Intellect and Popular Utopias   The Professional: Science Wars and Interdisciplinary Studies  Conclusion: Tattered Maps 
Notes  Bibliography  Index 
This book has little directly to do with Eastern Europe, but I began think-ing seriously about what intellectuals in democratic societies could and could not be expected to do during a year, from  to , that I spent as a Fulbright scholar in the Instytut Anglistyki, Uniwersytet Warszaw-ski, in Poland. I would like to thank the Fulbright Foundation and the staff of the English Institute, especially Agatha Preis Smith, for making my stay in Poland during this difficult time productive. I would also like to thank Adam Michnik, Mira Marody, Stefan Marody, Jan Gross, Elena Gross, David Ost, and Tadeusz Kowalik for discussing the rapid transfor-mations of Polish society and their impact on intellectuals’ role in that society. If not for Ewa Hauser’s consuming passion for things Polish, I would never have gone to Poland at all. The University of Rochester offered me research support and time off while working on early and later versions of this manuscript. I would especially like tothank the great staff in the English Department, Nancy Hall, Rosemarie Hattman, Patricia Neal, Lucy Peck, Kate Walsh, and Cindy Warner, for the countless acts of kindness and efficiency that have made my scholarly and professional life possible at all over the last few years. Many friends and colleagues have discussed these ideas and read vari-ous drafts of portions of the book as it evolved. I would like to thank Michael Levine(mon plus que frère),Frank Shuffelton, Jonathan Baldo, Anita Levy, Deborah Grayson, Morris Eaves, Bette London, Thomas Hahn, Sasha Torres, Lynne Joyrich, Paul Smith, Paul Piccone (who will disagree with everything I’ve written), Randall Halle, Thomas DiPiero(whoalsokept me laughing), David Tamarin (whohas long been my model of intellectual and personal integrity), Sarah Higley, and Lisa Cartwright for their interest and attention. Mohammed Bamyeh offered me detailed comments on foreign policy and postcolonial politics. Rosemary Kegl took on the extraordinary chore of reading the first draft of the entire manuscript and making a de-
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