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What is Critique without Pessimism? Postcritique, Neoliberalism, and the Future of the Humanities

What is Critique without Pessimism? Postcritique, Neoliberalism, and the Future of the Humanities Jeffrey r. Di Leo What is Critique without Pessimism? Postcritique, Neoliberalism, and the Future of the Humanities “The world of the happy is quite another than that of the unhappy.” Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus (185; 6.43) The humanities are in peril. Declining numbers of majors, reductions in finan- cial support, and an overall lack of understanding of the nature and value of the humanities are opening the door to a more vocationally-cen tered vision of higher education. In a political economy and academic environment wherein educational values are determined by market- share, majors and courses that cannot be directly connected to marketable skills and job attainment are regarded as expendable. As a result, the humanities are losing students and energy at an alarming rate. This has humanities scholars scrambling for solutions. Some have responded to this situation by criticizing the neoliberal educational practices that are allegedly deepening the problems facing the humanities. The uni- versity that makes no pretense toward an educationally- driven university mission and whole- heartedly adopts an economically- driven one cannot be good for the humanities. Thus, halting the rise of the neoliberal university is regarded by some as one way to reverse the decline of the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

What is Critique without Pessimism? Postcritique, Neoliberalism, and the Future of the Humanities

The Comparatist , Volume 43 – Nov 15, 2019

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

Jeffrey r. Di Leo What is Critique without Pessimism? Postcritique, Neoliberalism, and the Future of the Humanities “The world of the happy is quite another than that of the unhappy.” Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus (185; 6.43) The humanities are in peril. Declining numbers of majors, reductions in finan- cial support, and an overall lack of understanding of the nature and value of the humanities are opening the door to a more vocationally-cen tered vision of higher education. In a political economy and academic environment wherein educational values are determined by market- share, majors and courses that cannot be directly connected to marketable skills and job attainment are regarded as expendable. As a result, the humanities are losing students and energy at an alarming rate. This has humanities scholars scrambling for solutions. Some have responded to this situation by criticizing the neoliberal educational practices that are allegedly deepening the problems facing the humanities. The uni- versity that makes no pretense toward an educationally- driven university mission and whole- heartedly adopts an economically- driven one cannot be good for the humanities. Thus, halting the rise of the neoliberal university is regarded by some as one way to reverse the decline of the

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 15, 2019

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