An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization has a delightful preface that illustrates the power of retrospection (i.e. you can be more direct about “the hostility of men” – in her words, “I did not say then what I feel I can write now” (xi)) and the force of intellectual insecurity (and how such insecurity interacts with power — you accept invitations).
And what an opening to an introduction:
“Globalization takes place only in capital and data. Everything else is damage control. Information command has ruined knowing and reading. Therefore we don’t really know what to do with information. Unanalyzed projects come into existence simply because the information is there. Crowd sourcing takes the place of democracy. Universities become adjuncts to what is called international civil society; the humanities and imaginative social sciences bite the dust” (1).
What follows is a reading of Kant, Schiller, DeMan, Marx, Gramsci, and, of course, Spivak, to make the claim that we gotta undo, we gotta make mistakes, we gotta read mistakes right (misread and read our misreadings). While reading it, I remained skeptical of deconstruction and its legacies, and, yet, it contained so many nice reminders (state formation preceded democratization, metalepsis as an effect without a cause, monolingual interdisciplinarity is on the rise in the global university). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: in these days, whatever your specialities, you’ve gotta be a meta thinker as well.