Just Being Difficult?: Academic Writing in the Public Arena

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Jonathan D. Culler, Kevin Lamb
Stanford University Press, 2003 - Education - 223 pages
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Is academic writing, particularly in the disciplines of literary theory and cultural studies, needlessly obscure? The claim has been widely circulated in the media and subject to passionate debate, but it has not been the subject of serious discussion. Just Being Difficult? provides learned and thoughtful analyses of the claim, of those it targets, and of the entire question of how critical writing relates to its intended publics and to audiences beyond them.

In this book, a range of distinguished scholars, including some who have been charged with willful obscurity, argue for the interest and importance of some of the procedures that critics have preferred to charge with obscurity rather than confront in another way. The debate on difficult writing hovers on the edges of all academic writing that seeks to play a role in the public arena. This collection is a much-needed contribution to the discussion.

  

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Contents

Dressing Up Dressing Down
1
A Historical
15
Humes Learned and Conversable Worlds
29
Bad Writing and Good Philosophy
43
The Metaphysics of Clarity and the Freedom of Meaning
58
Feminisms Broken English
75
The Resistance of Theory or The Worth of Agony
95
Styles of Intellectual Publics
106
Part j Modernist Poetics and Critical Badness
129
Difficulty in Modern Poetry and Aesthetics
139
Bad Writing
157
The Morality of Form or Whats Bad about Bad Writing?
171
An Interview with
181
Values of Difficulty
199
Contributors
217
Copyright

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The case of the Bad Writing Contest: Literary theory as commodity ...
In Just Being Difficult? Academic Writing in the Public Arena. J. Culler and K. Lamb, eds. Pp. 199-215. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ...
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JSTOR: "If You Experience Difficulty in Reading . . ."
"If You Experience Difficulty in Reading . . ." V. Nicholas Lolordo. Contemporary Literature, Vol. 45, No. 2, 368-377. Summer, 2004. ...
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Just Being Difficult? Academic Writing in the Public Arena. Palo Alto: Stanford UP, 2003. De Man, Paul. The Resistance to Theory. ...
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About the author (2003)

Jonathan Culler is Senior Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Class of 1916 Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Cornell University. Kevin Lamb is a graduate student in the English Department at Cornell University.

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