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Minding the Body - De File — LiveJournal
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Minding the Body
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cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: March 9th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Excellent thoughts RE: Benjamin. He's my fave. I've read that essay so many times and taught it a bunch too. What you say is right on.

I'm also interested in your point about the sort of reading that the academy asks of students and teachers alike. I'm not sure making a profit is the direct goal, since almost all schools lose money, but that doesn't mean that they're not set up to serve the interests of global capital. One thing I've been struggling with for a while is the tension between the lingering pre-capitalist structures in universities -- which, like religions institutions tend to preserve what Raymond Williams called "residual formations" a lot longer than they last in the "real world" -- and the increasing pressure to rationalize them along corporate lines.
From: babyiwasshot Date: March 9th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
One thing I've been struggling with for a while is the tension between the lingering pre-capitalist structures in universities -- which, like religions institutions tend to preserve what Raymond Williams called "residual formations" a lot longer than they last in the "real world" -- and the increasing pressure to rationalize them along corporate lines.

I'm reading Dos Passos's USA (published in 1938, I think) in one of my classes, which (in a biopic of Thorstein Veblen) mentions something along these lines, actually:

"At Carleton College, young Veblen was considered a brilliant unsound eccentric; nobody could understand why a boy of such attainments wouldn't settle down to the business of the day, which was to buttress property and profits with anything usable in the debris of Christian ethics and eighteenth-century economics that culttered the minds of collegeprofessors, and to reinforced the shaky edifice with the new strong girderwork of science Herbert Spencer was throwing up for benefit of the bosses" (849).

PS: Tell Scruggs about my dropping that passage if you see him; sometimes I think my dismal quiz performances--on account of being a slower-paced reader--convince him that I'm not doing the assignment.

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