In theory 2

October 14, 2005

As a part-time mature student, I completed an English literature degree this year at a university priding itself on its position at the cutting-edge of the critical theory scene.

I felt uneasy about the assumptions being made from the beginning of the course and, after compulsory work in the first year, avoided "theory" modules. I discovered the importance of assessing lecturers' attitudes and learnt to bypass, if possible, those for whom any critical pre-1960s view was anathema. The jewels in the crown, for me, were those who put the complexity, appreciation and enjoyment of the text in paramount position.

I was convinced that much critical theory was an academic example of the emperor's new clothes, but it was nevertheless difficult to challenge those whose careers and reputations depended on it.

Name and address supplied

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns