Exclusion zone fears

July 28, 1995

There are a good many serious threats to academic freedom in this country, but the tyranny of "theory" is not one of them. If "theory" is about anything it is about opening up spaces for those who have been marginalised or disenfranchised by traditional approaches and practices in English studies and other disciplines. It is not prescriptive, it is liberating. Academics who are incapable of making themselves conversant with "recent critical developments" in their field - or who are unwilling to do so - should really not be surprised if they have difficulty securing a post. Would you employ a mechanic who did not understand how a car worked?

Patrick Finney

University of Wales


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