Exclusion zone fears

July 28, 1995

Although the plight outlined by your understandably anonymous contributor ("Sacred cows' herd instincts", THES, July 21) is a familiar one, the exclusion experienced by him/her is by no means confined to English departments, to young researchers, or indeed to those who are "non-theorists".

Much the same kind of academic exclusion is practised against those who hold "outmoded" theoretical views in the social sciences, which nowadays includes Marxists who have not joined the ranks of the pentiti.

As someone who belongs to the latter category, and still considers him/herself an unrepentant Marxist, I too have experienced a similar kind of exclusion for daring to criticise postmodernism as a variety of conservatism and suggesting that much Foucauldian theory is politically reactionary.

Like your contributor, I must also request anonymity.


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