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« Blog-a-Book: A ’Masculine Fantasy?’ | Main | Re: MLA blurb »

August 23, 2007

You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me!

I have to admit, I had a great time trying to read a little Modern Language Association blurb which is floating about college and university listserves. (See below.) 

My suggestions are read it first, then laugh a lot, and then finally analyze words and context.  I’ll start us off with a couple words. In the first sentence, the word "conjunction" makes me think that the Association is trying to establish a logical relationship between the groups, like "eco-feminism" and "queer science." 

The next word I'll look at in that sentence is “generative,” meaning “queer nature studies” produce other little queer-ish ideas. I’m not sure why they see these exploding ideas—oops—I mean a generative notion “problematic” except for the fact that the Associates of Modern Language gurus are out to impress others with their torturous use of multi-syllabic “English” words. With so much obfuscation or stupefying verbiage, no one will question their literacy, or knock askew their mantle of legitimacy.

Okay, it's your turn to analyze.

"Queer Nature"

This panel seeks to explore the productive conjunction between queer studies and environmental studies crystallized in the problematic - but extremely generative - notion of "queer nature." It will situate itself within existing scholarship in ecofeminism and queer critiques of science, but it will push beyond these limits by exploring the profound queerness at the heart of the human and other-than-human world. It will, at once, take seriously queer theorists historical frustration with the naturalization of nature, especially in terms of the violent repercussions of naturalizing a heteronormative nature, but it will also take seriously environmental theorists call to figure the other-than-human world into our ethico-political theory and praxis. "Queer Nature" will fill in a gap, a gap sadly, and vaguely, at the core of both queer and environmental studies.

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If this panel wrote plainly about their mission, they would probably be laughed to scorn and tossed out on their ears.

If not that, then their academic "credibility" might be questioned. After all, aren't the 3 goals of academia "Obfuscate", "Obfuscate" and "Obfuscate"?

Dan Knight

The whole thing sounded rather...queer to me.

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