Past Issues

Fall 2001, Volume 34, Number 3

Forces of Separation and Solidarity: Building and Sustaining a Graduate Employee Union at the University of Iowa--Part One

Cinda Coggins

What was, in reality, a cabal of a few very vocal graduate students supporting the administration looked much bigger than it was because of their interesting access to buildings late at night (where they posted hundreds of anti-COGS flyers) and the assistance they received from the local press.

Forces of Separation and Solidarity: Building and Sustaining a Graduate Employee Union at the University of Iowa--Part Two

Julie Schmid

The support that the nascent union campaign received from other unions around the community not only put pressure on the University's administration; it was through these newly forged relationships that members of the unionization movement on campus began to see themselves as part of a larger community of workers.

Reason, Responsbility, and the Post-Tenure University: Theorizing the Role of the Adjunct Professor

Jody Norton

The freedom of not having to follow either the traditions of the discipline or the Law-of-the-Cutting-Edge, that simultaneously phallic and castrative signifier embodied in the stars of today (so near to yesterday--ah, Homi, ah, Slavoj, remember de Man and Baudrillard, and ask not for whom the bell tolls!) is intellectually empowering.

Beyond the Adjunct Principle: Envisioning a Future for Postdoctoral Fellowships in Language and Literature

Daryl Ogden

While our professional community doesn't possess the unilateral power to create hundreds of new tenure-track jobs in the humanities, we do wield the collective power to generate hundreds of new postdoctoral fellowships for our graduate students.

Who's on First?: Generalism, Multi-Tasking, and Playing Ball

Anna Leahy

While highly functional, particularly in capitalist terms, many large Ph.D.-granting English departments have forsaken generalism and, with little griping, accepted models that encourage division and even ignorance.

How is Cultural Studies Anyway? Evidence, Discipline, and the Iconographical Impulse

Matthew P. Brown

In its discussion of such things as format, paratexts, page design, composition, watermarks, and typography, book history attends to the visual culture of recorded forms.

Book Reviews

The Rise and Fall of English: Reconstructing English as a Discipline. By Robert Scholes. (Thomas Chase)

What we now have in the discipline of English can perhaps be described as a genteel babble that has become increasingly irrelevant to our own purposes, and especially to those of the community that supports us. "In the beginning," Scholes reminds us, "there were no English professors."

The Employment of English: Theory, Jobs, and the Future of Literary Studies. By Michael Bérubé. (Christopher Diller)

Bérubé, in other words, poses himself one of the toughtest questions in the business: what is the determinate relation, if any, between English studies' proliferating intellectual resources and interdisciplinary practices and its declining cultural and economic capital?

Derrida and the Future of Literature. By Joseph G. Kronick. (John Funchion)

For Derrida, literature has a spectral quality because it has neither essence nor being.

An Introduction to Bibliographical and Textual Studies. By William Proctor Williams and Craig S. Abbott.

A Dictionary of Literary Symbols. By Michael Ferber. (Kristine J. Anderson)

The first hurdle facing the user of reference books is the task of choosing from an embarrassment of riches the one which will be most likely to answer a given question.

Teaching Oral Traditions. Edited by John Miles Foley. (Lauren Hahn)

For instructors wishing to add non-Western material to world literature syllabi, the chapters on Indian Oral Traditions, orally related literature in China and vocal traditions in Japan, and Arabic traditions provide extensive background information as well as suggestions for classroom discussions, writing assignments, and research projects.

Northrop Frye on Myth: An Introduction. By Ford Russell. (Warren S. Moore III)

What is of particular interest in this book is Russell's examination of the mythic figure that underlies Frye's own work: the myth of the ideal reader.

Twenty Questions: Posed by Poems. By J. D. McClatchy. (Angela Sorby)

Scholars--even passionate scholars--speak with the dead by historicizing, but to sleep with the dead requires a relentless presentism.

Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life. Edited by The Bad Subjects Production Team. (Mark M. Freed)

The left (which, we might as well face it, means largely the academic left) has retreated to the universities to theorize about class, race, gender, and nationality, celebrating its defiant distance from the central practices of capitalism as though watching from the margins is all one can do.

The Ends of Performance. Edited by Peggy Phelan and Jill Lane. (Heath A. Diehl)

Part investigation into the limits and horizons of the burgeoning field of performance studies, the book foregrounds the dilemma of how to preserve in the written word a form whose ontology rests on acts of vanishing, disappearance, loss.

The Visible Woman: Imaging Technologies, Gender and Science. Edited by Paula A. Treichler, Lisa Cartwright and Constance Penley. (Andrew J. Price)

These essays manage to call into question a good deal of the faith our culture places in medical authority and the power of its technologies to diagnose and save us from all bodily ills.

On a Silver Platter: CD-ROMs and the Promises of a New Technology. Edited by Greg M. Smith. (Diane Warner)

In addition to examining the text and visuals of numerous games, these essays describe the use of parody and mimicry in CD-ROMs based on films, the pedagogical applications of digitally reproduced art works and film sequences, and the impact the medium has on social interactions.