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Being Trendy

The Nation has a piece by William Deresiewicz called “Professing Literature in 2008,” which presents a review of the Twentieth Anniversary edition of Gerald Graff’s Professing Literature. Mostly, it’s the usual screed, though it does a make a few points that even this pre-tenured radical might have to concede. I mention it here only to draw attention to the review’s most exhilarating moment — an “analysis” of the mla job list:

There have always been trends in literary criticism, but the major trend now is trendiness itself, trendism, the desperate search for anything sexy. Contemporary lit, global lit, ethnic American lit; creative writing, film, ecocriticism–whatever. There are postings here for positions in science fiction, in fantasy literature, in children’s literature, even in something called “digital humanities.”

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