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A fascinating look at how some of the world's most eminent scholars conceive of their own relationship with writing and with the work of being a critical intellectual.
Writing is central to the work of all intellectuals, yet any given scholar's relationship to writing is a uniquely personal one. Gary A. Olson and Lynn Worsham bring together some of the world's leading scholars from a variety of disciplines to examine how they conceive of their own relationship to writing and to the work of being a critical intellectual. Using excerpts from interviews, originally published in JAC, each scholar's thoughts are revealed about writing habits, how writing relates to intellectual work, and the politics of intellectual work.
Included are excerpts of interviews with the following: Gloria Anzaldúa, Mary Field Belenky, Homi Bhabha, Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky, Donald Davidson, Jacques Derrida, Michael Eric Dyson, Stanley Fish, Paulo Freire, Clifford Geertz, Henry Giroux, Stuart Hall, Donna Haraway, Sandra Harding, bell hooks, Luce Irigaray, Ernesto Laclau, Jean-François Lyotard, J. Hillis Miller, Chantal Mouffe, Avital Ronell, Richard Rorty, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Jane Tompkins, Stephen Toulmin, and Slavoj Zizek.
“Because of its rich potential, I envision this collection as a powerful set of models for young academics and graduate students looking to understand what ‘academic writing’ is or looks like.” — College Literature
"Critical intellectual work and the challenges of writing are increasingly important in an era of technological revolution, social transformation, conflict, and danger. Olson and Worsham provocatively question major scholars on issues of writing and conceiving critical intellectual work today. The wealth of different positions forces the reader to consider the complexities of communicating with the public, finding adequate means of expression, and engaging political and social responsibility." Douglas Kellner
"Theorists of all persuasions often take the rhetoric and aesthetic of their writing for granted. This collection of reflections on writing by some of our leading intellectuals is unique in the recent literature. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what these intellectuals are doing in their writing and why." Stanley Aronowitz
Gary A. Olson is Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of South Florida at St. Petersburg. Lynn Worsham is Professor of English at the University of South Florida. Olson is most recently the author of Justifying Belief: Stanley Fish and the Work of Rhetoric, published by SUNY Press and Worsham is most recently the coeditor (with Sidney I. Dobrin and Gary A. Olson) of The Kinneavy Papers: Theory and the Study of Discourse, also published by SUNY Press.