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ERIC Number: EJ776458
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0994
Opinion: The Fetish of Fullness
Majumdar, Saikat
College English, v69 n6 p642-654 Jul 2007
Much of the current North American academic crisis of publishing, tenure, and promotion is both the cause and the effect of this fetishization dominant in the humanities: that of the grand narrative of knowledge-production, respectably bound with a spine. Short works will get one only so far, no matter how many of them one produces, or how well. If full-length novels have the commercial capital of being able to command some attention in a quickly shrinking print market, monographs published by university presses aspire to nowhere near such capital in an age of decreasing library purchases and the continual reduplication of available knowledges by academic presses just to respond to this outsourcing of tenure/promotion evaluation to them by university departments. In this article, the author presents his views on this fetishization in the humanities and calls for the need to be weaned from the illusion of fullness and completion in the production of knowledge whenever these are signalled by a single binding spine. At the same time, continued production of books that have truly earned their full length need not be discouraged. The only loss might be the occasional fragmentation of intellectual egos, rooted in the cultural capital of The Book, from the traditional, spine-bound text of 250 pages or so. (Contains 1 note.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North America