Who's Taking Over for Lingua Franca?

November 17, 2001 1:39 PM   Subscribe

Who's Taking Over for Lingua Franca?
    NYTimes reports on the latest Ivy hiring coup: Homi Bhabha at Harvard English Lit. Bhabha is the author of The Location of Culture (1994), a notable work postcolonial literary theory (which also won him the 2nd prize in the 1998 Bad Writing Contest). The sad thing is that whereas LF would've played it for laughs, NYT thinks this is a serious issue! Someone needs to take the science reporters out to the lecture hall. Did anyone ever expect "hybridity theory" to be tested against current events?
posted by rschram (3 comments total)
This Times article's fascination with jargon is so tedious. Without a story to tell, this is what the mainstream press has been doing for a couple decades with academic news: debating the merits of "obfuscating neologisms" and "difficult style." Blah, blah, find a different story to tell.
posted by rex at 2:01 PM on November 17, 2001

Slow down there, King. An old scam still in operation is still worthy of attention, as the White Van thread clearly shows.
posted by NortonDC at 5:40 PM on November 17, 2001

Great link, thanks, rschram.

Bhabha seems to have interesting ideas, but why, oh, why can't he write in comprehensible prose? As William Morris said of Carlyle, Bhabha needs a muscular editor to sit beside him and punch his head every five minutes.

When I come across paragraphs like that quoted by the Times or the 1998 Bad Writing Contest, I see no point in reading further. There are enough people writing readable prose about interesting things, to waste time on someone writing incoherent prose about interesting things.

Harvard, what were you thinking?
posted by Slithy_Tove at 9:56 PM on November 17, 2001

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