Friday, October 07, 2005

What Ever Would Derrida Say?

Being a historian in this day and age, one gets bombarded with the language of postmodernism, poststructuralism, cultural studies, linguistics and all other such ideas and modalities.

While they are important and can offer the historian a valuable tool for considering sources (although the good historian is always critical of his/her sources and their nature as biased items), the lingo and pretention of the postmodern zealots gets old quick. One also gets the idea that they themselves are not sure what they are on about.

This is why this site, the Postmodernism Generator, is simply brilliant.

Click on the link and PRESTO! Your own postmodern critical essay, complete with references. Don't like it? Click the link at the bottom of the page and get another.

These brilliant folks use a random generator with discursive language to generate these things.

Also, read the wonderful story of Professor Alan Sokal of NYU. A physics professor, he wrote a postmodern critique of science as a parody (it was utterly meaningless) and it was published by a cultural criticism journal. The link takes you to dr. Sokal's site.

Or, since it's Friday, get drunk and pass out again.


Anonymous said...

so very true Will. The question, though, begs to be asked, why in the world did you choose to the great state university of the state of Wisconsin? Here is where many old post-modernists go to die. To be sure, it is not as bad in the history department as in Sociology, English (shiver, shiver), or Anthropology

By the way, Derrida was a complete jacka$$. I know someone who met him when she was a little kid and he was a complete jerk to her despite the fact that he was staying at her parent's house. How can you be a jerk to a seven year old kid? Oh, yea, by being an snotty "intellectual" who thinks there are only about a dozen people in the world worth having a conversation with.

Greg Shealy

Will Shannon said...

Hey, Greg. Thanks for looking in.

Why did I move here to do this? Well, the particular faculty member that I wanted to work with (JSD) was here and he is the sort of professor that I am used to. His works are what initally interested me in modern Irish social history; that and the dearth of decent studies of localities and the loosened grasp of ardent nationalists on the study of Irish history that has happened in the last fifteen-twenty years.

On a practical level, they were the only ones that said yes. I guess Princeton, Notre Dame and Boston College thought I was a bastard. Princeton hurt especially; their application fee was $85.00. You're welcome.

Leave it to the likes of Derrida to be unfriendly to a child. I guess that this "cookie" she wanted was merely a construct.

Anonymous said...

You sir are a bad ass. The best blog post I have ever read