Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Terry Eagleton at UC Berkeley
Terry Eagleton's lecture entitled "The Death of Criticism?" at UC Berkeley yesterday afternoon was great fun but ultimately inconclusive. Hammering a few more nails into the coffin of critical theory, a project we thought had been put to rest in After Theory (2004), Terry widened his perspective into different areas of cultural study, peppering his remarks with a variety of clever and worthwhile insights. These were interspersed with an endless stream of one-liners, which kept everyone laughing pretty much throughout his presentation.
But a focus was lacking, and although we were once more summoned to do battle against the pervasive evils of exchange-value and instrumental reason—which seemed on a pleasant Spring afternoon in Berkeley rather more Blakean than Marxist—we were left as usual without an executable application, like brides once again abandoned at the altar of social justice.
[Photo from Wikipedia, "Terry Eagleton."]