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Quick Studies: The Best of Lingua Francaby Alexander Star
Synopses & Reviews
Lingua Franca covered the intellectual life of the 1990s--when American scholars took to the public stage as never before--with wit and passion and helped establish many of the leading voices in American journalism today.
Dedicated to the proposition that academia can compete for interest with Hollywood and Washington, Lingua Franca explained, in depth, the ideas of the decade--and told some of its least likely stories. In Quick Studies a physicist humiliates the gurus of postmodernism in an astonishing hoax; the "Dirty Harry" of literary theory renounces his calling; a Romanian dissident is assassinated in a faculty lavatory; and a leading feminist faces charges of sexual harassment.
Anyone concerned with the key debates of our time, and their idiosyncratic debaters, cannot afford to miss this book. It is nothing less than a collective portrait of the American intellectual in its native habits.
Book News Annotation:
In introducing 40 essays from Lingua Franca (1990-2001), Star, who edited this now defunct low-budget general academic interest magazine from 1995 until 2001, explains what made it such a lively, influential intellectual review. LF's forte was academic controversies such as "the Sokal hoax"; here its physicist perpetrator confesses to getting his scientific parody taken seriously by a postmodern humanities journal in 1996. There are Internet rumors of LF's possible resurrection.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Hailed by "The Washington Post" as "surprising, substantive, and sophisticated" "Lingua Franca" covered the intellectual life of the 1990s with wit and passion and helped establish many of the leading voices in American journalism today. This is a collective portrait of the American intellectual in its native habitats.
About the Author
Alexander Star edited Lingua Franca from 1995 until 2001. He is currently the Ideas editor of The Boston Globe. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, and the London Review of Books.
Table of Contents
Alexander Star: Introduction
THE REACTION TO THEORY
Alan Sokal: A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies
Mystery Science Theater (A Forum)
Scott McLemee: The Reality Gulf
Frank Lentricchia: Last Will and Testament of an Ex-Literary Critic
Michael Schudson: Paper Tigers
Robert S. Boynton: Enjoy Your Zizek
Larissa MacFarquhar: Putting the Camp Back Into Campus
James Miller: Is Bad Writing Necessary?
THE TRIBULATIONS OF THE ACADEMIC LIFE
G. Kindrow: The Candidate
Michael S. Wardell: The Candidate's Story
Margaret Talbot: A Most Dangerous Method
Emily Nussbaum: Thanks for Nothing
Daniel Mendelsohn: The Stand
Christopher Shea: Letterheads
Jack Hitt: In the Franklin Factory
Ruth Shalit: The Man Who Knew Too Much
THE POLITICAL PROFESSOR
Ted Anton: The Killing of Professor Culianu
Hillary Frey: The Critique of Pure Pop
Rick Perlstein: Who Owns the Sixties?
James Surowiecki: Genovese's March
Laura Secor: Testaments Betrayed
Eyal Press: The Color Test
Jennifer Schuessler: Moo!
Scott Sherman: A Return to Java
James Schwartz: Oh My Darwin!
Jim Holt: Dream On
Jim Holt: Little Big Man
Helen Epstein: Bonobos in Paradise
Daniel Zalewski: The Gossip Instinct
Jim Holt: The Looking-Glass War
Colin McGinn: Out of Body, Out of Mind
Jim Holt: What's So Funny?
Jim Holt: Whose Idea Is It, Anyway?
Emily Eakin: Habeas Corpus
James Ryerson: The Quest for Uncertainty
Jim Holt: Higher Superstitions
James Ryerson: The Mystery of the Millionaire Metaphysician
ARTS AND LETTERS
Adam Shatz: Black Like Me
Shell Game (A Forum)
Caleb Crain: Infidelity
What Our Readers Are Saying
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