Monday, September 08, 2008

on the difficulty of rejoining academic discourse


i just finished wading through a debate between chomsky and foucault, two philosopher theorists. for a while there i was sustained by the photos of them looking thoughtful, and chomsky's entertaining glasses:


but i quickly realised that i'm completely rusty on academic language, and have no clue what they're talking about. for example:


"In the history of knowledge, the notion of human nature seems to me mainly to have played the role of an epistemological indicator to designate certain types of discourse in relation to or in opposition to theology or biology or history."


i kept reading to the end, partly cos i'm expected to have something intelligent to say about it by wednesday, and partly in the hope that exposure to academic language will help me regain my ability to understand it. i got bits and pieces of the 20 or so pages. it's all a bit off-putting, really. i used to be able to follow this stuff, though i never wrote such convoluted wank myself, and now i haven't the foggiest what they're banging on about.



on the other hand, being back at my desk is instantly familiar: productive and reassuring and challenging. i just have to keep working through this transition.

6 comments:

JT said...

I'm glad I'm an ignoramus and not an academic!!! I couldn't possible ready that stuff!
Just thought you'd like to know that I have a T-shirt on today, all the blossoms and the wattle trees are blooming profusely, the wattle birds are stealing the dog fur for their nests and the maggies are swooping, so spring HAS ARRIVED!! Yahoo. And I'm leaving it in about 10 days for cold and soggy Ireland. Have my bag packed ready to go (well almost!)
I've never seen that nice desk at our Ikea.
Ok that's all for today - out into the sunshine and warm for lunch!!
XXX

Grot said...

you'll be fine - you know what a trope is

off to the wedding of the eldest redhead

will send some photos, if we pack the camera

has b emailed that his uncle bob died last week? - funeral last sunday - peg is now the last member of her family left

to the mental hospital we go ...

Anonymous said...

Oh bugger! I just bought two books by Chomsky. Does this mean I'll be throwing them on the floor in disgust?
Nimmersatt

itchy fingers said...

c'mon, let's see the desk then.

gumtreefid farmer said...

yes i do, grotty. it's a type of thread made from animal gut.

gumtreefid farmer said...

well, it's not exactly light reading, nimmersatt. . .

have you started them? what do you think? i don't think i've ever actually read a book of his, just this one debate transcript.