[csaa-forum] old school new school

kiley gaffney kjg at consume.com.au
Sat Feb 26 14:30:28 CST 2005

As Regurgitator summed it up:  "I like your old stuff better than your 
new stuff". This appears to be the ethos of the 'old school' academics 
who think that australia was built on the foundations of a good solid 
liberal education. Unfortunately, thanks to our 'new school' education 
that taught us about ideology and hegemony, we know that latin and 
colonial history do not a culture make.

Seemingly, the need to constantly validate yourself and your academic 
interests is a 'rite of passage' that authenticates your place within 
the academy and indeed within this study-as-real-work- whilst 
-still-being-intellectual-and-elitist attitude that some academics push 
to make themselves feel that one step higher on the academic food 

I'm a cultural studies phd student who studied both french and spanish 
and have found little need for either of them in our, to quote 
Melleuish,  'internationalised'  country (indeed, I go overseas to use 
my languages).  As we try to assimilate every cultural difference that 
can't slot into retail ventures,  isn't it in fact relevant to ask, 
'what exactly is 'our' culture?' Or indeed, what 'internationalised' 
world is Melleuish living in?

Coming across this endless stream of shit aimed at the 'new humanities' 
can be disheartening but it should also bolster our belief in what we 
study. Doesn't it indeed represent the conservatism  that we are taught 
to deconstruct?(all that talk about constitution is a little 
frightening, isn't it?)  I'd be interested in hearing Mr Melleuish's 
take on history and politics if he thinks that everyday life is 
irrelevant, wouldn't you? 

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