- Editor’s Note
Affiliation is the shared point of departure for the essays in this collection. A number of the articles examine the role of affiliation in academic culture. While many of the contributors draw on their experiences as literary studies scholars, the lessons that they share regarding the role of affiliation in their respective intellectual and professional lives will be of interest to anyone involved in higher education today. Essays by Joseph R. Urgo, Marjorie Perloff, Terry Caesar, Jamie Owen Daniel and myself investigate some of the ways in which our affiliations to colleges, disciplines, specializations and theoretical positions have impacted our academic careers. Other essays move away from career-related discussions of affiliation, and toward more theoretical topics including the relationship between affiliation and change in academia (Cary Nelson), the nature of academic inquiry and its connection to affiliation (James Sosnoski and Eve Wiederhold), and the links among disciplinarity, identity and affiliation (David Shumway). Together, these eight essays provide a framework for understanding the role of affiliation in contemporary academic life.
The remainder of the essays show us how the identification of an author’s literary, cultural and theoretical affiliations can play a significant part in a more general understanding of their work. Articles by Caryl Emerson, Robert Con Davis-Undiano, William Slaymaker and Susanna Ashton show how affiliation can be a particularly fruitful concept in drawing out issues in literary and intellectual history. As a critical lens, affiliation allows us to make connections between authors, texts and cultures that would be otherwise overlooked. These four articles reveal the power of affiliation as a locus for the critical understanding of literary and intellectual history, and open up many possibilities for further inquiry.
Together, these articles make a strong case for the establishment of affiliation as a key concept in cultural studies and critical theory. They reveal how academia in general as well as the life of the individual academic is a complex interweaving of affiliations. While we are only beginning to understand fully the dimensions of affiliatory relationships in academic culture, these essays leave little doubt that our knowledge of contemporary academic life is incomplete without an account of them.
Our next issue will be entitled Anthologizing Theory and Literature (Volume 8, Numbers 1 & 2). As previously announced, this issue will be concerned with social, political, cultural, pedagogical and philosophical issues regarding the production, consumption, regulation, identity, and distribution of literary theory and general literature anthologies, textbooks, and handbooks. To what extent is our understanding or even our teaching of literary theory and literature shaped by anthologies and textbooks? How do these texts reflect the politics of literature and theory inside and outside the [End Page 5] academy? How have new media technologies altered our sense of the literature and theory text? What kinds of trends do the existing texts reflect? Are they more global than local? Multicultural than monocultural? Where are they headed? Deadline for submissions has been extended to 15 October 2000, and our expected publication date for this issue is March 2001.
In preparation is an issue entitled Globalism and Theory (Volume 9, Nos. 1–2). We are looking for contributions which discuss the impact of globalization and globalism on both the practice and idea of critical theory and cultural studies. How have the discourses of globalism, trans-nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and internationalism affected the production and teaching of theory? How have we theorized globalism? How has our notion of theory changed in the age of globalism? How have modern and postmodern theories of aesthetic and cultural practices participated in the production of global discourses? How does globalism change our notion of modernism and postmodernism? How has globalism affected the literary and theoretical canon? Welcome are submissions that crically address the work of major theorists and critics of globalism such as Baudrillard, Jameson, Virilio, Featherstone, Appadurai, and Robbins. Deadline for submissions is 1 April 2001, and our expected publication date for this issue is September 2001.
Also in preparation is an issue concerning the sites in which we teach and learn. How do we understand them? How should we understand them? What is the relationship between the site of pedagogy, and the...