Thursday, January 26, 2017
In Slate, Rebecca Schuman performativizes academic jargon.
Yes, yes, Nietzsche and his successors, Heidegger and Foucault and Derrida: They’re fer’ners who’ve begat hundreds of thousands of gibberish-spewing offspring who’ll use the word reproblematize to obliterate your guns and freedom. I get it. Jargon is fun to make fun of. I myself have taken a swipe or two at the pendulous plums weighing down the proverbial tree of overintellectualization.
Well, guess what, America? The humanities are also full of difficult concepts—insignificant crap, like the meaning of life—which is why we should acknowledge their need for specialized vocabulary. Difficult concepts sometimes call for big words. Deconstruction is hard. Heidegger is hard. Nietzsche, bless his giant moustache, is hard.
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