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The Critical PulseThirty-Six Credos by Contemporary Critics$
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Jeffrey Williams and Heather Steffen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231161152

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231161152.001.0001

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The Case for Scholarly Reporting

The Case for Scholarly Reporting

(p.13) 1 The Case for Scholarly Reporting
The Critical Pulse

Andrew Ross

Columbia University Press

This chapter presents the an account of leaving behind “armchair theory” to do “scholarly reporting.” The author of this chapter describes his first training as a critic from academics in Britain who had sat at the feet of F. R. Leavis, which was succeeded, in short order, by others who had translated, if not indigenized, Althusser and other marxisant Continental thinkers into the UK. His second training was that of an armchair theorist, pledged to the synthesis of ideas. In 1985, he began teaching poetry at Princeton, which also gave him the opportunity to self-apprentice in the kinds of social and cultural analysis that American studies had established as a legitimate institutional niche on campus. American studies provided a home for the kind of criticism he wanted—one that looks at society as a whole, deploys whatever methods are necessary to do so, and makes a real effort to meet people where they are. He eventually worked off the habits of his training and found his own voice as a practitioner of scholarly reporting—a genre of writing which mined the overlap between ethnography and journalism.

Keywords:   American studies, scholarly reporting, armchair theory, social analysis, cultural analysis, literary criticism, writing, ethnography, journalism

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