To lawyers, at least, the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences represent techniques for determining, representing, measuring, and summing desire. 
Critique, Neo-Kantianism, and Literary Study

I contend that critique is not solely and perhaps not even primarily negative in character: it also has an important synthetic function, uniting historical and interpretive modes of inquiry in such a way as to invest its objects of study with cultural and historical significance.

Who Cares?

My purpose is to think provisionally about what it would mean to look down the barrel of criticism’s bleakest destinies and say, “who cares?” In what follows, I group the comic indifference of “who cares?” with cognate terms and phrases from other critics, whose work might join Heti’s to build a vocabulary for confronting auguries of obsolescence on something other than their own terms.

On Not (Yet) Getting It

I don’t think that in the English language we possess a good vocabulary for talking about the pleasures of readerly discomfort and difficulty: the feeling that one part of ourselves leaps ahead while another part lags behind.

In this Dawn to be Alive: Versions of the “Postcritical,” 1999, 2015

It seems to me that any genealogy of the postcritical undertaken in 2015 should map not just the personal experiences and dispositional idiosyncrasies that have led us to our current procedures as individual readers and thinkers. It should also plot those individual stories within a larger institutional narrative of critical activity in the American academy.

Post-critical Reading and the New Hegelianism

One doesn’t need a metaphysics of history to sense when a form of life with its attendant rituals, pieties, and practices has grown old. Theory’s reign in literature departments has long been past the point when its claims arrived with salutary shock in the profession.

Critique: The History of a Premise

Recently, much has been made of the fact that “critique,” as practiced in literary criticism, is an attitude. But critique is also an argument, and I want to think about the nature of that argument. The real question I want to ask is this: if there are so many problems with the assumption that literary form represents an imaginative solution to real contradictions, then why do so many people find it so compelling? Why, in other words, do the problems seem both surmountable and worth surmounting?

We Have Never Been Critical

Via a reading of two fictional dialogues by Bruno Latour, I suggest how generational structures of transmission inflect our attachments to critique, and thus also our understanding of its alternatives.