Monday, August 11, 2008

Kitching, Gary. "Paralysed by Postmodernism." THE AUSTRALIAN August 6, 2008.

Kitching, Philip. The Trouble with Theory: the Educational Costs of Postmodernism. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 2008. Postmodernism has been fashionable in this way for nearly 30 years now, and has influenced a large number of students in cultural studies, history and the social sciences more generally. I had seen that influence grow in my own discipline (politics), as well as in departments of history and sociology for which I had acted as an external examiner. My impression had been that postmodernism's pedagogical impact at these lower levels in the educational hierarchy was, if anything, even worse than its intellectual impact at higher levels. This is because the ideas became cruder with transmission, and also because students were more likely to be impressed into acceptance of these ideas whether they really understood them or not. And it was often the more serious and committed students, anxious to use ideas to change the world, who were influenced, and damaged, as their high-minded aspirations became "postmodernised". Such was my impression. But I wanted, and needed, some more systematic means to show this was the case, and to examine precisely how such damage occurs. . . . Read the rest here:,25197,24096901-25132,00.html.

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