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Academia and the Luster of Capital

1993

Sande Cohen

Academia and the Luster of Capital

Guaranteed to disturb, and possibly enrage. Academia and Luster of Capital will offend anyone who takes his/her academic activities overseriously, and anyone who defines him/herself in ideological terms, left, center, or right. It has the potential to crystallize a passionate and healthy debate in a far too self-satisfied profession. Passionate, uncomfortable, and admirably tactless. It works. It doesn’t reflect, it does.

Brian Massumi, McGill University

Ideas, says Sande Cohen, have attained “commodity” status in the academy, and knowledge is now seen as another capitalistic “industry.” In Academia and the Luster of Capital, Cohen both reveals and interrogates the specific and material workings of this economy of the marketplace of ideas.

Cohen uses paradigms from Baudrillard, Lytoard, Deleuze, and Guattari to assemble a “war machine” against the well-oiled apparatus of self-preservation and self-reproduction of the academic institution. In detailed and concrete arguments, he challenges accepted theories of criticism, especially university-based myths. Academia and the Luster of Capital constitutes a compelling statement for the abandonment of legitimating, officiating paradigms of thought in all academic disciplines, and outlines possibilities for the emergence of the new in thought in action.

Academia and the Luster of Capital

Sande Cohen teaches philosophy and critical theory in the Department of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts and at Art Center, Pasadena. He is the author of Historical Culture: On the Recoding of Academic Disciplines and numerous articles on cultural criticism and ideology.

Academia and the Luster of Capital

Guaranteed to disturb, and possibly enrage. Academia and Luster of Capital will offend anyone who takes his/her academic activities overseriously, and anyone who defines him/herself in ideological terms, left, center, or right. It has the potential to crystallize a passionate and healthy debate in a far too self-satisfied profession. Passionate, uncomfortable, and admirably tactless. It works. It doesn’t reflect, it does.

Brian Massumi, McGill University

A distinct and original work whose unsparing criticisms, welcome or not, will have to be faced within what is emerging as the new ‘academic discipline’ of cultural theory.

John Tagg, SUNY Binghamton