The latest comment from Henry Farrell in the CT thread:
…the kind of division that some commenters here are trying to create, between academic literary criticism (which only other specialists, or those who read ìcontemporary literary fictionî are allowed to criticize), and vulgar debate over books is very strongly reminiscent of the division between ìhigh cultureî and ìordinary cultureî that Raymond Williams tells us about, or the processes of distinction that Bourdieu describes. To be blunt, it smacks of defensive manoeuvres that aim to preserve discursive power, and to shut out debate that might be awkward or uncomfortable.
Tell you what, Henry: I’ll start a blog about the current state of political science. I have a PhD in English, not political science, but what the heck. Then, when political scientists question the accuracy of my comments, and question the adequacy of my training for such an enterprise, I’ll accuse them of being elitist and solemnly lecture them about Raymond Williams and Pierre Bourdieu. Maybe then they’ll see the light.
What literary scholars do is an academic discipline that, whether people like it or not, requires years of advanced training. Do you honestly not see why saying otherwise is insulting to many of us?
I’m dropping Crooked Timber from my RSS subscriptions. (Yes, I’m sure they’ll be heartbroken to learn this.)