When I first set up this blog, I intended it to be used for student projects. Over the last couple of months, I’ve been posting my own material with greater regularity: lesson plans, and the odd conference paper.
I have enjoyed being able to share material in this way, and as of now I’m going to be adding a new category to my posts: critical musings. These will be moments where this blog becomes, well, bloggier: serving more as a critic’s journal than an academic’s lesson plan folder.
Although some of these posts will intersect with my academic interests, in general they’ll be less theory-bound and more evaluative. I’m not sure that I entirely agree with Noël Carroll’s position that the primary task of criticism is evaluation, but I do find it disheartening that the evaluative dimensions of criticism are so often squelched out of academic writing.[i] In private conversation, academics constantly offer well-reasoned, evaluative opinions on the artistic merits of a film to each other. It’s always seemed strange to me that when we get up to a podium to deliver a talk, this particular critical impulse drains away, and we treat our objects as mere delivery mechanisms for theory.
So: posts arriving under this category will be a place to acknowledge that I have opinions about things, and occasionally just want to expound upon them.
[i]. Carroll, Noël. On Criticism. New York: Routledge, 2009. (Look at me here, adding citations on my post announcing more casual writing. Typical.)