Category Archive 'Critical Studies'

22 Nov 2020

Another Watershed Landmark in Contemporary Critical Scholarship

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In the Spectator, Ron Liddle reports that, on Thursday next, November 26th, at Longborough University, Dr. Lenka Vráblíková will deliver a ground-breaking new lecture:

“Othering Mushrooms: Migratism and its racist entanglements in the Brexit campaign.”

Deploying the ambivalence of mushrooms in the cultural imagination as an analytical lens, and drawing from Sara Ahmed’s (2010) theorization of ‘othering’ as an embodied process, the presentation examines the Brexit campaign’s migratism and its racist entanglements. Vráblíková argues that research on how forests, mushrooms and their foragers have figured in the formation of white heteropatriarchy is vital for contesting the re-emergence of the right-wing populism that, in Europe, is exemplified by events such as Brexit.

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Liddle responds:

I have long been of the opinion that the Brexit vote, along with the 2016 election of Donald Trump and the continued popularity of right-wing governments in Poland and Hungary, are almost entirely the consequences of the malign influence of fungi. I have attempted to advance this argument in political debates but am never taken seriously. Now at last I have some support. …

I have always had grave suspicions about the stinkhorn fungus: white, phallic and foul-smelling, just like Trump. If you see one of these mushrooms growing along the wayside, root it out and burn it, shouting ‘Die, Tory scum’ as you do so. Dr Vrablikova has not yet replied to my email — it will be interesting to see if her findings tally with mine.

We should attempt to examine all competing theories with dispassionate fairness, of course. One of these is that, rather than mushrooms, it is the existence of academics such as Dr Vrablikova which has persuaded vast swaths of the electorate across three continents to vote for people like Viktor Orban and Donald Trump. Had I invented her and her various exciting projects, you would have considered it heavy-handed satire and too ludicrous to make whatever point I was trying to make. But I did not make her up, any more than I made up Dr Alyosxa Tudor from the School of Oriental and African Studies, who has suggested that colonialism and racism were responsible for the gender constructs ‘men and women’: a theory which many historians would contest, I think.

Or the thousands of other similar courses and lectures taking place right now up and down the western world’s benighted campuses. The outpourings of unmitigated bilge from hundreds and hundreds of intellectually third-division chancers, mired in one or another imagined victimhood, all cordially loathing the government, economic system and culture of a society which has, ridiculously, afforded them academic tenure for these manifest idiocies, and who will surely pop up on Radio 4 or Newsnight at some point sticking it to whitey and the straights.

RTWT

03 Aug 2020

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