Rita Felski and Alt-Critique

Ever since I read Felski’s The Limits of Critique, I have been waiting for some one to talk about the coincidence of the movement she’s leading as continuous with a managed society and economy.  No reviewer I have read as yet has analyze her contract with Denmark at a time when a neoliberal government defunded education there.  Nor have I seen anyone ask about the relation between ‘critique’ and ‘critical’ in her writing.  I saw, for example, in the Introduction to the new edited volume, Critique and Postcritique, a slide from objections to critique to ‘critical,’ as ‘post-critique’ becomes ‘post-critical.’  Surely the second is a broader  and more fundamental category that involves not only ‘suspicion,’ but judgment, statement, and opposition.  I have not seen reviewers yet lament the turn to the ‘post-critical’ at time when alternative facts glare at us.

Nor have I seen many reviewers interested in the parallels between the ‘disruptive’ tech and data ideals of management models with the ‘post-critical’ desire to loosen things up, to let a thousand flowers bloom (or was it points of light shine?).  I don’t think I have seen reviews that ask who wants this ‘post-critical’ model, or why anyone should be convinced that because some folks claim they are giving what the customers want, that it really is a good.

Perhaps before we become suspicious of this post-critical, we should describe it, take notice of what it is as the proper way to question why it is and whose interests it serves.  Maybe, we should slow the rush to the post-critical while we live among the alt.

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