Cary Nelson in ATC on the Fast Food University. Was Rem. Class Strug.

Kenneth Mostern kmostern at
Mon Jun 1 16:02:54 PDT 1998

Does anyone know what Nelson's evidence that English departments have led the university in the proletarianization of the workforce is? Its one thing for him to polemicize against the MLA leadership, about whom he is correct. But as someone who has periodically been skeptical that his is actually the best possible left critique (there was a much sharper marxist analysis, rather critical of his position in an issue of Minnesota Review about two years ago), I want to know whether this is true, and how it is being determined. My sense is that labor conditions are comparably bad in all other nonprofessional fields, including the fields of science that do not have substantial industrial competition for labor. And foreign language teaching conditions are generally far worse. If I'm right, declaring English pioneeringly bad is not only sloppy and uselessly polemical, but potentially dangerous from an organizing perspective.


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