Friday, May 02, 2008

Expectation becomes an expectation becomes an expectation

Perhaps you have heard something about the latest academic flap: a Dartmouth professor is threatening to sue her students for criticizing her. Or something. It's hard to tell because this writing professor is a shockingly bad writer, and not such a hot thinker either. In describing the specific class in question, Professor Venkatesan not only is unable to reconstruct the argument she was presenting, but also disowns it.

Moving on to the excerpt from the Dartmouth Review interview: even considering that this a transcription of an oral interview, the professor's remarks are really a masterpiece of inarticulation, followed by a masterpiece of paranoid fantasy. I have a Dartmouthian friend who expressed the hope that Venkatesan would turn out to be a comic performance artist, and it seems good to proceed on that assumption, but now I'm interested in working out her influences. Do you think she owes more to Gertrude Stein or Samuel Beckett?

There must be some explanation.

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