Written in spirited and vivid prose, and full of telling detail drawn both from the history of scholarship and from the daily press, Academic Instincts is a book by a well-known Shakespeare scholar and prize-winning teacher who offers analysis rather than polemic to explain why today's teachers and scholars are at once breaking new ground and treading familiar paths. It opens the door to an important nationwide and worldwide conversation about the reorganization of knowledge and the categories in and through which we teach the humanities. And it does so in a spirit both generous and optimistic about the present and the future of these disciplines.
With clarity and wit, Garber supports rethinking prejudices that oppose art's role in higher education, rejects assumptions of inequality between the sciences and humanities, and points to similarities between the making of fine art and the making of good science. She examines issues of artistic and monetary value, and transactions between high and popular culture. She even asks how college sports could provide a new way of thinking about arts funding. Using vivid anecdotes and telling details, Garber calls passionately for an increased attention to the arts, not just through government and private support, but as a core aspect of higher education.
Compulsively readable, Patronizing the Arts challenges all who value the survival of artistic creation both in the present and future.
Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
Ghosts take the form of absences, erasures, even forgeries and signatures – metaphors extended to include Shakespeare himself and his haunting of us, and in particular theorists such Derrida, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud – the figure of Shakespeare constantly made and remade by contemporary culture.
Marjorie Garber, one of the most eminent Shakespearean theorists writing today, asks what is at stake in the imputation that "Shakespeare" did not write the plays, and shows that the plays themselves both thematize and theorize that controversy.
This Routledge Classics edition contains a new preface and new chapter by the author.