Saving Democracy in the English Department

Saving Democracy in the English Department

Democratic Culture is the newsletter of Teachers for a Democratic Culture (TDC), an organization of somewhat under two thousand left academics, primarily from the fields of English and the humanities. Published three times a year, it consists of articles, excerpts from books, essays, and reviews, most of which contest what the editors regard as a campaign by the right to distort and vilify the work of adherents to “new academic movements.” It has run pieces on the future of gay and lesbian studies, how to “popularize” the humanities, sexual harassment, “critical pedagogy,” free speech and race, and the “media hyping” of Camille Paglia. Some of this overlaps with the material examined in the conservative monthly Heterodoxy, which I reviewed in these pages (Dissent, Fall 1994). Although the tone of Democratic Culture is far more restrained than the cheerfully sanguinary approach of Heterodoxy, both publications seethe with ideological animus. Some of the same kind of indiscriminate lumping of opponents

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Wurgraft | University of California Press Lima