Interesting piece in the LA Review of Books, “The Function of Criticism at the Present Time“, which looks at the work of Lauren Berlant. Berlant will be giving the Society and Space lecture at the Association of American Geographers meeting in Chicago next week – details here.
LAUREN BERLANT is a critic’s critic, a feminist’s feminist, and a thinker’s friend. This is most simply true because of the number, depth, and influence of her abundant authored and co-authored and edited and co-edited books, her ever more numerous articles, essays, interviews, dialogues and monologues, and especially her proliferating collaborations; she always seems to be writing yet another book with yet another interesting someone else. Lots of people think with and because of Lauren Berlant. But academic “productivity” (that ubiquitous and ugly word, itself a symptom of the corporate manufacture of a crisis in the humanities) isn’t the most important reason that my first proposition — that Berlant is a critic’s critic — is just true. The reason that Lauren Berlant occupies this moment in critical theory so capaciously is that what she really always thinks about is genre.