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What Price Utopia?

Essays on Ideological Policing, Feminism, and Academic Affairs

Daphne Patai

This volume brings together for the first time more than two dozen of Daphne PataiOs incisive and at times satirical essays dealing with the academic and intellectual orthodoxies of our time. Patai draws on her years of experience in an increasingly bizarre academic world, where a stifling politicization threatens genuine teaching and learning. Addressing the rise of feminist dogma, the domination of politics over knowledge, the shoddy thinking and moralizing that hide behind identity politics, and the degradation of scholarship, her essays offer a resounding defense of liberal values. Patai takes aim at the unctuous and also dangerous posturing that has brought us restrictive speech codes, harassment policies, and a vigilante atmosphere, while suppressing plain speaking about crucial issues. But these trenchant essays are not limited to academic life, for the ideas and practices popularized there have spread far beyond campus borders. Included are two new pieces written especially for this volume, one on the bullying tactics of a famous feminist and the other on Islamic fundamentalism. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 320Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7425-2226-8 • Hardback • May 2008 • $89.00 • (£60.00)
978-0-7425-2227-5 • Paperback • May 2008 • $36.00 • (£24.95)
Daphne Patai is a professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the author and editor of a dozen books, including Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism; Professing Feminism: Education and Indoctrination in WomenOs Studies; and TheoryOs Empire: An Anthology of Dissent.
Chapter 1 Introduction: The Fading Face of Humanism
Part 2 Utopia for Whom?
Chapter 3 The Struggle for Feminist Purity Threatens the Goals of Feminism
Chapter 4 What Price Utopia?
Chapter 5 There Ought to be a Law
Chapter 6 Justice Comes to U. Mass.
Chapter 7 Feminism and the Future
Chapter 8 Third Thoughts about Orwell?
Chapter 9 Letter to a Friend: On Islamic Fundamentalism
Part 10 Women's Words
Chapter 11 Who's Calling Whom "Subaltern"?
Chapter 12 When Method Becomes Power
Chapter 13 Sick and Tired of Scholars' Nouveau Solipsism
Chapter 14 Domesticating Tranquility
Chapter 15 Will the Real Feminists in Academe Please Stand Up?
Chapter 16 Whose Truth? Iconicity and Accuracy in the World of Testimonial Literature
Part 17 Heterophobia
Chapter 18 Heterophobia: The Feminist Turn Against Men
Chapter 19 Politicizing the Personal
Chapter 20 Do They Have To Be Wrong? On Writing About Rape
Chapter 21 Women on Top
Chapter 22 MacKinnon as Bully
Part 23 Academic Affairs
Chapter 24 Why Not a Feminist Overhaul of Higher Education?
Chapter 25 Speak Freely, Professor—Within the Speech Code
Chapter 26 The Great Tattling Scare on Campus
Chapter 27 Academic Affairs
Chapter 28 You Say Social Justice, I Say Political Censorship
Chapter 29 Feminist Pedagogy Reconsidered
Chapter 30 On Writing Theory's Empire (with Will H. Corral)
For twenty years, Daphne Patai, whose awareness of these bizarre phenomena grew out of her own bitter experience with the seamy side of women's studies, has been a courageous contrarian voice, challenging the anti-intellectualism and the old fashioned power-lust that the ethos of "politically committed" teaching and scholarship has visited on campus life. The essays in What Price Utopia? fully display the range and vigor of Patai's arguments and testify to the enduring strength of the liberal ideals of intellectual freedom and the inviolable sanctity of private life. She brings the good news that the best of the Enlightenment still lives if only we have the guts to defend it against the sneers of its trendy enemies.
Norman Levitt, Rutgers University, author of Higher Superstition and Prometheus Bedeviled