Have one to sell?
Loading your book clubs
There was a problem loading your book clubs. Please try again.
Not in a club? Learn more
Join or create book clubs
Choose books together
Track your books
Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free.
Follow the Author
Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.
Class, Critics, and Shakespeare: Bottom Lines on the Culture Wars Paperback – December 27, 2000
Enhance your purchase
Class, Critics, and Shakespeare is a provocative contribution to "the culture wars." It engages with an ongoing debate about literary canons, the democratization of literary study, and of higher education in general.
For a generation at least, academic readings of literary works, including those of Shakespeare, have often challenged privilege based on race, gender, and sexuality. Sharon O'Dair observes that in these same readings, class privilege has remained effectively unchallenged, despite repeated invocations of it within multiculturalism. She identifies what she sees as a structurally necessary class bias in academic literary and cultural criticism, specifically in the contemporary reception of William Shakespeare's plays.
The author builds her argument by offering readings of Shakespeare that put class at the center of the analysis--not just in Shakespeare's plays or in early modern England, but in the academy and in American society today. Individual chapters focus on The Tempest and education, Timon of Athens and capitalism, Coriolanus and political representation. Other chapters treat the politics of cultural tourism and land-use in the Pacific northwest, and analyze the politics of the academic left in the U.S. today, focusing on the debate between what has been called a "social" left and a "cultural" left.
The author's quest is to understand why an intellectual culture that values diversity and pluralism can so easily disdain and ignore the working-class people she grew up with. Her provocative and heartfelt critique of academic culture will challenge and enlighten a broad range of audiences, including those in cultural studies, American studies, literary criticism, and early modern literature.
Sharon O'Dair is Associate Professor of English, University of Alabama.
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
- Publisher : University of Michigan Press; First Paperback Edition (December 27, 2000)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0472067540
- ISBN-13 : 978-0472067541
- Item Weight : 10.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,024,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations.
5 out of 5
1 global rating
Top review from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Reviewed in the United States on March 1, 2010
This phenomenal book should be read by more than merely Shakespeareans. In fact, one need not to have read a single word of Shakespeare in order to be enriched by Dr. O'Dair's incisive and provocative arguments about class, culture, and other related topics. She stands bravely against the typical "New Left" views held by nearly all intellectuals--especially Liberal Arts professors. Her discussions of topics such as the "demonization of capitalism," the injustices of the credential system, and the tendency to neglect working class people should be required reading for all people interested in literature, academia, politics...perhaps for any people period. This book is not full of obsucre ideas, nor does Dr. O'Dair attempt--like so many intellectuals--to "win" her argument by confusing "mere mortals" (aka anyone who doesn't spend his/her life studying the subject)with convoluted sentences and pedantry. In other words, this is a lucid work, in which vital ideas are communicated clearly. Far from being a typical piece of literary criticism, this is a study of great sociocultural importance.