Martin Zeilinger | “Open for Business: Literary Theory in the Age of ‘Knowledge Mobilization’”


As a variation on the Frame editors’ question of how useful ‘non-literary’ discourses are for the study of literature today, in this essay I explore the following question: How useful is literary theory for the study of everything else? In doing so, I elaborate on two ways in which this question is today commonly understood and distinguish between the critical usefulness or productiveness of literary and cultural theory, on the one hand, and its economic usefulness on the other. This allows me to comment on systems of ‘knowledge mobilization’ and related models that today’s corporatized universities often impose on humanities scholars in order to raise the efficiency with which they produce critical thought.

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