Monday, October 15, 2007

Response to NP Article

Here is my response to the Post article, published on their website:

Here is a pasted copy:

Full Comment

Jes Battis responds to Robert Fulford's article, "Lex Luthor hearts Superman: Your tax dollars at work"

Dear Robert,

Thank you for your highly entertaining article, Lex Luthor hearts Superman: Your tax dollars at work. Its vast evidentiary gaps, undertones of homophobia and blustering contempt for cultural studies and the arts in Canada make it a singularly interesting piece. You've also managed to make my scholarship sound luridly fascinating, and to give international attention to my work on at-risk gay and lesbian youth and the history of LGBT teenlit. For this, I thank you.

If you had contacted me before writing this piece, we could have had a great conversation about phobias around popular culture in the academic community, as well as the current government's desire to streamline the arts into an executive branch of the Canadian military while cutting funding to gay and lesbian youth centers, women's centers, safe injection sites and other social programming across Canada.

I wanted to thank you as well for visiting my blog and reporting on it. Blogs, you might realize, are a venue for "chattering endlessly" about one's life. They are also an incredible resource for oppressed communities to circumvent and defy political censorship. Blogs save lives. So thank you for reminding us of that.

And thanks as well for drawing more attention to my teaching, which currently focuses on gender and sexuality within television cultures. Since far more youth watch Leave It To Beaver rather than reading the National Post, their global engagement with television is one of the most crucial areas of media scholarship today. Incidentally, what are you watching on TV at the moment? I love The Wire. It's about media surveillance, racism and homophobia. You should check it out.



Anonymous said...

blah whine whine whine. i'm not a religious man, but I kinda get the whole sodom+gomorrah story now.

but seriously, u r a dink and I hope one day, some place, Karma really does give you a demon to deal with. Hint: fireballs and SSHRC grants won't work against it.

i will burn incorpum incense along the banks of the Tapi river, begging the guardians of old to astralbounce your asura, your greedy anti-soul.


kit said...

solidarity, bro. your story is getting around a lot of academic lists right about now, and fulford's inane bunk is getting rightly derided -- though not by fools like this other comment poster. yowsahs.

kit dobson

Anonymous said...

I'd like to echo Kit's comments - this news and series of articles has been circulating in many places (I'm located in Vancouver, BC), and you are receiving a lot of support in the face of a brutal attack.

I also want to put forward the fact that, though I disagree with Fulford's words and his methods, I think there is something to be gained from his critique. As a doctoral student, I'm continually having to justify my research, especially in light of the fact that I'm doing conceptual work. And, though it's frustrating and sometimes feels demeaning, I think there is value to it, if only because I have seen that it CAN BE easy for academics to slip into forms of abstraction that do become too far removed from the everyday material realities of our world... There's much more to say here, but I'll leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to respond in solidarity to your response to Fulford in the Post. As has been said here, many academics (specifically the ones I've encountered on the Canadian Association for Cultural Studies listserv) are concerned about this attack, specifically against you, your subject area, and more broadly against cultural studies.

Anonymous said...

same anonymous as above - just meant to add: keep on keepin' on!

Dr. Jes Battis said...

thanks everyone