University Business
UB Daily
UB Exec
Arts & Letters Daily
Academic Partners
Contact Information
Subscription Services
Advertising Information
Copyright & Credits


1990 - 1991 - 1992 - 1993 - 1994 - 1995 - 1996 - 1997 - 1998 - 1999 - 2000


Writing in LF, onetime "Dirty Harry of literary theory" Frank Lentricchia confesses that he now rejects literary theory and exults in his "secret" self - which he calls "me-the-reader." "I believe that what is now called literary criticism is a form of Xeroxing," he gibes. "Tell me your theory and I'll tell you in advance what you'll say about any work of literature, especially those you haven't read." Favoring undergraduates over graduate students, Lentricchia slips "happily underground in order to talk to people who, like me, need to read great literature just as much as they need to eat."


House Ethics Subcommittee concludes that Newt Gingrich's college courses were politically partisan

University of Connecticut at Storrs sociologist Noel A. Cazenave teaches controversial class called "White Racism"

Reverend Al Sharpton joined Cornell students in protest against university's plans to phase out ethnic-based dormitories

Library of Congress reschedules emabattled Freud exhibit

At Whiskey Pete's Casino in Nevada, a conference/ festival hosts DJ Spooky and the Chance Band with special guest vocalist Jean Baudrillard


Routledge slashes New York City staff from more than a hundred to less than forty

Auerbach family donates fifty mounted animal heads of African game to the University of Utah

Linguists debate Oakland school board decision to use ebonics in the classroom

Astronomer and debunker Carl Sagan dies

Bill Readings, The University in Ruins

Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991


More than two hundred humanities and social sciences graduate students strike at Yale. They vow to withhold their undergraduates' grades until Yale recognizes their union; they also call for a modest pay increase and a decrease in the number of students in sections. Undergrads are indignant. Some senior faculty revise their letters of recommendation. Administrators lock classroom doors. Five weeks later, the union gives up the strike. LF's Emily Eakin discovers an institutional culture that treats graduate students with officious condescension. Unfortunately, Eakin concludes, "You can strike for respect, but it's nearly impossible to legislate it."


The trendy journal Social Text publishes NYU physics professor Alan Sokal's deliberately awful article on quantum physics and postmodernism. Intended to mock the academic left's embrace of relativism and opaque jargon, Sokal's article links set theory to feminism and maintains that "a liberatory science cannot be complete without a profound revision of the canon of mathematics." Sokal reveals his stunt in the pages of LF - and winds up on the front page of the New York Times. Social Text editors Andrew Ross and Bruce Robbins admit that they initially found Sokal's article "a little hokey" but say they published it as an example of how scientists might broaden their horizons. In fall 2000, LF and the University of Nebraska Press publish a dossier of news articles and essays titled The Sokal Hoax.


Get the full story:
all of Lingua Franca, delivered right to your door, at a special price.


Visit "the best web site in the world" (Observer, UK) for a daily digest of the best writing on the web.