Re Louis and Jeff and Zizek and Chomsky

Peter McLaren mclaren at gseis.ucla.edu
Mon Jan 6 23:10:13 MST 2003


I missed Louis' critique of Chomsky. Louis, would you mind sending it to me.
On Zizek, if you are interested I recently published an extensive critique
of his work;   his response to my critique is published with  the article:

Slavoj Zizek¹s Naked Politics: Opting for the Impossible, A Secondary
Elaboration, Journal of Advanced Composition Quarterly, vol. 21, no. 3
(summer2002 ), pp. 614-637.  With a response by Slavoj Zizek. Reprinted in
Michael Peters, Colin Lankshear, Mark Olssen (eds.) Futures of Critical
Theory: Dreams of Difference. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003.


I find Zizek's work tremendously useful but there are lots of points to
critique.  I had the opportunity to have a 4 hour conversation with him last
year at the local coffee shop here in West Hollywood.  I was impressed with
his political project, especially his recent work on Lenin.  Of course,
there is much room for critique but he has an important role to play in
leftist analysis.  

The attack on the language of the academy is important, but it often falls
prey to what Freire called "basism", a form of populist elitism.  There is
room at the banquet of liberation for a multiplicity of discourses. Freire's
work is very difficult for my students - especially his Pedagogy of the
Oppressed - and one can hardly ignore the way that this academic book has
shaped radical educational politics.

best
Peter McLaren





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