Academic Instincts

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Marjorie Garber is a scholar who’s made a career in academic trespassing. She’s an expert on Shakespeare, but has also written about cross dressing, dogs and the sex of real estate. It’s not professional, some say, but Garber’s line is: look around you-everybody’s into boundary jumping now; not just professional amateurs, like herself, but amateur professionals, like Oprah, the talk show host and literary gatekeeper; or Sister Wendy, the nun who’s become our art history teacher; and, Jesse Ventura, the wrestler who’s Governor of Minnesota.

Academic disciplines, Garber confesses, aren’t disciplined at all, much less pure or stable: economists have invaded social science; humanities professors aspire to philsophy; philosophers aspire to law, and everyone aspires to the new authority of cognitive science. Their jargon tells all, and so does Marjorie Garber, in her expose of “Academic Instincts.”
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Marjorie Garber, author of “Academic Instincts.”