Conclusion: Spectres of ShaXXXspeare: Loser Criticism, Part Duh
This book has been concerned with reading American Shakespeares in the 1980s and 1990s as symptoms, some of them rather queer, of an American national and academic unconscious. In examining the figures of the fan, the porn star, the transvestite, and the loser in terms of the castrated subject position produced by what I have called kiddie culture, I have also sought to rethink the extent to which cultural politics can underwrite a new model of the academic intellectual as fan, one founded on the liberatory and transgressive advancement of a heterogeneous, progressive political agenda. This intellectual “gets down” with popular culture, unlike the older intellectual, who was a hectoring, authoritarian reformer of popular culture from above. In analyzing queer, posthermeneutic replays of Shakespeare in the context of American kiddie culture, my larger aim has been to rethink the intellectual not as the one who is into technoculture but as the loser. What are we to make, then, of the loser academic intellectual? Is the loser the one who can’t lose, or is the loser a figure of the loss of loss, of a nostalgia for mourning?
KeywordsCultural Capital Popular Culture Cultural Critic Literary Field American Popular Culture
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