Ioan Davies' Teaching Site

Quotations have to be sure about a position in order to teach a class, but you have to be open-ended enough to know that you are going to change your mind by the time you teach it next week. As a strategy, that means holding enough ground to be able to think a position but always putting it in a way which has a horizon toward open-ended theorization.... I am not interested in Theory, I am interested in going on theorizing. And that also means that cultural studies has to be open to external influences, for example, to the rise of new social movements, to psychoanalysis, to feminism, to cultural differences. Such influences are likely to have, and must be allowed to have, a strong impact on the content, the modes of thought and the theoretical problematics being used.
Stuart Hall: Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies

When I claim that woman's experience has been silenced by the patriarchal tradition, which represents itself spuriously as universal, from where do I speak? From women's particularity? Then how could I speak? I could only stutter. From patriarchy? Would it want to unmask itself? From sceptical faith, shaky but persistent, in critical reason? I bring the charge that reason's claim remains unrealised from that transcendent ground on which we all wager, suspended in the air.
Gillian Rose: Love's Work

In your working conditions, avoid everyday mediocrity. Semi-relaxation, to a background of insipid sounds, is degrading. On the other hand, accompaniment by an étude or a cacophony of voices can become as significant for work as the perceptible silence of the night. If the latter sharpens the inner ear, the former acts as touchstone for a diction ample enough to bury even the most wayward sounds...Let no thought pass incognito, and keep your notebook as strictly as the authorities keep their register of aliens...Never stop writing because you have run out of ideas....Fill the lacunae in your inspiration by tidily copying out what you have already written. Intuition will awaken in the process. Consider no work perfect over which you have not once sat from evening to broad daylight.
Walter Benjamin: One-Way Street

The brimming flesh of sin belongs, of course, to both sexes; but its root and basic representation is nothing other than feminine temptation. That was already stated in Ecclesiasticus: "Sin originated with woman and because of her we all perish." The reference to Eve's enticement of Adam is clear, but in other respects it is certain that Paul stigmatizes a much more physical corporeality, one closer to Greek notions of it, when he implants the power of sin within the flesh. And yet, the tale of Adam's fall opens up two additional channels of interpretation throwing light on the ambivalence of sin. The one locates it in relation to God's will and in that sense causes it to be not only original but coexistant with the very act of signification; the other places it within the femininity-desire-food-abjection series... Seen from a different viewpoint, the story of the fall sets up a diabolical otherness in relation to the divine.
Julia Kristeva: Powers of Horror. An Essay in Abjection

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Send comments to: Ioan Davies

Professor of Sociology and Social and Political Thought,
York University, 4700 Keele Street, North York (Toronto), Ontario, Canada, M3J 1P3