The New Critiquette and Old Scholactivism: A Petit Critique of Academic Manners, Managers, Matters, and Freedom

Stephen Petrina

Abstract


This article coins and juxtaposes two new concepts or terms, critiquette and scholactivism, distilled from longstanding practices.  Critiquette refers to the etiquette of critique as well as little everyday criticisms we level on each other and things we evaluate.  Scholactivism refers to scholar-activism, which has recently run up against policies designed to suppress criticism and academic freedom, and contradicts contemporary trends in the critique of critique.  Following analysis of the new critiquette policies, including respectful environment and workplace decrees, the article provides two historical narratives of critiquette.  The first is a history of the etiquette of critique and criticism while the second attends to historical and theoretical practices in the critique of critique (e.g., Latour and Ranciere).  The last section addresses the academic freedom implications of critical mannerisms.  Although the new critiquette issues from academic managers invested in critiphobia and offers a series of disturbing threats to academic freedom, criticism, and critique, old scholactivism is nevertheless on the upswing with economic and cultural protest unsettling routine academic matters.

Keywords


Academic freedom; criticism; critique; very critical theory; ethics; etiquette; manners; civility; collegiality; respect; workplace policy and law; language

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ISSN 1715-0094  Workplace