Media, culture, and politics from an aesthetic-materialist's perspective.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Donald Pease: The Cadence of Critical Intervention

I wanted to share with everyone a recent talk by my former professor and American Studies icon Donald Pease. Titled "August Wilson: The Work of the Humanities after Humanism," Pease's talk outlines the institutional value of the arts and humanities in the university setting. The part of the talk when Pease recounts unpacking his poststructuralist library is hilarious. Also, for those unfamiliar with Pease in person, you're in for a treat: his speech is precisely attuned to rigorous critical inquiry -- at once measured and impassioned, syntactically deconstructionist yet performatively akin to the (black) sermon. I call Pease's inimitable style the "cadence of critical intervention."



Below is a testament to Pease's popularity as a teacher among Dartmouth undergrads. If you've ever taken a class or hung out with Don Pease, there's a way in which the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Big Poppa" is an oddly fitting tribute to the man.

2 comments:

Anti-Aging Medicine for Baby Boomers said...

Dr. Donald Pease was my first reader at Dartmouth College 2000. From the first moment I met him I was in love.We are both near the same age and both of us went to American University also. I met him during orientation. He came in through two french doors during a rather blizzardy New Hampshire night. He sort of jumped in through the doors and stomped his feet and made a big sound about landing.I saw him first and fully looked him up and down. "Such a beautiful man." I thought. But I said "Oh right!" -- to let him know I realized the mess of snow he'd just come through. He was so in in his body his sound filled the room. While I kept my feelings secret, eventually, he invited me sit with him. It was due to "other circumstances." My main message to you, the public is that were you able to find a man who could interpret our life and make sense of it, you could find that man in Don. He is massively capable and the most beautiful speaker I have ever heard in my life. Everything is spontaneous. I sure with we could spend lots of time together Don. I'd be happy just watching you.

Kinohi Nishikawa said...

Thanks for this great testimony to Professor Pease's powers of charm and persuasion. The booming voice and hearty guffaw sound about right to me. He sure exudes a generosity of spirit.