Afterword(s)

The Great Variety of Readers

in Critical Survey
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  • 1 Columbia University david.kastan@yale.edu
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Pluralizing has increasingly become a norm of cultural criticism, offering a (literally, if not exclusively) nominal escape from totalization: ‘meanings’ not ‘meaning’; ‘histories’ not ‘history’; and, here, ‘literacies’ not ‘literacy’. The plural forms are neologisms perhaps (as my spell-checker insists), but they are also registers of a discomfort with nouns that imply a singularity of effect belied by the multiple activities and agents that produce it. They mark the scholar’s resistance to monolithic understandings of complex and various cultural phenomena.

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