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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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It seems to me that there are two types of “post-critical” articulations. Felski et al are calling for a turn away from the idea that we should employ critique to analyse texts. That is, a call for a type of aesthetic formalism entwined with an appreciation of social entanglement. Latour also suggests turning away from critique in his “Why is Critique Running Out of Steam?” – but, that is, a critique of science. For Latour, criticising science in the way that many science and technology studies fields do has led to a situation in which politicians discredit, say, climate science, using the arguments of the academy. For Latour, turning away from critique (matters of fact) is the political gesture (towards matters of concern). For the Felski school in the world of literary studies, it is the repetitious political readings of texts that is called critique from which we should turn away. This is not wholly a-political, since the new mode that Felski proposes is about reflecting works and their social entanglements. It is also, though, not the same as Latour’s.