Dr. Berube on the Power of Theory

Last night, I dusted off my copy of Wild Orchids and Trotsky that I bought and was supposed to read in the "Research Methods, Disciplinary Issues, and Other Myriad Wonderings Omnibus" Course in my first semester in the Penn State Grad Program (I must confess, I did not read any of the essays, and Dr. Berube was nowhere near enough to smack me upside the head). My wife and I read his entire essay out loud and nearly cried upon meeting another group of people that tries to live the difficult-to-pin-down-yet-indespensible lessons that one learns from taking theory and learning and community and caring seriously (the group being his family). The detail about Papa Berube's learning that Home Despot doesn't have kiddie seats unlike grocery stores (thus demonstrating a gendering fungo bat at work in the social text) made me wish that I had somehow picked up this book as a new graduate student (alas, our entire class glossed over class material trying to get through A.S. Byatt's Possession). It is in these small stories of lessons learned and taking the care to share your growth that demonstrates how these scary things like "theory" and "antifoundationalism" not only matter--they can get us to that "moral center" that so many want to impose by gun.

Read his post if you want to see just how down to earth and righteous a theory head can be.

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