“Doing Criticism, Making Value Judgments”
Is the practice of literary criticism the practice of making value judgments? Who’s asking, under what circumstance, and why? That the context of the question determines the import of the answer is indicative of the political, cultural, and literary stakes involved in doing criticism. One context in which the relationship between criticism and judgment is most pronounced is in the context of ethnic minority literary criticism. This talk explores the fraught relationship in ethnic minority literary criticism between literary status, literary value, and theories of art, to propose that criticism should make more value judgments, unabashedly.