A reflection on an influential figure in the genre-oriented criticism of the late twentieth century.


Over the next several weeks, Arcade will introduce Colloquies, the feature we’ve developed over the past year with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  


How to account for the lasting influence of a fifty year-old work of literary criticism? Thomas P. Roche, Jr.'s book The Kindly Flame encourages readers to make their own meaning out of Spenser's Faerie Queene.


The MOOC era has dawned with a rush of utopian and dystopian bombast, much of which is bound to be wrong.


Influential since its founding in 1988, the journal Public Culture is adjusting its format to become more "open-ended."


Has the movement for open access in publishing reached a milestone?


This week's images of the corporate university turn out to be pretty indelible. Once seen, they are impossible to forget.


In a previous post under the title "A Language Emergency," I responded to a brief statement in which Marjorie Perloff noted the insularity of the "tedious discourse of self-reflection" in the United States, especially its results for how Americans are encouraged to learn languages.


Marjorie Perloff has written an insightful essay for the Chronicle of Higher Education about a "curious insularity" that she sees having appeared in the United States as a reaction to the decade of anxiety over 9/11. She wonders whether it is now time to "look outward," as events remind us that this country is neither alone among world powers nor self-sufficient. I would go further than Perloff. We face a language emergency.


In spite of the recent discussion of the topic in the New York Times, I realize there is something antiquarian about my urge to think aloud about the nature of literary criticism. The decline of that role in society probably matters only to a fairly small caste of humanistically inclined readers. The implications of the decline, however, should matter to everyone.


Roland Greene's picture
Roland Greene
Greene is a scholar of early modern culture, especially the literatures of England, Latin Europe, and the transatlantic world, and of poetry and poetics from the sixteenth century to the present. He is the author or editor of five books and many articles. His current projects include books on the poetry of the hemispheric Americas and on the Baroque. Since 2001 he has taught at Stanford University, where he is the Mark Pigott KBE Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences.


Roland Greene is reading

The Birth of Theory