Gentoo Studies

John Smith jds10 at CUS.CAM.AC.UK
Wed May 5 11:48:05 UTC 1999

I thought that the following passage from Wendy Doniger's book The Implied
Spider might be worth quoting in this context:

  We don't all have to do the same thing or do it in the same way;
  we can stand on the shoulders of giants, or as the case may be,
  pygmies, and they can stand on ours. From each her own. My
  argument here is for the academy, for multicultural,
  multidisciplinarian approaches. I would hope that the respect for
  "difference" (and pluralism, and diversity) that prevails in
  cultural studies would extend to the methodologies within the
  discipline of the history of religions, and indeed within the
  academy at large ... I challenge the trend of limiting those who
  study any group to those within the group -- women studying women,
  Jews studying Jews -- a trend which, if followed slavishly, would
  automatically eliminate not only my tiny, precious world of
  cross-cultural comparison but the more general humanism of which
  it is a part ... When did scholarship cease to be a collective
  enterprise? When did interdisciplinary values cease to apply to
  comparative studies? When did the `uni' in `university' come to
  refer to ideology?

John Smith

Dr J. D. Smith                *  jds10 at
Faculty of Oriental Studies   *  Tel. 01223 335140 (Switchboard 01223 335106)
Sidgwick Avenue               *  Fax  01223 335110
Cambridge CB3 9DA             *

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