Literary criticism often perpetuates a cycle of destruction. Jessica Swoboda outlines ways of building a more inclusive and pluralistic culture of critique.
“Attunement” was a catchword with the first-year students from the University of Virginia who decided to spend the semester abroad in the fall of 2019. We were in London, exploring how and why we became attached (or didn’t) to works of art we encountered during our time there. At first, our discussions fell flat. “I don’t know why I liked A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Globe. I just did!”; “the Antony Gormley exhibit made me kind of uncomfortable, I can’t explain it.” The students cited their lack of knowledge about Shakespeare, sculptures and “high art” as reasons for their hesitancy to put more words to their fuzzy and befuddling aesthetic experiences.
I shifted our discussion to music, a medium I knew they were more comfortable talking about. They put on their headphones and played their favorite song. The objective was simple: write down anything... Keep reading on The Point Magazine.