By Patricia Mooney Nickel (auth.)
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Additional resources for Culture, Politics and Governing: The Contemporary Ascetics of Knowledge Production
Money, manners, and the achievement of letterhead For one kind of passport – smiling lips part For others – an attitude scornful. ” It is therefore troubling that the modern academy cannot determine how to interact with an author without ﬁrst identifying his or her afﬁliation, which is most basically the achievement of access to letterhead. Letterhead, a symbol of one’s afﬁliation, conveys much more than one’s address; it affords a form of stylized power to those who possess it. Like the “extent of the power of money is the extent of my power,”14 the extent of the power Author, Afﬁliation, and Letterhead 47 of one’s institutional afﬁliation is the extent of the power that one has to participate in knowledge production.
The problem with this system-generated negativity is that, to the extent that it is itself bureaucratically sanctioned, it tends to become an extension of the very bureaucracy in need of control . . it simply extends the bureaucratic logic it was meant to challenge and becomes counterproductive. ”34 Mayakovsky’s poetic reference to Esenin’s imitators similarly alludes to false secessions. The tendency toward false secessions, which attempt to draw legitimacy from the popularity of the previously illegitimate, prompts the question of whether or not disciplinarily instigated calls for “public intellectuals” who speak from within the discipline and on behalf of the discipline are merely disciplinary attempts to discipline the desire for public circulation of knowledge.
In observing the rise of pro-disciplinary public intellectuality as an appeal to “relevance,” which, when divorced from its 1960s context, is a code word for topical authority, we witness governing by knowledge and legitimation by public; governing is constituted by knowledge and legitimacy is constituted by the relevance of such knowledge to the public. Intellectuals thus contribute to the present in their attempt to legitimate their portrayals. This is not secession. 47 While public intellectuality has been convincingly argued as secession by Karl Marx, C.