In Marxist literary criticism—for example, as represented by Fredric Jame-son’s influential study, The Political Unconscious—the interpretation of texts has frequently involved ideology critique, by which the critic attempts to disclose both the ideological content or structural limitations of a given text while also being attuned to the text’s utopian or revolutionary potential. In recent decades, Marxist criticism in particular and what is taken to be the hermeneutics of suspicion more generally have come under attack by literary scholars who favor various forms of postcritique, including surface reading and thin description. This essay suggests that postcritique, and all that it involves, contributes to the radical dismantling of higher education caused by rampant neoliberalism. The vocation of ideology critique and of Marxist criticism is, this essay contends, the most appropriate response to a society so utterly mystified as our own.

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