In response to Max Brzezinski’s critique of my role in the New Modernist Studies, an alleged movement whose founding document I am said to have authored (Poetry of the Revolution [2006]), I use this movement as a test case for the two methods under discussion (the question of how movements get founded was precisely the one I had raised in my book, and it returns in altered form here). On the one hand, we have a Marxist analysis that explains such cultural phenomena as critical movements through reference to their economic base (the corporate university and the logic of late capitalism), and on the other, an approach that uses the tools of literary analysis, including attention to form, genre, and group formation. I argue for the superiority of the latter and advance the view that we in literary studies should use, confidently and aggressively, the tools of our own discipline rather than, amateurishly, the tools of other disciplines such as economics. It is only from a position of disciplinary strength that we can hope to engage other disciplines critically.

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