A Few Don'ts (And Dos) By A Cultural Phenomenologist

Steven Connor

Call Back Later

All these exclusions and defections will suggest to many that cultural phenomenology is really nothing at all, or nothing at all of any interest or importance, insofar as it has no coherent and definable substance, and therefore no chance of focussing collective endeavour and effecting any purchase on things. But my real point is that you cannot argue meaningfully for or against cultural phenomenology in such theoretical terms, since the whole point about cultural phenomenology as here conceived is that it is a kind of work that does not proceed from or consciously contribute to theoretical discourse and the work of critical programming it has come to subserve. If a certain kind of work begins to come about, why then it will have come about, and will become due for evaluation, in all the usual, different ways in which things get evaluated. If it does not, there will be no opportunity or need to have gone to the trouble of evaluating it. I know, I know, time is short, and we need to know, if possible in advance, what's most worth investing time and effort in (I am supposed to be a utilitarian, aren't I?) But it really would not be a good use of time to try to come to a view about what cultural phenomenology could, might or must do in advance of the thing actually coming to be done. My advice is to wait until there is any of this stuff available and then, if ever, have a theoretical think about how well its way of working works out.

| Steve Connor | English and Humanities | Birkbeck College |