Getting a degree in English


So xkcd is fantastic, and I love this new comic. Yes, I’m an English grad student, and I do a lot with literary criticism, but I think the final block has a point. The language that we use is not entirely clear (which is part of what makes the discussion fun) even to us. And, more importantly, it’s something that anyone can do. I’d even say that it’s something that everyone does. Maybe not everyone will talk about what a text signifies and how, but we talk about what a text means (which covers many of the same questions). What do movies like Hancock or The Dark Knight mean? Which is really just another way to ask “Why do we watch these movies?” So literary criticism and English studies is really one of the most open fields, and I think, as a member of the field, we should embrace this and open it up even more. We’re really only special because we’re nerdy enough to want to do nothing else but discuss all this, yet savvy enough to convice everyone else we should get paid to use crazy language to have the book equvilant of “Picard is better then Kirk” debate (it really just depends on how you look at it). So what do you think this comic is saying?

5 thoughts on “Getting a degree in English”

  1. No, the real world is what I make it.
    You can only make “your” world.
    That is what makes this world so fun.
    By the way Kirk is better than Picard.
    I think the comic is saying that anyone can discuss literature. It has a different meaning for each of us. All valid but individual. It’s just saying it in a funny way.

  2. No the real world is what happens while you are creating your own universe.

  3. Picard? “The line must be drawn HERE” Worst line from a Star Trek movie ever. And that includes the sound Kirsty Alley made in Star Trek II The Wrath of Kahn.

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