Criticism LTD: Continuing The Dialogue (A Project Narrative Event)


Apple Podcasts

Recorded at The Ohio State University, as part of the Project Narrative series, Matt Seybold reflects on the making of “Criticism LTD” [3:15], as well as ongoing Ponzi austerity, reassessment of close reading, and AI speculative euphoria since its conclusion [14:30]. James Phelan (Director of Project Narrative) argues for narrative theory’s contributions to literary studies as a discipline [35:30] and they take questions from the audience [47:50].

This event was very lightly edited for length and sound quality, but you can find the complete video recording here.

Cast (in order of appearance):

Matt Seybold is Associate Professor of American Literature & Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College, resident scholar at the Center For Mark Twain Studies, and executive producer of The American Vandal Podcast. He is also an active scholar in C19 US Literature, Literature & Economics, and Media Studies.

James Phelan is Distinguished University Professor of English at The Ohio State University and Director of Project Narrative. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of more than a dozen books on narrative theory. For more than thirty years, he has also been the editor of Narrative.

Amanpal Garcha is Associate Professor of English at The Ohio State University and the author of From Sketch to Novel: The Development of Victorian Fiction (Cambridge UP, 2009)

Sandra Macpherson is Associate Professor of English at The Ohio State University and the author of Harm’s Way: Tragic Responsibility & The Novel Form (Johns Hopkins UP, 2010)

Brian McHale is Emeritus Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor at The Ohio State University and the co-founder of Project Narrative.

Christine Tulley is Professor of English at University of Findlay and host of the Defend, Publish, & Lead Podcast.

The theme song for this episode is “A Little Bit Strange to Begin With,” composed by Phil Powell and recorded live at the 2002 Riverfront Jazz & Blues Festival by Redd Holt & The Heptet.

For transcripts and other updates about The American Vandal, subscribe to Matt Seybold’s Substack.

Episode Bibliography:

Kim Adams & Matt Seybold, “Criticism: A Discussion with Matt Seybold” High Theory Podcast (2.15.2024)

Anonymous WVU Employees, WVU Facts

Anthony Ballas, “Layoffs at West Virginia University Expose Right-Wing Trends Sweeping Higher Ed” truthout (October 10, 2023)

Dan Bauman, “Why is West Virginia U. Making Sweeping Cuts?” Chronicle of Higher Education (August 11, 2023)

Nick Bilton, “Future Tense” Vanity Fair (October 2023)

Rachel Sagner Buurma & Laura Heffernan, The Teaching Archive: A New History For Literary Study (U. Chicago, 2020)

Rita Charon, Narrative Medicine: Honoring The Stories of Illness (Oxford UP, 2008)

Cynthia Chase, “The Decomposition of Elephants: Double-Reading Daniel Deronda PMLA (March 1978)

Lisa M. Corrigan, “The Evisceration of A Public University” The Nation (August 16, 2023)

Nan Z. Da, “The Computational Case Against Computational Literary Studies” Critical Inquiry (Spring 2019)

Nicholas Dames, “Is This The End of Literary Studies?” The Nation (February 21, 2023)

Merve Emre, “Has Academia Ruined Literary Criticism?” The New Yorker (January 16, 2023)

Jed Esty, The Future of Decline: Anglo-American Culture at Its Limits (Stanford UP, 2022)

Scott Ferguson, Rob Hawkes, & Matt Seybold, “Criticism LTD with Matt Seybold” Money On The Left (1.1.2024)

Stanley Fish, Is There A Text In This Class?: The Authority of Interpretive Communities (Harvard UP, 1982)

Milton Friedman, “The Methodology of Positive Economics” in Essays in Positive Economics (U. Chicago, 1953)

John Kenneth Galbraith, A Short History of Financial Euphoria (Whittle, 1990)

John Kenneth Galbraith, The Economics of Innocent Fraud (Houghton Mifflin, 2004)

David Gibbs, “Kochs Off Campus” LD 18 Democrats Arizona (1.30.2021)

John Guillory, Professing Criticism: Essays On The Organization of Literary Study (U. Chicago, 2022)

Len Gutkin, “West Virginia U.’s Budgetary Implosion” The Chronicle Review (August 14, 2023)

Lee Harris, Deepti Sailappan, & Emma Dyer, “A fait accompli’: How The Central Administration Has Consolidated Power & Deflected Dissent at The University of Chicago” Chicago Maroon (1.29.2020)

Lee Harris, “Faculty Worried Grossman Institute Was Beholden To Wealthy Donor” Chicago Maroon (1.29.2020)

Lee Harris, “Money Is Pouring Into Flashy Research Institutes. Faculty Worry It Undermines Their Say In Governance.” Chicago Maroon (1.29.2020)

Nathan Heller, “The End of The English Major” The New Yorker (February 27, 2023)

Andy Hines, Outside Literary Studies: Black Criticism & The University (U. Chicago, 2022)

Walter Isaacson, “Inside Elon Musk’s Struggle For The Future of AI” Time (9.6.2023)

Erin James et al, The Confluence Lab at University of Idaho

Joe Killian, “Final Program Cuts Announced at UNCG” NC Newsline (2.1.2024)

Anna Kornbluh, Immediacy, or The Style of Too Late Capitalism (Verso, 2024)

Jonathan Kramnick, Criticism & Truth: On Method In Literary Studies (U Chicago, 2023)

Cade Metz et al, “Ego, Fear, & Money: How The A.I. Fuse Was Lit” New York Times (12.3.2023)

J. Hillis Miller, Fiction & Repetition: Seven English Novels (Harvard UP, 1985)

J. Hillis Miller, “Material Interests: Conrad’s Nostromo as a Critique of Global Capitalism” in Joseph Conrad: Voice, Sequence, History, Genre (Ohio State UP, 2008)

J. Hillis Miller, “Moments of Decision in Bleak House” in Cambridge Companion to Charles Dickens (2006)

Christopher Newfield, “Post-Automated Luxury Criticism” MLA Newsletter (Winter 2022)

Christopher Newfield, “Research For All” MLA Newsletter (Spring 2022)

Christopher Newfield, The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities & How We Can Fix Them (Johns Hopkins UP, 2018)

Joseph North, “Does Close Reading Have a Politics?” The Fate of Professional Reading (2.2.2024)

James Phelan & Matt Seybold, “Close Reading Feudalism(s) in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (A Project Narrative Crossover)” The American Vandal Podcast (2.23.2024)

James Phelan, “The Chicago School” in Theoretical Schools & Circles in The Twentieth-Century Humanities (Routledge, 2015)

Gerald Prince, “Introduction To The Study of the Narratee” in Reader Response Criticism (Johns Hopkins UP, 1980)

John Crowe Ransom, “Criticism Inc.” The Virginia Quarterly Review 13.4 (Autumn 1937)

Bruce Robbins, Secular Vocations: Intellectuals, Professionalism, Culture (Verso, 1993)

Ryan Ruby, “A Golden Age?” Vinduet (April 25, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “The Golden Age of The Working Critic,” The American Vandal Podcast (August 7, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “Hungover From The Bad Old Days of High Theory,” The American Vandal Podcast (August 14, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “Ponzi Austerity in The Age of Cultural Abundance” The American Vandal Podcast (August 21, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “Ponzi Austerity & The Monolingual University” The American Vandal Podcast (August 25, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “The Racist Interpretation Complex” The American Vandal Podcast (August 28, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “The Chicago Fight & ‘Criticism Inc.’” The American Vandal Podcast (September 5, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “Politics & The Paracademy” The American Vandal Podcast (September 23, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “Brittle Paper & The Blogossance” The American Vandal Podcast (October 2, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “BookTube, BookTok, Wattpad, & The Audible Creation Exchange” The American Vandal Podcast (October 12, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “Criticism in The Conglomerate Era” The American Vandal Podcast (October 17, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “Podcasting Criticism” The American Vandal Podcast (October 27, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “Ed Tech, AI, & The Unbundling of Research & Teaching” The American Vandal Podcast (November 2, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “The Empire of Criticism” The American Vandal Podcast (11.17-21.2023)

Matt Seybold, “Jason Wingard’s EdTech Griftopia” Los Angeles Review of Books (February 23, 2023)

Matt Seybold, “Gordon Gee’s Draw Check Scheme” The American Vandal (8.13.2023)

Dan Sinykin, Matt Seybold, & Johanna Winant, “Close Reading, Conglomerate Authorship, & Qween Danielle Steel” The American Vandal Podcast (1.1.2024)

Tim Vanderpool, “Freedom’s Ring” Tucson Weekly (8.11.2011)

Yanis Varoufakis, Adults In The Room (Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux, 2017)

Yanis Varoufakis, “The Future of Capitalism” Robert Heilbroner Lecture at The New School (April 27, 2016)

Yanis Varoufakis, And The Weak Suffer What They Must: Europe’s Crisis & America’s Economic Future (Bold Typer, 2016)

Robyn Warhol, & Susan Lanser, Narrative Theory Unbound: Queer & Feminist Interventions (Ohio State UP, 2015)

Johanna Winant, Rose Casey, & Jessica Wilkerson, “An Open Letter From Faculty At West Virginia University” Boston Review (9.7.2023)