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The Job of Professors, 88 TEXAS LAW REVIEW 185 (2009).

Abstract

Stanley Fish is a pleasure to read and difficult to review. His work is invariably smart, stimulating, and provocative. It is filled with insights and crackles with verve. It is a joy to take in. It is difficult to review because, as Walter Benjamin once said of El Greco, "the gesture remains the decisive thing, the center of the event," and the gesture "tears open the sky behind" it.' To review Fish feels ungenerous because it requires indifference to the undeniable power of his gesture and demands instead attention to the details of his argument.

So I should affirm at the outset how much of Fish's argument in Save the World on Your Own Time2 I find correct and convincing. In particular, Fish's fundamental point that professors of higher education are hired to perform academic functions seems to me absolutely accurate. As Fish observes, professors are not employed to become "moralists, therapists, political counselors, and agents of global change."3 Their job is instead to perform the professional tasks of scholars and professors.

Date of Authorship for this Version

2009

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