Reading Group Discussion: Rita Felski and Critique

Dr Karen Schaller (UEA) led a discussion of Rita Felski’s The Limits of Critique (University of Chicago Press, 2015) for our January reading group. Staff and postgraduate students from diverse disciplines (English Literature, Critical Theory, Creative and Critical Writing, Fine Art) based at NTU, University of Nottingham, Birkbeck, and Lincoln University, explored Felski’s concerns regarding ‘suspicious reading’ (p.6). Felski claims that the aim of her book is to consider the ‘freeing up of literary studies to embrace a wider range of affective styles and modes of argument’ (p.3). An interest in the affective qualities of creative-critical writing resonates in significant ways with the work of the Critical Poetics research group; however, members also pointed to the generative potential of suspicion and discussed their reluctance to dismiss critique as an element of practice. Our thanks goes to Karen for providing a thought-provoking reading and discussion.