Does this qualify as Irony?
Longtime readers will know that I am not really fond of theory qua theory. I mean, I think it's important to be able to identify a Marxist, or Feminist, or PoMo, etc., approach, but I tend to switch lenses like a crazed lighting director changes gels. For me, the sources and questions they inspire sort of dictate my approach to them, and theory is something that sneaks in around the edges. I admit that I really do need to read more, but I'm not sure that I have to read *that* much more theory to understand what Judith Butler's 'performative acts' and how that may or may not inform my readings of Althoff and Buc on ritual, for example. Yes, I realize that those things are in and of themselves 'theory' ... but I tend to think of such things as bring really straightforward, so, um, right.
Anyhow, here's the possibly ironic part. Nice Colleague is teaching our methodologies and historiography class this year. She's working from the syllabus I put together when I taught it, which still needs some work, because I'd never taught it before. But basically, we decided that, since it's a departmental requirement, anyone who wants to teach it should contribute to the syllabus and agree to teach the same basic assignments, although we would all teach within our own general fields. She's an Americanist, and is using lesbian pulp fiction as part of her discussion of gender and feminist theory. I'm kind of jealous, and am so using the Rykener case next time I teach it.
But anyhow ... we realized that we really want to do a lot of things with this course that are really sort of, well, theory. Damn you, gender construction, for hooking me!