deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
[personal profile] deborah
There's a minor kerfuffle going on in both F&SF fandom and media fandom this week about some accusations that academia is the enemy of genre fiction and of fandom, and that SF should never be taught, and that "fans don't teach" (emphasis original). Now, this amused me no end for any number of reasons (not least the assumption that the bloggers' own experiences that literary analysis lessens reading enjoyment is universal; not to mention the assertion that scholarship is "a way to secure tenure" -- excuse me while I look at my own adjunct paycheck and then ROTFLMAO), so I read without comment, and then toddled off to teach my course in F&SF for Children.

And there I realised why, perhaps, fans shouldn't teach. Because the students almost universally disliked a book I think is one of the best books of its year, a book to which I'd have given the Printz. As instructor, I had to tamp down the part of me that was screaming "Fs all around! Why didn't you like this book! Aiyee!" and replace it with the calm, collected discussion leader trying to explore the text's use of language and character development. I think I succeeded, but oh, it hurt.

And the fan in me wants to chant: "Stupid stupidheads."

(They are great students, and smart, and we have great discussions. But I question their taste.)
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