Outspoken Theorist to Speak at UVM

Controversial cultural and literary theorist Stanley Fish will present a public lecture, “Take This Job and Do It: University Administration in the 21st Century,” Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 5 p.m. in the University of Vermont’s Fleming Museum, room 101.

Fish, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois-Chicago and a preeminent Milton scholar, has been an outspoken critic of views expressed in a report issued in September by U.S. House Education & Workforce Committee Republicans. Titled, “The College Cost Crisis,” the report blames colleges for hiking costs at far higher rates than can be explained by tough economic times or inflation. Fish will undoubtedly skewer that report in his Oct. 14 lecture, which is free and open to the public.

Labeled “an equal opportunity antagonist” and “the most quoted, most controversial, most in-demand and most feared English teacher in the world,” Fish is the author of “There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech: And It’s a Good Thing, Too,” “The Trouble with Principle” and “Professional Correctness: Literary Studies and Political Change.” Widely recognized for his scholarship on the work of 17th-century English poet John Milton, Fish’s 2001 magnum opus, “How Milton Works,” explores the radical effect of Milton’s theological convictions on his poetry and prose.

Fish will participate throughout the week in several events open to UVM students, faculty and staff. Those events include “Speaking of Freedom: A Forum on Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech on Campus with Stanley Fish and President Daniel Mark Fogel,” Thursday, Oct. 16, 5-7 p.m. in Ira Allen Chapel. Fish also will attend English and political science honors classes and lead a colloquium on “Why Milton Matters.”

Sponsoring Fish’s visit to campus are the UVM English Department, the James and Mary Buckham Fund and the John Dewey Honors Program. Information: 656-3056.