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Humanities research is widely
considered to be the sole
province of academic scholars,
yet avant-garde artists practise
their own versions of humanities
research. As critics, we tend to
applaud the avant-garde for its
anti-linear, anti-rational, anti-Enlightenment qualities, but we do so even as we continue
to reproduce the same form of criticism, employing linearity, rationality, and
the rhetoric of scientific realism.
Avant-garde artists invent research methods by using media as research tools.
Thus, avant-garde artists expose scholars¡¯ biases towards alphabetic literacy. Under the
reigning logic, scholarship is recognized as such only when transposed into alphabetic
The crone may cackle or tell a story or scold her for her
self-absorption, but sooner or later she will open her
eyes and find herself here in her moldy bed once more,
waiting for she knows not what in the name of waiting
for her prince to come. Of whom, no lack, though
none true so far of course, unless in some strange wise
they all are, her sequential disenchantments then the
very essence of her being, the fairy¡¯s spell binding her
not to a suspenseful waiting for what might yet be, but
to the eternal reenactment of what, other than, she
can never be.¡ªRobert Coover, Briar Rose
Mosaic 24(1) March 2005 12/31/04 8:47 PM Page 93
94 Mosaic 38/1 (March 2005)
text; with rare exception, no other forms count as scholarly knowledge. Scholars frame
research questions such as,¡°How does self...