Students have the most bizarre fear of literature.
A student is choosing her Senior project topic.
“I don’t want to do anything related to literature,” she says aggressively. “I’m interested in linguistics.”
“That’s fine,” I say. “Which linguistic phenomenon would you like to study?”
“I’m interested in analyzing how the patriarchy silences women in the novels by Luisa Valenzuela.”
“That’s a great topic,” I say. “But what makes you think it belongs to the field of linguistics?”
“Because the patriarchy silences them, so they can’t express themselves. That’s language, so it’s linguistics,” the student explains.
Sometimes it feels like they are willing to do any kind of analysis as long as they manage to convince themselves it doesn’t have to do with literature.