I remember the year was 2011, if I recall correctly only 3 people out of a class of about 50 students were able to pass the Homi Bhabha essay.
Excuse my next unintelligent writing for a second
“what the actual fuck Homi Bhabha?! What English are you writing? “
I felt very dumb at that time, to be honest, I doubt I still understand anything Homi Bhabha writes; my relationship with his writing doesn’t exist. However, my point is not clouded, not all writing is Bhabha writing, there are certainly worse writing, worse meaning more complicated and there are easier ones, however if you pick up most academic writings it’s not for the common wo/man.
I don’t know about you but I speak Human English, academic writing on the other hand hates human English; You put academic writing and human English in one room, one of them will be pissed off, academic English goes on dates with Shakespeare English.
To be an academic writer is very frustrating and straining most times. As Bill Blurr says It’s like going to the cinema to watch an end of the world movie (World War Z or Planet of the Apes), a movie basically about the end of the world, and being told its PG 13, What the Oxford?! There are things that you can’t say or do; you have to do this and that. I mean how can you make an end of the world movie and not expect people to run around swearing for their lifes?
I tell you right now, if a zombie was chasing to kill me, I’d produce more F. U’s than the Wolf of Wall Street.
My question then comes back to this, is academic writing only for academics? If yes, why though? why can’t academic writing be for the everyday man/woman, don’t want to offend anyone? Yes, you can say it is for everyone but come on, you know what I mean, it’s not everyone that can read the Juggernaut nonsense that we academics write.
The worse thing is that some of the texts/readings that I have read in my lifetime as an academic are absolutely lovely, the ideas in them could be useful to a lot of young people in my field of theatre and performance, but the language in it makes it rather difficult. So, why is it like this? Well I have no clear answer, even if I did, I’d have to reference it, and we all know how annoying that can be; however, in my opinion again something that you can rarely have in academic writing. I think it’s because academics want to be distinct, establish themselves as a different breed of writers, not authors; My god! No, we are, as academics do not write fiction! We write words that can be proven, referenced in reality…yeah fuck off guys!
The reason I am having this vent out is because 2 years ago when I completed my MA thesis, although very proud of it, in between writing it something got lost. The ideas and thoughts I wanted to share were not clear on paper as they were in my head; well because my words were deemed not academic enough!! That’s popular opinion. Ahhh fuck that. So, I ended up writing jargon which I only understood because I had too, and my supervisor was there to help me understand it.
I love academia, I really do, however that doesn’t mean I cannot question the way it is structured, the way it bends us in its will and fucks us. To be honest it would be chaos, yes, if some rules of academic writing were broken, a disaster would surely come but come on people. Are you really trying to tell me, you are only writing for those who can be able to come to varsity? That’s rather unfair, isn’t access to knowledge the one thing we should give each other in order to grow as people, I certain believe that. Our academic writings, especially all of them dissertations are busy collecting dust in the cloud or libraries until one day someone bumps into it then another 5 years pass. Oh! What?? What was that? People will surely read yours? Because when you wrote your dissertation you filled a gap that was missing? Join the line buddy?! We were also told to fil gaps… the language in that writing will make it difficult for the gap to be filled that’s the issue
I am currently reading a PHD dissertation proposal; honestly I have been out the academic reading game for a while; novels, books and blogs have infected my mind, and when I picked up that proposal I was hella confused, I wanted to call this strange writer and ask ‘what the hell are you saying? Speak English to me’. The idea seems solid but there’s that thing of, how many but only a few handful people will see it. Sir Ken Robinson truly wasn’t lying; academics live from their neck upwards; the body is just a tool to carry their heads to places.
What is the solution for this mess? Uhmm I don’t know really, it’s a long battle with old people; These academic fossils, when they say ‘Jump! You do it, otherwise you’re about to spend a decade trying to complete that dissertation. In conclusion, I don’t have an answer to this question I pose; I am hoping you the reader could perhaps offer an opinion to enlighten me.
What the Homi? Yeah
2 Replies to “What the HOMI BHABHA?!”
I have been thinking about this, eversince I started my Undergrad. I’ve been complaining, most of the time crying, because writing Academically is exhausting. Thinking this is not how I usually communicate, this is absolutely foreign to me. Yet, I am forced to write like this. To an extent seriously it doesn’t work for Us (specifically creatives) Yhuuu hhay bandla. Having so many things to say in your head, but you can’t put them on paper because “formality”. Right now I am going through that… I hate it here…
Wena Snakho this is why it’s difficult to find dissertations or theses on bookshelf; no one wants to go through that reading. How can we change it?