, 20 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
I think a lot about the way conservative men in particular are everything they accuse the left of being, so I can never tell whether it’s from ignorance, malice, or just not being very smart.

Today’s example of fragility.
Dreher says there is a barrier between modern cultural studies and the engagement with one specifically mention of thought in history dominated by white dudes and people like Homer who was not a white dude. Because Mediterranean people are all different shades of brown.
But so many of the most brilliant and innovative findings in the last six decades (this ain’t new) have come from people who engage these texts enriched by cultural studies. It’s not just that cultural studies and white dude studies (and brown dude Homer) can coexist, but must.
A university without people not just thinking about race and gender and sexuality, which is what dude bro just complaining about, but also all of the theoretical approaches That dude would’ve whined about 20 years ago.
Brief pause for shoveling
Here are just a few examples from my own field that includes lots of white (actually brown. I'm an Italianist) dudes.
Here is a pair of bookshelves in my house, along with possibly the cutest picture of my son from his second year. I mean look at that frown. Along with a 1911 Britannica, some books on optics, Boccaccio, and a historical atlas, look bottom right. A shelf of old books
These are the Exuiviae Sacrae Constantinopolitanae by Comte Paul Riant. A dapper 19th century gentleman to be sure. I suspect I know the sources as well as anyone alive. My ability to make use of them depended upon rereading from a more theoretical perspective. The face plate of the book in black and red letters.A dapper gentlemen with a good pointed beard and some medals pinned to his chest
In my dissertation then book (cough: In paperback from @PSUPress - psupress.org/books/titles/9…), I argue that these sources are a pathway into the formation of memory after the Fourth Crusade. They aren't super useful for factual military/political history, because they lie.
But they are amazing as a way to open up the complex, contested, stories that medieval Latin and French writers told about the conquest of Constantinople. That kind of approach, memory studies, narrative studies, etc., come directly out of now pretty basic literary theory.
Later, I re-read 500 years of relic-theft and non-theft translatio narratives from Venice and talked about competitive masculinity as a form of community building in medieval Venice. I mean it's right there in the sources, but I only looked for it thanks to critical feminism.
In fact, there's a whole generation of white dude military historians, some virulently conservative, real Dreher kinds of dudes, who write about "why men fight." Their version of masculinity studies couldn't exist without feminist studies.
But the real counter to Dreher isn't me. It's the newest medievalist at Trinity College: Ruth Karras (damn them to Hades for stealing her from Minnesota. I miss my friend and mentor).
Karras, who I am not tagging at this time, wrote brilliantly on medieval men (upenn.edu/pennpress/book…), medieval sex and sexuality (amazon.com/Sexuality-Medi…), and multiple forms of marriage (upenn.edu/pennpress/book…).
I talked to Karras about the multiplicity of modes of historical marriage for @TheAtlantic after #Obergefell. theatlantic.com/politics/archi…

Like this is just the history. Only a snowflake would pretend it doesn't exist. And again, Trinity recruited her away.
We do better history, including of the allegedly whites on whom Dreher is signalling his virtue, thanks to just the kinds of woke cultural studies that he deplores.

A few more thoughts, almost done, I swear:
Either @roddreher is a liar whose picture of old books is the same kind of sexy signalling as that gun girl from Kent State. He knows it's bullshit, but it's good for his brand. He's the kind of guy who would have been instrumental in getting Socrates condemned to death.
Or @roddreher is just ignorant. In which case he's the kind of guy who would have kicked Homer out of his city cause his poetry was too complicated. Too hard. Too many new and weird words. Get this bum outta here!
As always, the case of the conservative intellectual falls to the core question of con artist or ignorant fool. Splashing his virtue signalling on books, too fragile to engage with actual history, a snowflake about to melt if confronted with the complexities of the past.
Thank goodness Trinity College Dublin is better than Rod Dreher.
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