12 November 2009

Elizabethan anti-intellectualism

Over at The Intersection, Chris Mooney reminds me of another academic argument that isn’t really an argument: Who wrote Shakespeare?

While I’ve written much about denialism here, I had completely forgotten about other disciplines. Interestingly, for a movement that contradicts so much scholarship, most of the arguments I’ve read on this seem to start with, “William Shakespeare was barely literate,” or “poorly educated.” I agree with Neil Gaiman’s take on people who argue that Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare:

I don't have much time for the Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare people overall, as the engine that seems to drive so many of them is snobbery. They want Shakespeare to have been an aristocrat, and not a base-born playwright.

What other “denial” fringe theories are out there in the humanities and other disciplines?

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