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Normal science? Soap studies in the 1990s

Melanie Phillips’s attack on the inclusion of contemporary media within one of the most traditional UK university English courses is likely to meet with a defensive-and perhaps rather weary-response from readers of this journal. In the wake of the ‘culture wars’ that have raged on British and North American campuses, her concerns about the ways in which ‘visual culture is undermining the literary’ and her vacuous insistence on literature as ‘the transmission of enrichment’ mark out a position that has been rehearsed to the point of self-caricature.