Sunday, September 12, 2010
Johannes Göransson on MFA Rankings
I also disagree with Seth in his statement that “community” of peers is more important than faculty. Absolutely untrue. But a very Iowa Ideology way of putting it. You obviously learn very different things from peers and faculty. Iowa’s rhetoric has always been: this is just two years of funding for you to write an interact with other writers, the teachers don’t really do anything. But of course they do! This rhetoric – which Seth seems to have totally absorbed – is a way of dealing with the problem a lot of people have with the idea of teaching art: according to romantic ideals (which are on full display at U of Iowa), art cannot be taught, it must be just achieved based on “Talent” etc. To deal with the contradiction, Iowa always pumps out that rhetoric. But it’s of course false, students absorb a lot of rhetoric and aesthetics from their teachers (witness Abramson’s rhetoric). The problem with Iowa is not that they don’t teach, it’s that they pretend they are not teaching while teaching!