Carol Becker


On her book Thinking in Place: Art, Action, and Cultural Production

Cover Interview of November 10, 2009


Because I was educated to be a literary critic and came up during the time of modernist and postmodern theory, I have had to find ways of writing that communicate how I think in ways that are translatable to others.  I want the writing to be elegant, poetic, seductive, because deep within it there are ideas, which, if adopted, believed, cherished, could transform consciousness.

These are not my ideas alone; they are the ideas of centuries of utopian thought.  I want these ideas to permeate people’s consciousness—ideas about the importance of art for human well-being, the end to war as a solution to conflict, the importance of community and the public sphere to a democratic society, and so forth.

These ideas are not presented as political messages; they are presented as the struggle for humanity’s survival.  I want these ideas to saturate people’s desire as they have mine.  And I want the writing to be so engaging that people remember why they love this world and therefore want to protect it and its inhabitants across national and international boundaries. 

Simply, I always write for people—not for the art world, literary world, sociological world and so forth.  I hope the book can cross many boundaries.  This is not easy since all books are “shelved” somewhere, whether physically or virtually.

But thinking does not fit easily into such categorizations.  And the problems of the 21st century will not be solved by “disciplines” but by ideas and by the willingness of people to extend beyond themselves and their own culture, to recognize themselves in the Other, as part of a species whose evolution should be considered, whose future can be consciously determined.

© 2009 Carol Becker