Spellmeyer's "After Theory: From Textuality to Attunement with the World"

Spellmeyer, Kurt. "After Theory: From Textuality to Attunement with the World." The Norton Book of Composition Studies. Ed. Susan Miller. New York: Norton, 2009. 824-842. Print.

Spellmeyer, disillusioned with theory, suggests that its prevalence in humanities education asserts a certain violence related to colonialism (825, 830). Not only does the continued focus on theory turn students' attention away from the everyday cultural environments of their own lives, but it also may  alienate them from texts (834). This alienation serves to maintain the cultural capital enjoyed by academics who benefit from these texts, working as "knowledge workers" in the "'information society'" (831).  

Spellmeyer also notes that while the difficulty of theory may alienate a number of communities, the cohort of academics who work with it have the right to continue their work, without being asked to compromise their rigor for the sake of making all of their students experts (833).

Rather than continuing to teach theory texts in the popular fashion, Spellmeyer suggests teaching students to experience texts in more personal ways, tuning into the external world and their own personal reactions--suffering and joy that can illuminate what is beyond the self (837-841).