Author's School

College of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Additional Affiliations

Associate Professor, Department of English; Affiliated Faculty, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; Faculty with the Feminist Critical Analysis Seminar

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

Fall 1-1-2012

Originally Published In

Parvulescu, A. (2012). Old Europe, New Europe, Eastern Europe: Reflections on a Minor Character in Fassbinder's Ali, Fear Eats the Soul. New Literary History 43(4), 727-750,


In today's Europe, the term Eurosceptic often accompanies accusations of retrograde nationalism, irrational feelings, even fanaticism. When applied to Europe, skepticism, one of the critic's formative traits, acquires a bad reputation, as if it can only be an annihilating, rather than constructive, form of doubt. And yet skepticism is a much-needed critical affect, particularly when it comes to Europe. If we need to be skeptical of anything, it is Europe. Today one hears claims about Europe having become postnational, postracial, even post-Europe. How else can the literary and cultural critic welcome such claims other than with a healthy dose of skepticism?




Originally published in New Literary History, vol. 43, no. 4 © 2012 by Johns Hopkins University,