Academic Instincts

I wonder if Friedman’s Cultural History of the Penis fits into Elaine Showalter’s take on Academic Instincts?

Garber seems more interested in deflecting criticism of her work in cultural studies than in interrogating the overall state of the discipline. While she has been successful in reaching a wide general audience as well as a specialised one, she emphasises her position as a Harvard professor rather than as a bestselling author, and avoids seeing any contradiction between the two. Taking up the question of the public intellectual, she approvingly quotes a definition by Thomas Bender: one who ‘uses literature for larger purposes, to talk about subjects that matter to contemporary society’. The public intellectual has ‘the capacity to speak to more general and deeply felt questions and aspirations, and to do so in a common idiom’.

Surely the penis is a subject that matters to contemporary society.