In 1939, under pressure to take a more definitive political position, the editors of the literary journal Scrutiny, under the leadership of F. R. Leavis, convened a symposium titled “The Claims of Politics,” on the question of whether political advocacy had a place in a journal dedicated to literature and the arts. This remains a salient question to the present day. This paper considers the circumstances that led to the symposium and specifically considers the contribution of conservative political philosopher Michael Oakeshott and his position that the introduction of politics into the arts would serve neither well.
The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
Copyright 2021 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois