These are very interesting questions. I have had similar issues raised by students. For example, recently a very articulate First Nations student told me she finds the idea of rational discourse to go against her belief in the fundamentally spiritual nature of the world. Similarly, the cultural relativism characteristic of Western academic discourse (which is a problem for Western-style scholars too of course, cf. Habermas) cannot be reconciled with the spiritual beliefs that structure the world in her cultural tradition. Even the idea of analyzing a cultural object (such as a film) seems to imply doing violence to it, and she finds this objectionable. This is a specific example of the ethical stand that I find many cultural-minority students (First Nations, African diaspora, etc.) take toward their studies. They have a privileged perspective on the need to ally critical inquiry with advocacy, and this raises the questions you pose. I attempt to encourage this ethical critique of Western academic discourse by situating it alongside existing currents in W. scholarship, such as feminist critiques of epistemology, Frankfurt School critiques of instrumental reason, theories of immanence (e.g. phenomenology), and recent theories of the body as a source of meaning. Thus non-Western epistemologies can be situated within the rational discourse that is fundamental to the W. humanities, specifically recent critiques of it. Also, I stress the *strategic* value of critical analysis, since of course it allows them to take on films and other cultural artifacts that they find politically objectionable, on the terms sanctioned by the academy. Like any other institution, academia requires its members to learn its rules before they can change them. I think these emerging scholars are in a position to revive the question of ethics in Western academic discourse, and even to reintroduce questions of spirituality that understandably have remained taboo in scholarship until recently. Laura U. Marks SSAC: Film Studies Carleton University Ottawa, Canada [log in to unmask] ---- Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the University of Alabama.