For the next few days I’m billeted at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association in San Francisco, where I’ll be speaking on a Saturday afternoon panel (details to come). But being a masochist I decided to turn up near the beginning, because who can resist the allure of academic panels such as—I’m not making this up—“Democracy and the ‘White Problem,’” “Rousseau’s Lesser Known Works on Women,” or “Drones in Theory and Practice.” Thank goodness for the Claremont Institute, the Eric Voegelin Society, and a couple other outside organizations for bringing some sanity to the proceedings.
The theme for this year’s APSA annual meeting is “Diversities Reconsidered.” Apparently old-fashioned “diversity” is not enough: we need to have a diversity of diversity. Or something. And the plenary address yesterday was by his Holy Diminutiveness, Robert Reich, on the topic, “Why Economics Is Too Important to Be Left to Economists.” But I think he’s at the wrong academic meeting.
Strangely, there are no panels on Donald Trump. In fact, hardly any panels on the 2016 presidential race at all. One of Power Line’s faithful academic readers remarked to me, “It’s really not obligatory to do a Donald Trump post every day,” and so I’ll take the day off. Instead, as I usually do when I attend the APSA meeting, here’s my top ten list of paper titles being presented at this meeting, with commentary where useful or necessary:
10. “A Queer Family Resemblance: Identity Politics Without the Identity.”
9. “Fracking Women’s Bodies”
8. “The Musicality of Radical Resistance: SNCC, Victor Wooten, and Shock Resistance.”
7. “Why Should Political Science Care About Animals?”
Because maybe it can figure out animals more successfully than humans?
6. “How to Write on Kinky Haired Feminine Bodies: Phenomenology and Necropower.”
5. “The Limits of the Politics of Recognition: The Case of British Foxhunters.”
4. “The Crimes of Capitalism.”
Sure to be stunningly original.
3. “Empowering Students Through the Politics of Alice Walker.”
2. “’Keep Your Gay England;’ Examining Zimbabwe’s Response to LGBT Advocacy.”
What—there are no “Qs” in Zimbabwe?
And my winner:
1. “Agency without Optimism: Afro-Pessimism and Queer Negativity.”
A couple runners-up:
“Thinking Like a Swampthing: The Tension in Creating a Deep Ecological Superhero.”
“Queer(ing) Marx: A Queer Reading of Marx’s ‘On the Jewish Question.’”
Perhaps Marx’s anti-Semitism will come out straighter read this way? (Heh.)
Maybe the single best ironic paper title is this:
“Political Science in the World of Politics: Do We Matter?”
No. Next question?