Academic left

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Pronoun Riot

Featured image So this morning I thought I’d have a little fun on Twitter with this mirthful suggestion: Well guess what? Teachers’ union urges schools to host drag shows, use ‘comrade’ instead of ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ EDMONTON, Alberta, November 4, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Parental rights advocates are up in arms over a just released Alberta teachers’ union resource to help teachers discuss LGBTQ issues that recommends staging “drag” shows in schools, referring to students »

White Hot Rage of the Left [With Pedagogical Comment by John]

Featured image I’ve been reading a lot of Roger Scruton’s work lately (long article to come), and was struck by one of his typically acute summary statements about today’s academic left in Fools, Frauds, and Firebrands, which is that “they make fury respectable, and gobbledegook the mark of academic success.” This came to mind in coming across this story in The Telegraph today: University students demand philosophers such as Plato and Kant are removed »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Night at the Museum

Featured image Ben Stiller, call your agent! We’ve found the perfect idea for a script for Night at the Museum 4. From the Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research: Museums and Feminist Matters: Considerations of a Feminist Museology Arndís Bergsdóttir, University of Iceland Abstract This article speaks to a post-human feminist museology. It argues that considerations of a feminist museology would benefit from engaging with post-human feminist dialogues currently unfolding within »

Scenes From a Graduate School: Did God Survive the Election?

Featured image The Associated Press recounts the difficulty that graduate students at Emory are experiencing with “healing” after last month’s election. The scene is a course in Faith and Politics; you may wonder why anyone cares about the students’ feelings. The AP explains: The discord in Room 322 of the Rollins Building reflected the state of the nation as Trump nears inauguration. Well, not exactly: the AP notes that the entire graduate »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: You Want Fries with That Gender?

Featured image The European Journal of Gender Studies has published an unintentionally hilarious article about whether gender studies majors can get jobs. The study examined gender studies majors in Sweden, and reported the happy statistic that 97 percent of recent gender studies majors in Sweden were gainfully employed. Still, the article dwells on the fact that the whole employment thing represents a “dilemma” for genderists. Let’s start with the abstract: Gender jobs: »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Sheep Dip Anyone?

Featured image I know many readers think the items posted in this weekly feature are hoaxes, but sadly they are all too real. I hope this conference abstract from the Danish National Research Database inspires lots of imitators: Becoming Sheep, Becoming Animals Charlotte Grum, Connie Svabo, Roskilde University Abstract As a part of a 2015 group exhibition exploring the history and local myths of a woman living in a Danish heath landscape »

Cry Havoc!

Featured image When you point out on a college campus, as I have done on a couple of occasions (also here), that it ought to be regarded as a scandal that at many liberal arts colleges you can now take a degree in English without having to take a single class in Shakespeare, it often provokes a heated reaction. But then you come across a story like the one below, and you find a »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Entropic Marxist-Freudianism??

Featured image Okay, this one may well be the all time winner, from the Journal of the Theoretical Humanities. This “abstract” really lives up to (or down to?) its label: Losing Steam After Marx and Freud: on entropy as the horizon of the community to come Karyn Ball, University of Alberta Abstract: This essay undertakes a critique of recent trends in affect theory from the standpoint of the “human motor”: a trope that »

“Post-Truth” Media Should Look in the Mirror

Featured image It was Nietzsche who remarked that “there are no facts, only interpretation.” From this small beginning the entire contemporary world of “post-modernism” was born, reaching its apogee in the swamp of the Frankfurt School, Foucault and other nihilist thinkers who argue, among other things, that there is no objective basis for making a “truth claim”—and that even language itself it a purely subjective exercise in exerting power. “Non-foundationalism” is all »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Real Chickenfeed Stuff

Featured image “Intersectionality” is the post-modern identity politics term of art for conflating the car crash of competing victimization categories. I think. Because in addition to oppressed women, minorities, and genderfluid people, it apparently also includes . . . chickens. Also cows. From the august journal Geoforum: Women/chickens vs. men/cattle: Insights on gender–species intersectionality Alice J. Hovorka, University of Guelph Abstract This paper is conceptually grounded in feminist–posthumanist intersectionality, offering an empirical »

Annals of Liberal Cluelessness [with comment by Paul]

Featured image The New York Times on Saturday published an unintentionally hilarious article from Molly Worthen entitled “Can I Go To Great Books Camp?” The article went through all of the conservative educational programs that teach classic texts in a serious way, including several well known to Power Line readers, such as the Claremont Institute’s Publius Fellows, and the Hertog Fellows program (both of which have featured moi as an instructor). In »

The Cultural Canaries Say PC Liberalism is Dying

Featured image As I remarked in yesterday’s video compilation, even Hollywood has taken notice of PC absurdity. This 2 minute excerpt from Tim Allen’s new ABC sitcom “Last Man Standing” takes aim at a real “guidance” document against “microaggressions” issued last year by UCLA. The examples lampooned in this clip (like “people who work hard can get ahead”) were in fact proscribed by UCLA’s idiot administration. How long will campus liberalism want »

Professor watching

Featured image Turning Point USA (TPUSA), a conservative organization made up of high school and college students, has compiled a website database of more than 200 professors at universities across the nation who, in the view of the organization, “discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.” The website is called Professor Watchlist. This has outraged the left which, inevitably, complains of “McCarthyism” by TPUSA. Annabel Scott at the »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Say What?

Featured image Now that the dust is finally settling on the election (except for the Jill Stein recount dustup), we can get back to our regular Monday spotlight on random acts of academic absurdity. Like the following article from the journal Human Relations, which seems designed to make any intelligible relation between a human reader and the text impossible: Gender as multiplicity: Desire, displacement, difference and dispersion Stephen Linstead, University of York, »

One More Thanksgiving Cartoon

Featured image Before the holiday completely passes by, here is one more Thanksgiving-themed cartoon by Michael Ramirez. I think it’s pretty funny, but seriously, I suspect this might actually work for the turkey, what with its being an oppressed species and all. Click to enlarge: »

How Students and Professors Respond to Real Adversity

Featured image The reaction of colleges and universities to Trump’s election reveal them to be fundamentally unserious. You want to see how serious scholars behave under actual adversity? Power Line friend Herbert Meyer directs our attention to this passage from from Harrison Salisbury’s book 900 Days about the siege of Leningrad in World War II: By the end of spring [1942] he [A. A. Ukhtomsky, a 66-year old distinguished physiologist] was still »

Voting for Trump as a “hate crime”

Featured image Watching excerpts from various anti-Trump demonstrations, I saw this sign: “Your vote was a hate crime.” “Hate crime” is not a figure of speech. The concept has made it into the criminal law, and would be more prevalent there if the left had its way. Thus, those who view a vote for Trump as a hate crime must want to criminalize voting for a candidate whose views offend them greatly. »