Academic left

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Who’s Against Science Again?

Featured image Next time you hear someone repeat the thoughtless cliche that conservatives are “anti-science,” direct them to the YouTube video below, which has been making the rounds the last few days and has had nearly 600,000 views as of this afternoon. Here you will take in a typically politicized student, at South Africa’s University of Cape Town, arguing that “Science as a whole is a product of western modernity, and the whole »

Racism at the Yale Bowl? Hardly

Featured image Dartmouth and Yale have been playing football against one another for a long time. Last Saturday, when they played at the Yale Bowl, was the 100th meeting of the teams. (Yale broke a four-game losing streak with a 21-13 victory.) Given that long history, someone at Yale thought it would be fun to produce a program that featured a collection of vintage programs from past years. This is what it »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: The Pinnacle of Human Nature Denialism

Featured image It’s Monday, so it can only mean one thing: time to dive once again into the leading academic journals, this week NORA: The Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research. Now for a while it has been clear that at the heart of the postmodern left is the denial of human nature, because once you admit that human beings have a nature, you have to admit to limits on human »

On Free Speech at the University of Minnesota: Not So Fast!

Featured image I wrote yesterday about a controversy at the University of Minnesota, where college Republicans (along with dozens of other organizations) painted panels on a bridge at the university. One said “Trump/Pence 2016,” while another said “Build the Wall.” These panels were defaced by liberals who wrote “Stop white supremacy” across them. I praised University President Eric Kaler for releasing a statement on the episode that upheld free speech, but got »

Three Cheers for Cultural Appropriation

Featured image From academia, another disgusting story: Opera Aida canceled amid race row over “cultural appropriation.” [A] student production of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera [Aida] was cancelled amid a row over suggestions of “cultural appropriation”. A theatre at the University of Bristol said yesterday it had cancelled all showings after a revolt by students. Universities should rarely do anything in response to “revolting” students even when they are numerous, as I suspect these »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Skorting the Truth?

Featured image Back when the abomination of “Casual Friday” was degrading the professional workplace, I remember there was lively debate about whether “skorts” (would you believe there’s no Wikipedia entry for “skorts”?) met the guidelines for acceptable casual wear. Never fear, academia is here, 20 years late, offering this gem of analysis appearing in the journal Cultural Studies: Sporting a Skort: The Biopolitics of Materiality M. Katie Flanagan, Florida State University Abstract This »

Elect This Kid Class President King

Featured image Most of our colleges and universities seem determined to make fools of themselves, thereby eroding their support from taxpayers, in the case of public schools, and alumni and parents, in the case of private ones. One common cause of unintended hilarity is the insistence on allowing each student to choose his or her pronoun. No, wait–I shouldn’t say “his” or “her.” In today’s world, that is assuming way too much. »

Academic Absurdity of the Week, Pumpkin Spice Edition

Featured image I am preparing a full-scale, end-of-the-world beat down on the abomination of pumpkin spice for an upcoming Week in Pictures, but I can’t help but wonder whether I’ve been trumped (heh) by this recent “scholarly” article in the journal GeoHumanities: The Perilous Whiteness of Pumpkins Lisa Jordan Powell & Elizabeth S.D. Engelhardt Abstract This article examines the symbolic whiteness associated with pumpkins in the contemporary United States. Starbucks’ pumpkin spice »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Crash at 4-Way Intersection Reported

Featured image If you follow the leading edge of post-modern silliness in higher education, you’ll be familiar with the term of art designed to paper over the inherent conflicts between the different benighted leftist identity groups—”intersectionality.” It’s an attempt to sweep everything under a field theory that reduces to: It’s all the fault of patriarchal White dudes. When stripped of the jargon, however, much of the time “intersectionality” is the ideological equivalent »

Dr. Pavlov, Call Your Office

Featured image I don’t much keep up with the newest currents in contemporary psychology, so I have no idea whether Ivan Pavlov’s famous stimulus-response hypothesis is still considered valid. But I thought it worth a test, and I can indeed report that it still works like a charm with leftists—especially leftist readers of Power Line. I was quite certain when I posted the item here two weeks ago announcing that I would »

Diversity on the Rocks

Featured image Is it still okay to make Jewish mother jokes? If not, Woody Allen is in deep trouble, and most of his old films will need to be banned. There are two answers to this question. The diversity mongers of the identity politics left will say that it is permissible to make jokes about people who enjoy positions of power (white males, and of course Jews, because of all the old »

Academic Woo-Hoo of the Week: Ruining Porn

Featured image Warning: This post can’t achieve a PG-13 MPAA rating even with a heavy use of asterisks. As regular readers know, we have some regulations informal guidelines about content here, but sometimes the news, like the latest junk about Anthony Weiner’s junk, compels testing the outer limits. The whole thing reminds of the scene in Ghostbusters—the classic original, not the unfunny, estrogen-fueled remake—where Dr. Stantz (Dan Ackroyd) objects to Dr. Venkman »

Social Work, Anti-Social Ideology

Featured image Schools and departments of “social work” tend to be the most ideological and politicized at universities today, so when the faculty of a department of social work complains about political correctness, you know things have gone too far. But that’s exactly what has happened at Smith College, as reported a few days ago in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Leaked Faculty Letters Expose Racial Fault Lines at Smith’s Social-Work School »

Addlebrained Academic of the Week: Pharaonic What?

Featured image Of course there’s an academic journal called Violence Against Women (since 1995!), and it offers gems such as this: Pharaonic Circumcision Under Patriarchy and Breast Augmentation Under Phallocentric Capitalism: Similarities and Differences Tamar Diana Wilson, University of Missouri-St. Louis Abstract In this article, the author discusses the similarities and differences between Pharaonic circumcision and reinfibulation and breast augmentation under systems of male dominance and female subordination. Despite the medical problems associated »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Feminist Chemistry?

Featured image Did you know there is an International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry? Neither did I, but of course it exists, for there really is no crazy identity politics “intersection” that doesn’t have its own journal read by dozens. The IJPC recently offered up a two-part article on “Gender in the Substance of Chemistry,” by Agnes Kovacs, who you will be unsurprised to learn is a professor of gender studies at »

Academic Abomination of the Week: Time Traveling Dogs?

Featured image The time-travel trope of so many science fiction stories are hard enough to take, but what do you get when you cross time-travel with feminist theory? You get this, in the journal Cultural Studies: Time Traveling Dogs (and Other Native Feminist Ways to Defy Dislocations) Angie Morrill, University of Oregon Abstract In this article, I analyze a painting by Modoc/Klamath artist Peggy Ball through a Native feminist reading methodology. The »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Sexist Ski Slopes?

Featured image Did you know that skiing is a sexist sport? It turns out that even the ski slopes themselves are sexist! Or something. As usual, it’s hard to make out exactly what’s being said. but you’ll never be able to ski down a steep mogul run again, never mind use fast wax on your totally-phallically skis (and don’t even ask about ski poles I think), without Freud in your head, according »