Academic left

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 »

Academic Atrocity of the Week: I Have No Idea. . .

Featured image Even I, steeled as I am in academic absurdity, had to wonder whether this article from Qualitative Inquiry wasn’t a Sokal-style hoax: The A/Un/grammatical Child/hood/s and Writing Nature/Culture Edusemiotic Entangling With Affective Outside Encounters and Sustainability Events to Come Anne B. Reinertsen, Queen Maud University College,Trondheim, Norway Abstract This is about creating new ontologisations of sustainable child/hood/s and/as exceeding forms of contracts between generations through experimenting with bodily affects and »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Alliteration Abuse

Featured image We interrupt the Cleveland Carnival to bring you this week’s academic absurdity, flagged for everyone as usual by the heroic NewRealPeerReview. This week’s winner achieves the triple play of the usual jargon, combined with an attack on meat, mind you, along with a felony violation, Aggravated Alliteration Abuse. From the journal Food and Foodways: Explorations in the History and Culture of Human Nourishment: Meat, Men and Marriage: Models of Masculinity Jeffery »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Talking About Racism Is Racist?

Featured image As the old saying goes, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar (even when it involves Bill Clinton), and sometimes talking about racism is actually about racism. But apparently, for the rarified academic mind, talking about racism is actually . . . racist! At least I think that’s one reading of this week’s absurd abstract, taken from the Journal of Applied Philosophy: On White Ignorance, White Shame, and Other Pitfalls »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Advanced Gibberish

Featured image Okay, so you expect articles from the journal Feminist Theory to be turgid and unreadable, but this article abstract reaches new heights of incomprehensibility: The unruly queer figure’s phallic seductions and the re/production of sexual (in)difference Corie Hammers, Macalester College Abstract This article interrogates a psychoanalytically inflected strain of anti-social queer theory that in privileging refusal and negation, views as paradigmatic of ‘queerness’ the destructive, annihilative aspects in (queer) sex. »

Chronicle of Higher Education Beclowns Itself

Featured image A few days back I reported here on the Chronicle of Higher Education symposium to which I contributed on what a “Trump 101” course syllabus might look like, noting that some of the commenters complained that there was  “Not much diversity in the faculty or the authors of the readings,” and adding that “I’m not sure how much more diverse in ideology you can get than [Harvey] Mansfield and Alan »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Darth Vader Studies [With Comment by John]

Featured image Just when you thought the Star Wars prequels couldn’t get any worse. You knew something like this was out there (“out there” in both senses of the term) in the journal Communication, Culture, and Critique: Darth Vader Made Me Do It! Anakin Skywalker’s Avoidance of Responsibility and the Gray Areas of Hegemonic Masculinity in the Star Wars Universe Joshua Atkinson (Bowling Green State University) and Bernadette Calafell (University of Denver) In this essay, we »

Academic Brownshirts March Again

Featured image Over the last few weeks we’ve offered various academic absurdities, drawn from the fine work of the Twitter account of RealPeerReview. The anonymous person behind this Twitter account posted abstracts from publicly available academic journals. And that was precisely the problem: the mere exposure of the mediocre and politicized “scholarship” that emerges from the campus dens of identity politics is all that is necessary for the wider world to see »

Trump and Brexit Explained in One Poster

Featured image If you want to understand the groundswell of support behind Trump, and the revolt against the European elites represented in things such as the UK’s upcoming “Brexit” referendum, just take in this poster for an upcoming lecture at the University of Edinburgh, where a distinguished Harvard professor will make the case openly for why people like her should have more power over everyone else: Everyone remembers William F. Buckley’s old »