Scholarship in the Age of Trump

First of all, I think Power Line was the first to report last week on the ridiculous article on the gender aspects of glaciology, but in any case the story spread around very fast, eventually being noted in the Wall Street Journal‘s “Notable and Quotable” space yesterday. I feel like sending the authors of that crazy article a note asking, “How does it feel to be a nationwide laughing stock?”

But next up is this week’s prize for academic argle-bargle, though it comes with an NC-17 rating, plus the caveat that it may be a hoax, since it appears in Social Text, the same postmodern journal that published the Sokal hoax paper on physics back in the late 1990s. But even if this is a hoax, it does rather seem to fit the Age of Trump:

There’s Nothing Revolutionary about a Blowjob

Drucilla Cornell and Stephen D. Seely


The authors of this article attempt to rethink the relationship between queer theory and Marxism, in order to argue for a revolutionary queer politics. First, they challenge the idea, offered most forcefully by queer theorist Lee Edelman, that any politics that hopes and struggles for a different future is inevitably a heteronormative project. To respond to this line of thought, this article offers a different approach to the question of futurity and inheritance through a substantive rereading of Jacques Lacan. At the heart of the authors’ analysis, however, is their claim that we need to rethink the relationship between Foucault and Marx so as to return Foucault to a thinker of revolution in all its complexity. The authors then turn to Foucault’s deeply misunderstood involvement in the Iranian Revolution to argue that Foucault did not endorse a conservative clerical takeover, but rather saw in the mass uprisings, deeply embedded in Shi’ism, a kind of “political spirituality” that is necessary to any rethinking of revolution, but that has been largely lost in Euro-American socialist politics. This political spirituality involves precisely the reconfiguration of “bodies and pleasures” that Foucault famously calls for in The History of Sexuality. Foucault demonstrates, in other words, that a rethinking of sexuality must accompany any thinking of revolution, but that there can be no autonomous “sexual revolution” independent from the struggle against capitalism. The article concludes with a discussion of the relationship between the authors’ interpretation of Foucault and contemporary attempts to rethink queerness within a Marxist critical frame.

No, I’m not going to pop for $15 to get access to the complete article.


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