Academic Farce of the Week: How to Ruin Thin Mints

Some day I’ll have to try to figure out why it is that geography departments became an early hotbed of leftist ideological cant at so many universities, where most of the subject matter and courses no longer have anything to do with . . . geography. At least as that subject has always been understood.

Take in this Ph.D dissertation in geography accepted by the University of California at Santa Barbara:

Smart Cookies: The Gendered Spaces of Labor, Citizenship, and Nationalism in the Girl Scout Cookie Sale

Denise Goerisch


Each year thousands of Girl Scouts sell cookies to friends, family, and neighbors to raise money for their troops and local councils. Lauded as the largest girl-led financial literacy program, the annual Girl Scout cookie sale not only teaches girls important business and leadership skills but also prepares girls for their roles as American women in a neoliberal and capitalist society. Girls learn the importance of ‘giving’ through multiple spaces of the cookie sale. Scouts learn to give and care for others under the veil of market capitalism, neoliberalism, and American nationalism, which seeks to reproduce hegemonic gender roles regarding labor, education, and citizenship. Based on a two-year study on the Girl Scout cookie sale, using qualitative methods and rooted in feminist methodologies, this project seeks to understand how ‘spaces of giving’ emerge in the cookie sale and how these spaces shape social constructions of gender, citizenship, and national identity.

First of all, it takes a special kind of academic fathead to ruin Thin Mints. But we have people up to it.

Second, if the GPS system failed suddenly, anyone think a current Ph.D in geography could help you navigate a boat in the middle of the ocean, or read a map to get un-lost in the mountains?

If you’re a glutton, you can actually download this dissertation for free right here.

(Hat tip: Real Peer Review on Twitter.)