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

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 examined the interactions of Anakin Skywalker during moral dilemmas in the Star Wars narrative in order to demonstrate the avoidance of responsibility as a characteristic of hegemonic masculinity. Past research on sexual harassment has demonstrated a “gray area” that shields sexual harassers from responsibility. We explored how such a gray area functions as a characteristic of hegemonic masculinity by shielding one male, Anakin Skywalker, from responsibility for his immoral and often violent actions. Through our investigation, we found three themes integral for the construction of a gray area that helped Anakin avoid responsibility: phantom altruism, a clone-like will, and the guise of the Sith.

And it can be yours from Wiley for a mere $36.

Hat tip as usual to the great people of NewRealPeerReview on Twitter.

JOHN adds: The fact that I keep coming back to is that someone is paying for this bulls***. These professors probably earn just as much as a welder! That is an outrage. The money comes from some combination of taxpayers (mostly), alumni donors and students’ parents. Would anyone–taxpayer, student, you name it–choose to spend his or her own money on such craven nonsense? I don’t think so. This is a classic instance of how the Left sustains itself by living off Other People’s Money, when the majority have no clue what is going on.