Academic left

Free Speech on Campus? Not For Conservatives

Featured image You know that, of course. This story is just a drop of water in the ocean of officially-sanctioned campus leftism. At the University of Minnesota, there is a bridge over the Mississippi River on Washington Avenue. (BTW, it won’t be long before Minnesota Democrats demand that Washington Avenue be given a new name.) University organizations of all types are given space on the bridge to post signs. The college Republicans »

When You’ve Lost the Socialists. . .

Featured image A lot of people inside the Grievance Studies camp are lashing back at what’s being called “Sokal Hoax Two”—the faux articles submitted and accepted for publication in various supposedly “premier” academic cultural studies journals. Even though the three hoaxsters, like physicist Alan Sokal who punked Social Text 20 years ago, consider themselves liberal or progressive, leftists are saying their hoax articles are a right-wing provocation, or something. But it turns »

Political Correctness, and Other White Elitist Fads

Featured image I’ve seen several people observe that the anti-Kavanaugh protests of the last few weeks in Washington were demographically embarrassing for the race-conscious left. I recall seeing one comment that the composition of the protests was “whiter than a suburban country club.” But a new study just out from a British study group makes the left’s fanaticism about diversity and political correctness look even worse. The study, Hidden Tribes: A Study of »

PPS on the Grievance Studies Scandal

Featured image Steve had a “Postscript on the grievance studies scandal” about the project of three liberal academics placing nonsense articles in leading postmodernist/identity politics journals. I have a PPS. Jillian Kay Melchior’s updated Wall Street Journal story on the hoax is accessible here on Outline. The Australian site Quillette has posted “The Grievance Studies Scandal: Five Academics Respond.” It is prefaced by this editor’s note: For the past year scholars James »

Where Do We Go From Here?

Featured image Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the Supreme Court tomorrow, bringing to a close one of the most appalling episodes in American political history. The Democrats’ shameful treatment of Robert Bork in 1987 has distorted our politics–not just the politics of the Supreme Court–for the last 30 years. But the slanders the Democratic Party directed toward Kavanaugh were, if anything, even more disgraceful. We will feel their impact for many »

Postscript on the Grievance Studies Scandal

Featured image In my item here Wednesday about the project of three liberal academics to place nonsense articles in leading postmodernist/identity politics journals, I argued: I can tell you that if you get a couple of drinks, or a shot of truth serum, into the average liberal professor in any traditional academic social science department, and some of the humanities, he will confess that he knows the “scholarship” of the various politicized »

My Critical ‘Critical Theory’ Theory

Featured image Everyone is buzzing today about the revelation of the three academics—James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian—who placed over a dozen complete hoax articles with various premier “cultural studies” or “identity studies” academic journals. All three professors, it should be noted, consider themselves left of center, as does Alan Sokal, the New York University physicist who placed a hoax article about the supposed subjectivity of physics in the postmodernist journal »

Attention Yale Alums: Last Chance to Help Jamie Kirchick

Featured image If you had a chance to listen to Episode 77 of the Power Line Show back in June, you may recall that I spoke with journalist Jamie Kirchick, who is running a petition campaign to get on the ballot for election to the Yale Corporation board as the Alumni Fellow. Jamie is disgusted with the drift of Yale toward abject political correctness, and wants to raise a ruckus on the »

That’s Zinncredible

Featured image I’ve never bothered to declaim on the fundamental shoddiness of Howard Zinn’s scandalously popular People’s History of the United States, in part because I simply can’t get through it. Every few pages offer egregious errors of fact and even more tendentious interpretations of facts, such that it is impossible to take seriously. I’d rather read Heidegger or grind my teeth. Certainly an honest history of America (or any country) should »

Thinking About Liberal Presumptions

Featured image Thesis: the presumption of liberalism that they have absolute truth and perfect justice on their side—that theirs is “the side of history”—makes liberals intellectually lazy and unable to think seriously. Now for the evidence. Start with a sympathetic liberal witness, Geoffrey Kabaservice, author of a well-written if not entirely persuasive book a few years back entitled Rule or Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party. »

Annals of Economic Illiteracy

Featured image I have in previous posts lamented the trend of economics to turn increasingly toward a math-exclusive quantitative discipline, in which old fashioned instruction in political economy—the kind of inquiry that produced economists like Hayek, Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, etc—was being abandoned to our detriment. On top of which, I have also noted, many economics departments in major universities are moving to reclassify themselves as STEM fields, for a variety of reasons—the »

Today’s Academic Cowardice Report

Featured image It seems that we can report on some academic outrage on a daily basis now. Today’s story comes from Canada, where Acadia University professor Rick Mehta has been fired. Mehta was a tenured professor of psychology, and since firing a tenured professor is not supposed to be easy, what could have been his offense? Acadia University is not commenting, and won’t release any of the documents produced in an investigation »

Academic Cowardice Reaches a New Low

Featured image About ten days ago I reported on the academic study of “sudden onset gender dysphoria” that Brown University repudiated after it came under fire from the transgender community, but today I learn of a new suppression of academic expression that makes Brown’s cowardice look tame. The good people at Quillette have the whole story (and if you’re not reading Quillette you should be). The story is long and detailed and »

Cowardice at Brown University

Featured image Two weeks ago Professor Lisa Littman of Brown University’s department of behaviorial and social sciences published an article on PLoS One, a well-regarded, peer-reviewed online scientific journal, with the title “Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports.” Before proceeding, know that Prof. Littman is not tenured at Brown. I’ll post immediately below the abstract and conclusion (and the whole study is available—no paywall or »

Back to School

Featured image So I arrive on campus for the first day of classes yesterday, where I am greeted with this large poster: Just how to think about this? That it is good to see that college folk still have a sense of humor? A “Civil War on the Left” entry? Or opportunity for satire: “In this corner, Tweedledee; in that corner, Tweedledum.” Maybe an occasion to modify an old joke: “The problem »

College Suicide Hotline Update

Featured image I wrote here a couple weeks ago about my running theme (perhaps to be a book) about what I’m calling the “suicide of the university,” where declining enrollment and the excessive politicization of the social sciences and humanities will destroy many smaller and second-tier schools. My most recent post looked at politically-correct Earlham College, which is slowly eating its endowment to keep going, along with the data of the plummeting »

Help Wanted: Professor of Resistance Studies

Featured image I know the job market is red hot right now, and even universities are hiring! Several job ads for tenure-track positions in political science have come my way, and they all have one thing in common. I’ll bet you can guess what it is. Let’s start with the University of Minnesota/Twin Cities department of political science, which wants to hire two professors in political theory. The wanted ad begins with »