Academic left

Academic Absurdity of the Week: “Designated Unfunniness”?

Featured image I dare you: take in the first sentence of this abstract appearing in the academic journal Comedy Studies (because of course there is such a journal) and just try to keep a straight face: Pretty funny: Manifesting a normatively sexy female comic body Hannah Ballou Abstract This article proposes that the heteronormatively sexy female comic body can derive or enhance its comic proposal via the incongruity of its designated unfunniness. Performances »

Is Slavery Bad? That All Depends

Featured image From Rod Dreher comes the story of a left-wing Georgetown University professor who defends slavery. This may sound shocking, but it shouldn’t be surprising. Liberal academics around the world teach that only American (and perhaps some Caribbean and South American) slavery was really bad. Other slavery–in particular, African and Islamic slavery–was really a pretty good deal for the slaves. These liberal sophists argue that under Anglo-American law, there was no »

Washington Post Humiliates Robert Reich

Featured image Robert Reich went on TV a few nights back and suggested that he’d “heard rumors” that the Berkeley rioters were actually thugs paid by Milo Yiannopoulos himself to cause the scene and set the stage for a Trump plot to defund American universities. He doubled down with this preposterous thesis in Newsweek: Which raises the possibility that Yiannopoulos and Brietbart were in cahoots with the agitators, in order to lay »

Today and Tomorrow at UC Berkeley (Updated)

Featured image Today is Milo day at UC Berkeley. Yup, Milo Yiannopoulos is speaking tonight for the College Republicans at a sold out event, and the professional left is planning a huge protest this afternoon in an attempt to shut Milo down. There is rain in the forecast, though, so we’ll see whether the left here is a fair-weather left. In any case, barricades are going up near Sproul Plaza, as the »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: It’s All About Us

Featured image Courtesy of the good people at Real Peer Review, herewith a dissertation from the University of Utah that you won’t want to miss: “Wow, that bitch is crazy!”: Exploring gendered performances in leisure spaces surrounding reality television by Spencer, Callie Cross, Ph.D., THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, 2014, 202 pages Abstract In Reality Bites Back, Jennifer L. Pozner states, “Women are bitches. Women are stupid. Women are incompetent at work and failures at home. Women »

Video of the Day: How to Shut Down a Silly Protest

Featured image A reader passes along this 18-second video of a bunch of campus chuckleheads offering a protest chant in the library at the University of Washington. And you won’t believe what happens next! (Seriously: that’s not just click bait doggerel for once.) »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Fat Tail Distribution of Nonsense

Featured image The idea of refraining from “fat shaming” is not entirely without sense, and obesity as a public health problem is likewise not trivial or unserious. What is unserious is what happens to obesity when postmodern academics get their hands on it. There is—wait for it—naturally an academic journal called Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society. Now, if you thought ‘interdisciplinary” meant that the journal included a »

Power Line’s Inauguration Liberal Beclowning Contest

Featured image There’s an old joke about what happens when you cross a postmodernist academic and the Godfather: You get an offer you can’t understand. To which might be added today, who needs Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, about to close after 146 years, when you’ve got liberals beclowning themselves nonstop for free. (I suspect there’s a connection between these two things.) This comes to mind with today’s story about »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Pronoun Riot

Featured image So this morning I thought I’d have a little fun on Twitter with this mirthful suggestion: Well guess what? Teachers’ union urges schools to host drag shows, use ‘comrade’ instead of ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ EDMONTON, Alberta, November 4, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Parental rights advocates are up in arms over a just released Alberta teachers’ union resource to help teachers discuss LGBTQ issues that recommends staging “drag” shows in schools, referring to students »

White Hot Rage of the Left [With Pedagogical Comment by John]

Featured image I’ve been reading a lot of Roger Scruton’s work lately (long article to come), and was struck by one of his typically acute summary statements about today’s academic left in Fools, Frauds, and Firebrands, which is that “they make fury respectable, and gobbledegook the mark of academic success.” This came to mind in coming across this story in The Telegraph today: University students demand philosophers such as Plato and Kant are removed »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Night at the Museum

Featured image Ben Stiller, call your agent! We’ve found the perfect idea for a script for Night at the Museum 4. From the Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research: Museums and Feminist Matters: Considerations of a Feminist Museology Arndís Bergsdóttir, University of Iceland Abstract This article speaks to a post-human feminist museology. It argues that considerations of a feminist museology would benefit from engaging with post-human feminist dialogues currently unfolding within »

Scenes From a Graduate School: Did God Survive the Election?

Featured image The Associated Press recounts the difficulty that graduate students at Emory are experiencing with “healing” after last month’s election. The scene is a course in Faith and Politics; you may wonder why anyone cares about the students’ feelings. The AP explains: The discord in Room 322 of the Rollins Building reflected the state of the nation as Trump nears inauguration. Well, not exactly: the AP notes that the entire graduate »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: You Want Fries with That Gender?

Featured image The European Journal of Gender Studies has published an unintentionally hilarious article about whether gender studies majors can get jobs. The study examined gender studies majors in Sweden, and reported the happy statistic that 97 percent of recent gender studies majors in Sweden were gainfully employed. Still, the article dwells on the fact that the whole employment thing represents a “dilemma” for genderists. Let’s start with the abstract: Gender jobs: »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Sheep Dip Anyone?

Featured image I know many readers think the items posted in this weekly feature are hoaxes, but sadly they are all too real. I hope this conference abstract from the Danish National Research Database inspires lots of imitators: Becoming Sheep, Becoming Animals Charlotte Grum, Connie Svabo, Roskilde University Abstract As a part of a 2015 group exhibition exploring the history and local myths of a woman living in a Danish heath landscape »

Cry Havoc!

Featured image When you point out on a college campus, as I have done on a couple of occasions (also here), that it ought to be regarded as a scandal that at many liberal arts colleges you can now take a degree in English without having to take a single class in Shakespeare, it often provokes a heated reaction. But then you come across a story like the one below, and you find a »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Entropic Marxist-Freudianism??

Featured image Okay, this one may well be the all time winner, from the Journal of the Theoretical Humanities. This “abstract” really lives up to (or down to?) its label: Losing Steam After Marx and Freud: on entropy as the horizon of the community to come Karyn Ball, University of Alberta Abstract: This essay undertakes a critique of recent trends in affect theory from the standpoint of the “human motor”: a trope that »

“Post-Truth” Media Should Look in the Mirror

Featured image It was Nietzsche who remarked that “there are no facts, only interpretation.” From this small beginning the entire contemporary world of “post-modernism” was born, reaching its apogee in the swamp of the Frankfurt School, Foucault and other nihilist thinkers who argue, among other things, that there is no objective basis for making a “truth claim”—and that even language itself it a purely subjective exercise in exerting power. “Non-foundationalism” is all »