Academic Heroes

These are my academic heroes. Especially the untenured Portland State guy.


35 thoughts on “Academic Heroes”

  1. “Perhaps the most egregious of the hoax papers, ‘Rape Culture and Queer Performativity at Urban Dog Parks,’ argued that observation at Portland dog parks revealed that dog owners were less likely to interfere when male dogs nonconsensually humped female dogs than other male dogs. This, the paper concluded, was evidence of rape culture. ”

    :-))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) I very rarely laugh out loud at something I read on the Internet, but this article did it!


      1. “The hoax worked because this kind of thing does get published”

        And that’s just as unsustainable as giving people tenure who publish one article and only teach intro courses that haven’t changed in 20 years…


        1. // And that’s just as unsustainable as giving people tenure who publish one article and only teach intro courses that haven’t changed in 20 years…

          Reminded me of my mother seriously commenting it’s a pity we are not in FSU-reality since there it would be easy to publish academically, to know what to say …

          Turns out modern publishing in some disciplines is not that different.


  2. \ Another replicated a chapter from Hitler’s Mein Kampf and it was accepted into the feminist social work journal Affilia.

    I was shocked at this. Pity they didn’t write what this “paper” said.

    Ok, I checked and turned out they did heavy rewriting:

    // The trolling trio wondered, they write, if a journal might even “publish a feminist rewrite of a chapter from Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.” Yup. “Our Struggle Is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism” was accepted by the feminist social-work journal Affilia.


  3. My favorite of this kind of paper (I don’t think it was by these people) was an ‘auto-ethnography’ about the death of one of her cats (and the author listed the dead cat, and another cat, as co-authors……)


  4. It’s kind of horrible I still haven’t understood what intersectionality is despite writing the paper supposedly doing this kind of analysis now. It’s all looks either self-evident or undefined to me.


    1. Make a pouty facial expression and repeat the word privilege 40 times. That’s intersectionality.

      You are trying to find substance to something that doesn’t have it.


    1. “First: They wrote 20 hoax papers. All 20 got rejected by all the top journals. Just seven managed to get published by obscure, less reputable journals. Sounds like academia is doing a fine job weeding out hoaxes from real research.”

      So, they wrote 20 papers, which were all rejected, but 7 were published. I do not get it.


        1. Some of the papers were “retired” when the hoax was exposed so we don’t know how many would have been accepted out of the 20.


          1. Good point. That even one got accepted is a disgrace.

            We all know this will be used by people who are not friendly to the Humanities. But that isn’t a good reason to pretend this didn’t happen.


          2. And there is a lot of b.s. / fake / questionable research in science. Some is to justify corporate decisions. There’s a huge replicability problem. And some of the work I see going on around me is b.s. or seems like it. Project: does availability of condoms encourage use of same? Project: do positive environments support better mental health?


            1. My favorite, which I was supposed to approve for funding as committee chair, was trying to prove that fat people are stupid. Because if they weren’t stupid, they wouldn’t be fat. And I was like, hmm, good to know I’m an idiot. Are you sure you want a stupid fattie like me to approve your funding? I did approve it because I didn’t want to look vindictive. Needless to say, the study was not successful.


          3. Those that did get in somewhere relied on reviewers’ belief in writer’s good faith, and/or not having resources to check fake data. That is: this kind of hoax depends on traditions of trust and good faith. The hoaxers could have pulled the same thing in various fields — including supply-side economics, or as a friend pointed out “disruption” literature in business, cognitive science, evolutionary psychology, and more. But they wanted to go after fields that they call “grievance studies.” I do wish they dad done it on “disruption.”


            1. So the article on dog rape would be OK if only it was based on real data, indeed collected in the city parks of Portland, OR?


              1. If you claim to have done an empirical study, it is assumed that you really have and that your data isn’t falsified. I thought you were an academic?


              2. The question is, if the data were real, would it be acceptable to draw this kind of conclusions based on it. It’s not the fact of the humping dogs that’s disturbing. It’s the interpretation.


              3. Out of field it’s easy to laugh at other peoples’ topics. Claws in Beowulf, etc., so many topics seem ridiculous or incongruous.


      1. If that’s a fine job, in this person’s mind, I’d hate to see what they consider a piss-poor job. I just saw on FB somebody in Bolivia ridiculing it. Half the world is laughing at this fine job.


      2. I do. A lot of work that is written with a straight face is also bad / research flawed / etc. And it is a fact that things get in that sound fashionable, and don’t get in that sound controversial.

        These people’s actual goal is to discredit the fields they are sneering at as “grievance studies” but I really think you could do this in science as well.

        Peer review isn’t air tight. But I thought this was why there were articles that challenged other articles, and also book reviews that were critical. And so on.


  5. Wouldn’t it have been better if they’d published reasoned critiques of accepted theory? Or has it become completely impossible to publish reasonable disagreements from the orthodoxy?

    On the other hand, how does one reasonably critique a theory that’s ‘not even wrong’?


    1. I’m reading the huge Handbook of Feminist Theory. It’s 1,200 pages. It takes apart a lot of this fake theory in a very powerful way. I’m loving it. But honestly, who but a fanatic like me would read and annotate the whole thing?

      There is a saying in Russian, “don’t take your garbage out of the house.” It means that you shouldn’t let others know you have in-house problems. And that’s what these folks did. I admire them because I don’t have the career-ending courage to do something like this.


  6. \ I’m reading the huge Handbook of Feminist Theory.

    May I ask for the title? Is it about globalization too? I have already ordered the 2nd edition you recommended, is there something more about globalization?


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