Thursday, February 01, 2007

Group of 88 for Credit

Yesterday, Duke students started their fourth week of spring-term classes. Offerings include a cross-listed course in women’s studies and cultural anthropology entitledHook-Up Culture at Duke.” An appropriate subtitle would be “Group of 88 for Credit.”

Instructor Anne Allison’s syllabus avoided the following sentence from the course’s previously published catalog description: “Finally, what does the lacrosse scandal tell us about power, difference, and raced, classed, gendered and sexed normativity in the US?” But while a casual observer might have speculated that, as the case collapsed, Allison dropped discussion of it from her course, in fact, she just evaded mention of it from her syllabus description. The class builds up to a discussion of the lacrosse case that rationalizes the Group of 88’s worldview.

The syllabus asks, “What is ‘hook-up culture,’” and “is the concept useful for framing gendered, raced, classed, and sexualized experiences at Duke?” (The implicit answer, of course, is “yes.”) The goal of the course? “To understand ‘hooking-up’ at Duke in terms of larger frameworks of race, capitalism/consumerism, class, lifestyle, identity, (hetero)normativity, and power, and 2) to enable students to critically assess both the nature of Duke hook-ups and the institutional setting of Duke itself.

Multiple references to “campus culture” in the syllabus seem to be no accident. Allison, a Group of 88 member, also co-chairs the gender subcommittee of the Campus Culture Initiative. She joined the recently-resigned Karla Holloway and Peter Wood to provide extreme anti-lacrosse professors (who comprise, at most, 20 percent of the arts and sciences faculty, and probably less) with a majority of the CCI subgroup chairs.

The class requires six ethnographic research projects (interviews and observations, in this case of other Duke students). The syllabus lacks mention of approval from Duke’s Institutional Review Board, a prerequisite for any academic class involving college students observing and interviewing other college students. Nor does the syllabus include a class devoted to teaching students how to conform to often rigorous IRB guidelines. I e-mailed Allison to ask what sort of IRB clearance the students had received; she did not reply.

Given the firestorm of criticism that has greeted the Group of 88’s seeming disregard for their own institution’s students, Allison might have been expected to show extraordinary care in how the course framed the lacrosse case. Instead, she took the opposite approach, creating an almost laughably one-sided syllabus.

The course’s run-up to the lacrosse case occurs over a four-week period, beginning with students spending a week on Peggy Sanday’s Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood, and Privilege on Campus. The book’s deskjacket leaves no doubt of its theme: “how all-male groups such as fraternities or athletic teams may create a rape culture where behavior occurs that few individuals acting alone would perpetrate.

Allison moves on to a week’s examination of sports and alcohol,” with the featured reading a book by William Bowen—whose previous involvement in the lacrosse affair, the Bowen-Chambers report, was appropriately described by Stuart Taylor as an attempt to “slime the lacrosse players in a report . . . that is a parody of race-obsessed political correctness.”

The course then detours to an essay by Allison’s fellow Group of 88 member, Kathy Rudy, who explores how “many urban-based gay male, lesbian, and mixed-gender sexually radical communities (such as leather and/or S/M groups) portray their interests in sexuality in terms of arousal and pleasure . . . Thus, as long as people consent, a wide variety of practices can be authorized in this system, such as non-monogamy, group sex, anonymous sex, domination, etc.,” leading to “the possibility that these sex groups are in the process of providing for us a new kind of ethic based not on individuality, but rather based on community.” Keep this rhetoric in mind when viewing the latest denunciation of the lacrosse players for hiring strippers from Group of 88 member Alex Rosenberg.

Having framed a discussion of the lacrosse case through texts on fraternity gang rape, the relationship between college sports and alcohol, and the superiority of radical sex alternatives, Allison moves on to the course’s examination of the lacrosse case.

For an overview of the events of the evening, what of Ed Bradley’s painstaking review of events of the evening? Allison instead assigns Buzz Bissinger’s Vanity Fair article, most notable for Kim Roberts suggesting that a rape could very well have occurred, despite both her police statement and her more recent assertions.

For a case overview, Allison chooses Peter Boyer’s New Yorker article, which portrays Brodhead as quoting Shakespeare while his campus burned, but treats as wholly credible the anti-lacrosse faculty extremists—Peter Wood and Orin Starn—with no balancing voice from, say, Jim Coleman.

To top off this one-sided litany, Allison assigns Janet Reitman’s Rolling Stone screed, most notable as an example of how journalists can abuse anonymous sources. Though the course assigns other Duke committee reports (such as the university’s report on the status of women), Allison wants nothing to do with the Coleman Committee report, which noted that the lacrosse players drank too much, but also were good students, with good records of community service, and who treated both their colleagues and Duke staff with respect.

The broader cultural context through which Allison has students interpret the lacrosse players’ behavior? Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons and the movie Rules of Attraction, whose plotline imdb.com describes as, “The incredibly spoiled and overprivileged students of Camden College are a backdrop for an unusual love triangle between a drug dealer, a virgin and a bisexual classmate.”

Students are asked to complete six assignments involving interviewing and observing other Duke students. The results seem pre-ordained. Specific assignments include students exploring “the links between eroticism, capital, bodies, and identities at Duke.” Or examining sports teams “in terms of the themes covered so far in class: gender, race, heteronormativity, power, everyday culture, image and prestige of Duke. Consider the role of alcohol in these cultures.” And finally, “Hook-up Culture at Duke” has students look into the role “played by race, gender, sexual preference, class, drinking, and selective groups (Greeks, sports teams).” Students are told to “do participant observation”—though it’s not quite clear how.

If students’ results fails to conform to Allison’s preconceptions, it appears they’re out of luck. I wouldn’t recommend any of the students examining what the lacrosse scandal might tell us about, to use Allison’s language, “the institutional setting of Duke itself”—a campus culture where 88 faculty members could sign a rush-to-judgment public denunciation and then, months later and after the underlying case has imploded, issue a “clarifying” statement proclaiming that they’d do it all over again.

It would be, of course, almost inconceivable that these assignments would yield a positive portrayal of Duke students. IRB guidelines require human subjects to give their “informed consent” in any interview or observation. Why would any Duke student allow himself or herself to be used by Allison to use class time to salvage the Group of 88’s tarnished reputation?

Hat tip: C.O.

243 comments:

1 – 200 of 243   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

If you are a Duke student, alumni, faculty or staff, please sign the following petition to endorse a joint letter published by 19 Economics Professors asking for fairness in the lacrosse case: Concerned Duke Alumni

Duke Parent

GPrestonian said...

Instructor Anne Allison’s syllabus avoided the following sentence from the course’s previously published catalog description...

Curious, what? Good catch, KC.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the whole Lacrosse team can sign up for the class, she can flunk them all at once.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that the course is fully enrolled. Perhaps Duke students aren't right wing bigoted idiots like KC. Perhaps they truly want to explore hook up culture at Duke in order to understand the complexities of sexuality. Perhaps they understand that Anne Allison, an established academic who has an excellent publication record regarding these types of issues, actually has something more to say than some supposed expert on Lyndon Johnson who has become obsessed with his hatred of Duke faculty.

Anonymous said...

Re: Prof. Allison's class

1. I do not recall ever seeing the word "normativity." Does it have an academic meaning?

2. Why would anyone other than a committed extremist take this class? If no students register, would there be any fallout for Prof. Allison?

gk

M. Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M. Simon said...

I know the relationship between sex and capital.

No captal, no sex. At least with the female of the species.

Anonymous said...

The lousy Duke professors deserve criticism, but what about Attorney General Cooper? After a deafening silence while Nifong's lacrosse frame-up was under way, Cooper is now dragging out the ridiculous case, running up the parents' legal bills? Of course, North Carolina citizens will end up paying for Cooper's failure of leadership.

Anonymous said...

So 12:15 believes Professor Johnson is a "right wing bigoted idiot." Actually, the professor is a liberal — an honest one.

Anonymous said...

12:21--liberals usually remain open minded to new ideas. KC is no liberal.

M. Simon said...

12:15AM,

Gut courses are always fully enrolled. Once you know the teacers biases you just feed them back and get an A or B.

Helps the GPA.

Besides. What could be better than interviewing members of the opposite sex about hook up culture? You might just get hooked up.

Heck. For a really good grade (and a good time) interviewing lots of people might work out really well. An incentive plan if you will.

Anonymous said...

The course looks like more fun than basket weaving or basic math. What is the number of students enrolled in the class? Is it like 5 or 105? I don't think most of us or Ann Coulter see KC as right wing. No one hates Duke faculty - just amazed at the poor credential and actions of the 88.

Joe Bingham said...

12:15,

Or perhaps Duke attracts the sort of students interested in this tripe.

Obviously, I can't know that, but the possibility's having been raised by this class's enrollment makes Duke unattractive.

JAB

Anonymous said...

simon--you have quite a fantasy life.

Stephen A. said...

I am not sure that IRB approval is necessary for undergraduate research projects where interviews and observations are being conducted, unless the Professor plans to submit work for publication using the data gathered by the students. Other than that, its just a term paper or field report exercise.

Anonymous said...

Anne Allison's PHD from Chicago is impressive - certainly in light of the one who has three degrees from Howard University in DC.

Anonymous said...

12:15 AM

The bone of contention is that Allison and the G88 are, against all rational behavior, still supporting and condoning the false accusations that are railroading 3 innocent men. Most civilized people have a problem with this. That they go forth like the emperor without clothes only asks for editorial. It is clear that they would have preferred Nifong NOT getting caught, and 3 innocent men going to prison.

Anonymous said...

12:15 You're quite sensitive...you can easily avoid KC's assessment of Duke faculty : STOP READING THIS BLOG!

M. Simon said...

12:27AM,

I went to college once. I know what I'd do under the circumstances. You think at least the men in the class couldn't see the advantages?

Biology doesn't change much over time. Terms of endearment are usually specific to time and place.

When I was a youth Marxism was in. Revolt of the masses. You spouted that stuff the women came running. Evidently it still helps these days. Throw in some care and concern for the opressed masses and you get a reputation for kindness and sensitivity. Just what every budding totolitarian needs.

Anonymous said...

What parents provide their children with money to take courses such as this? What donors want to contribute money to an institution that pretends this kind of garbage is appropriate for a college course?

When I was in school, we called this kind of course Basket Weaving 101(actually, we did not have any courses this absurd, but some were almost as easy as this one seems to be). The course provided an easy "A" if you just fed the professor's ego a little. Fortunately for many of us, there was no room in the engineering curriculum for this kind of nonsense.

Texas Professor

Anonymous said...

12:33--present some evidence; don't just follow some fool's misinterpretation. Did Allison ever say that the 3 men were guilty? Did she ever defend Nifong's behavior?

12:34--No.

KC Johnson said...

To the 12.29:

This matter varies from campus to campus, of course, but in the last couple of years CUNY IRB's have gotten much more aggressive.

Anonymous said...

Simon--again, nice fantasies, but I doubt it was so easy for you.

Texas Professor--how do you know this course is an easy A?

Anonymous said...

12:39 AM

It's called Plausible Deniability. Look it up. Yes, and yes. They are published, public statements. The litmus test is what is understood by the average reader. If Nifong got away with railroading the 3 men, the G88 would have been telling the world, "See, we told you so."

Don't just follow some fool's plausible deniability.

Anonymous said...

This is so stupid, even I am at a loss.

RP

Anonymous said...

I still don't know what "normativity" is. Is it contagious?
gk

Anonymous said...

12:43--You obviously do not know what evidence means. Please look it up. Provide some sort of citation to an actual statement of Allison's. If you cannot, then you are simply presenting a false argument.

Anonymous said...

What did I miss? Anne Allison has written on Japaneese men going to the bars, etc. She is also big into children's toys in Japan. Conplexity of Sexuality - Who Knew?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Dr A, you forgot about the field trip to San Francisco!

I went to college a long time ago, and far far away. We knew how to make friends. What has happened to life?
MTU'76

Anonymous said...

For a good time - enroll in hook up culture.

Anonymous said...

12:48--She is an anthropologist who has studied sexuality in Japan--yes, men going to bars, dancing, and engaging in sexual activity. And, yes, while that does not mean that what she says is always correct, it does mean she has some qualification to teach about sexuality. Does KC have similar qualifications?

Anonymous said...

Has Anne Allison come here tonight to defend herself?

M. Simon said...

12:41PM,

Texas Prof and I both spotted the Basket Weaving 101 aspect.

What makes you so certain there is any real rigor?

For instance are they doing any statistics and cross correlations on the data gathered? Are they looking at a meaningful sample size? Ar they testing question wording to find out how it influences answers? Or is this just away for each paricipant to go out and propagandise the student body by asking the "right" questions?

BTW let me just say that my fantasy life and real life have provided me with ample rewards. Surpisingly these days being nerdy helps. Who knew?

Anonymous said...

0012:36am---You must have been a regular Ira Einhorn.
I mean, without the Unicorn Killer title.

Anonymous said...

12:49--Nice reference to San Francisco. That's no more homophobic than KC's reference to Kathy Rudy (and some here claim that KC is a liberal-ha, very funny; we're all fooled by that).

Anonymous said...

OK, I know a little about cultural anthropology--Ruth Benedict and such. From a conceptual standpoint one could teach a very interesting course on undergraduate mating habits. I understand this. Where Allison goes off the deep end is her Angry Studies jargon filter.

If I were her department chair, I'd tell her that the idea is OK, but she screwed up the execution.

re ACADEMIC INCOMPETENCE

Where Allison really dropped the ball is forcing her BS scrims down the students' throats. The whole point of ethnographic data collection is not to bring your own belief system to the social experiment.

In my world, this is cause for termination.

Polanski

Anonymous said...


12:48--She is an anthropologist who has studied sexuality in Japan--yes, men going to bars, dancing, and engaging in sexual activity. And, yes, while that does not mean that what she says is always correct, it does mean she has some qualification to teach about sexuality. Does KC have similar qualifications?


Heh, I've been to one of those places in Japan as well. Does that mean I am qualified?

Does she even speak or read Japanese?

Anonymous said...

12:15 AM, 12:21 AM, 12:31 AM, etc.

Dr. A, is that you?

MP

Anonymous said...

12:41 AM says, "Texas Professor--how do you know this course is an easy A?"

That question is a joke, isn't it?
Allison is a Cultural Anthropology professor. In other words, she teaches hoked-up silliness. Ethnographic research is to real research as playing with blocks is to constructing the first transcontinental railroad.

Anonymous said...

--12:16am--- "No romance without finance."

M. Simon said...

12:54AM,

Well no. Actually.

I believe having a partner who is less than enthusiastic is not much fun.

Doesn't hook up culture teach anything useful?

Anonymous said...

IRB approval is necessary for undergraduate honor's theses, which aren't published.

The anti-liberal nature of the course is fully evident in the description of the piece by Rudy in which individualism is disparaged in favor of "community oriented" sexuality. But of course it is only certain communities -- those conventionally regarded as "deviant" -- that are valorized. What the class really seems to be about is moralizing against "hetero-normality" -- and Duke student culture in general. Blue-nosed scoldings from an advocate of S&M: should we be lauging, crying, or screaming?

Allison's scholarly work has been based on "participant observation" in hostess clubs in Japan and examining the meaning of certain aspects of Japanese popular culture. She wrote a Marxist analysis of Japanese lunch boxes. She has produced clever writings, but nothing that would have been considered serious scholarship in earlier generation.

I think that one of her graduate students might have done her "participant observation" in an NC strip club.

Anti-Leftist Liberal

ps, Dear 12:49, If you are going to participate, please write something of substance. Insults waste our time.

Anonymous said...

Polanski--I'm glad you've read one anthropologist. If you think that Allison should be terminated for attempting to understand sexuality at Duke, for vigorously exploring such issues by interviewing students, for reading various ethnographies related to their subject, then perhaps it is you who have the problem. And perhaps you need a refresher course in anthropological method.

12:56--I don't know, but maybe it would be a good idea for you to read her books and then think about her qualifications.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....

The 88 gangsters think they are bullet proof and Brodhead has given them no reason to think they are not. So why should they obey the rules of the institution.

So I suspect leaving out the one sentence was not any worry about fairness, but rather just a personal opinion that the sylabus would be better without that one statement.

M. Simon said...

12:56AM,

I did my reasearch in the Philipines. Perhaps it is time to start a department. We could co-instruct a course. Bar Girls of the Pacific: A Comparison of Cultures.

Field studies required.

LOL

Anonymous said...

1:02 a.m.

You don't know if you are her?

Amazing!

Anonymous said...

What's Ms Allison look like? Is she cute, or could she be a cover girl for MAD magazine?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but these professors are just pathetic. How would they survive in a world without the self perpetuating existence known as elite academia? People who actually produce and contribute pay money for their children to learn this junk. Frightening.

Anonymous said...

12:46 AM
Ahh, you need evidence. Is this because they are innocent until proven guilty? Now evidence is important. Let's go back to the 3 men who are looking at 30 years of false imprisonment for a crime that never occurred. No one of the G88 are facing prison. So please, let us focus now on applying this evidence to freeing the the innocent men from threat of false imprisonment. Next, we can move on to sillier things like the G88 statement.

"If you cannot, then you are simply presenting a false argument."

No, I simply had not, until now, supplied you with a citation or statement.

Anonymous said...

1:07--you still have not presented any evidence. Nifong, is that you?

Anonymous said...

http://tinyurl.com/2zy4sr

Anonymous said...

1:02

I've read more than 1 anthropologist. Why don't you identify yourself, Ann?

Please be so kind as to explain to me the "scientific" basis of such ethnographic data, if one is programmed to view Duke's hookup culture throgh Allison's pomp telescope.

Answer the question.

Polanski

M. Simon said...

1:00AM,

"community oriented" sexuality

Who brings the Mazola?

BTW RP nice to see you on this thread.

Earl Hofert said...

She's a schnook. If parents want to pay for their kids to hear such trumpery, hey, it's their decision.

Anonymous said...

--1:10am and 1:11am----Two jack-off freaks.

Anonymous said...

RP,

You've made numerous statements decrying the absence of a full Japan Studies Dept. at Duke. Now here tonight you have a real, live professor of Japanese studies and you're criticizing her?

Anonymous said...

Polanski--You haven't asked a question. You have simply pontificated. I still don't understand why you have judged Allison's ethnographic data as fabricated. Please provide some evidence; anything.

Simon--have fun with your Mazola.

Anonymous said...

Simon

Nice to see you. I can post late at night. Working on a great project with a brilliant director (tell you who he is in email).

This chick Allison is committing the #1 sin of ethnography: prejudicing the researchers.

I'd like to give her a pearl necklace--she'd probably wear it.

Polanski

M. Simon said...

1:13AM,

I haven't heard such weak arguments since I frequented Usenet.

Certainly an educated and refined person such as yourself could evidence finer sensiblities in their mode of self expression.

Anonymous said...

1:09 AM

My apologies. I have no evidence to support your beliefs. Beyond your beliefs you will find, without looking too far, much to counter them. Exhibit A, DIW. Exhibit B, MSM's getting down to the business of journalism. Exhibit C, the criminal proceedings. The spirit of the statements were very clear. The wording was intentionally nebulous. It is plausibly deniable.

Anonymous said...

The students should learn about deviant behavior as part of a psychology class. This class seems to celebrate deviants. Do you get extra credit if your HIV status changes? Besides, all the students already know about this stuff from TV.

I live in San Francisco and the rainbows are un-efing believable.
MTU'76

hman said...

Re: Hook Up Culture
My mom worked as a professional chemist in the second WW. She was in her mid 20s, she worked in a plant right next to a huge Army base. And she was definitely a babe.
Come we now to the "market-place" of relationships. She knew, for sure, that things were in her favor. She used to say that she never even consider dating any guy below a Captain. (My Dad was a Major.)
Anyway, fast forward about 60 years to a scene where educated, empowered young women are dime-a-dozen and the sort of guy they really want is comparatively rare. Voila!! Hook up culture.
Idiot feminists are willfully blind. Since they are terminally addicted to the victim-role, the fact that young women have generally made all the rules of courtship according to what perceived their needs to be is simply off their radar screens.
Clueless they are. Probably hopeless. But NOT MY PROBLEM.

Joe T. said...

Students should take that class just to fill up the seats and laugh out loud at her. (I know- impractical. But it would be perfect).

Anonymous said...

What does KC look like? Does anyone have a pic?

Anonymous said...

12:55

I would argue that KC is liberal, the 88/87 are – well, closed minded bigots. To quote Wikipedia (yeah, I know): liberalism "seeks a society characterized by freedom of thought for individuals, limitations on power (especially of government and religion), the rule of law, the free exchange of ideas, a market economy that supports free private enterprise, and a transparent system of government in which the rights of all citizens are protected."

That's what DIW has been about from the beginning. The 88/87, by contrast, seem radically opposed to freedom of thought and the rule of law, and all that other good stuff as well.

And what's with all this heteronormativenssphobia?

Anonymous said...

In what major way does the Group of 88's behavior toward the LAX students differ from the definition of fraternity rape? And why is not fraternity sex (to the extent it happens) or fraternity hookups not 'community oriented sex'?

Seriously, do the people who write such tripe think at all? The evidence to date is obviously not.

Anonymous said...

Good evening Ms. Allison --at least I assume the 12:15 & 12:39 a.m. et seq. is you.

Do you regret signing the statement thanking the protesters who banged pots and drums outside Mr Evans' house like a bunch of fascists, exhibited posters saying "Castrate" and "Confess," chanted that the lacrosse team were rapists, and distributed the vigilante posters? Wasn't that tantamount to saying that the accused were guilty? If you didn't mean to thank those particular protesters, will you condemn them for attacking your students?

M. Simon said...

hman 1:19AM,

Spot on.

Human nature trumps almost everything. I don't know if you saw this the last time I posted it, but it discusses exactly what you have observed in terms of cultural norms and the M/F ratio.

Demographics

Anonymous said...

1:18--apology accepted. Just please be more careful in the future, and do not accuse Allison or anybody else of something that they clearly did not do. As your exhibits show, (A) KC is a joke; (B) the mainstream media is weak, confused, and fails to prove anything; and (C) the criminal case against the 3 accused appears to be extremely weak.

Anonymous said...

And why is not fraternity sex (to the extent it happens) or fraternity hookups not 'community oriented sex'?

======================

Easy.

Because its hetero-normative.

Anonymous said...

I really need to sign up for Dr. Allison's class to get a snappy comeback in case my spouse ever catches on to my involvement in "community oriented" sexuality.

Anonymous said...

1:25 AM

Please note, these are observations and opinions, still legal in the US, at the moment. Oh, the apology was only for not being able to prop up your beliefs. Plausible Deniability.

Anonymous said...

1:29--You should not be sued for your opinions. I assume you agree that Allison should not be sued for hers. I apologize for misunderstanding your apology.

Anonymous said...

1:25 AM

In the case of C), is that a bad thing? Do you think the lacrosse players should be punished anyway?

Anonymous said...

12:52 Are we talking about the same KC Johnson of Harvard and Chicago? He deleted me yesterday, but I still have great respect for him. His writing are excellent and people can understand what he writes.

Joe T. said...

If Allison wants to preface the course with proclaiming the disgrace of the "castrate" potbangers, the 88, the criminal behavior of Nifong, the New Black Panthers, the vigilante posters, and the apparent innocence of the accused (and maybe even the subsequent lawsuits, etc), before getting into her theories of mob-mentality-alternate-sexuality-phallic-mega-bang-bang-better whatever discussions, I'd have no problem with the course.

Anonymous said...

Polanski,

Did you really call Allison a "chick"? Sorry, I didn't realize that you were eight years old. You have quite strong skills for someone of your age. You just need to gain more experience in debating serious issues related to sexuality, race, and gender. There are plenty of excellent works that you can read.

Anonymous said...

1:31 AM
Absolutely! One's opinion is protected, unlike a public statement like the G88's, which had consequences far beyond an individuals' opinion. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

1:33--Does KC have expertise in the anthropology, sociology, or history of sexuality?

M. Simon said...

1:35AM,

Allison is that you?

Anonymous said...

1:36--so if a group, like an economics department, issues a collective statement, that is not protected speech?

Joe T. said...

Just because the Allison "chick" or any other academic chick or dude sat down and wrote something with a mad face doesn't mean it's a serious study.

Anonymous said...

You know what? We can laugh at this crap, but these parents who are working hard to fund this stuff have to be furious.

Any documentary filmmakers at Duke?

Break out your video cameras and document the class. Then interview respected anthropologists. Get their take on the scientific deficiencies of the class.

I think 1 of the reasons baby boomers are still dominating the cultural scene is the lousy education students are getting today.

Her class gives the bird to the scientific method.

What's more pathetoic: Allison thinks her race/gender crap concoction IS SCIENTIFIC.

Polanski

Anonymous said...

1:40 AM Anon

I am not a lawyer, and perhaps someone else on this board can help you. As for my opinion, the G88 and the Economics department collective statements are not opinions, but collective statements. Are they protected by the First Amendment? Ask a lawyer. There are precedents that preclude some speech, whether for individuals or groups, like yelling "Fire" in a movie theater. The G88 statement was intentionally vague, allowing for plausible deniability.

Anonymous said...

1:35

Here's a book for you--1 of those overlooked masterpieces that was a major influence on Oscar Wilde.

A Rebours, by JK Huysmans.

What books on this topic will you have me read? I'm open-minded.

Polanski

Anonymous said...

1:33

Does KC have expertise in the anthropology, sociology, or history of sexuality?

And how is ANY of that relevant to reporting on the unjust prosecution of 3 Duke lacrosse students? How do ANY of those credentials justify the outrageous and disgracefull statements of the 88/87 Duke faculty members?

Anonymous said...

Polanski,

There are a couple of things that may be important to you when you hand in your next paper to your teacher. First, just because you don't like something, you should avoid calling it "crap". Instead, try to use evidence to back up your statement (for example, directly critique the theory behind the syllabus). Second, if you are going to use a phrase like "scientific method," you should define it.

Bastiat Bastion said...

At 12:29 AM,
Stephen A. said...

"I am not sure that IRB approval is necessary for undergraduate research projects where interviews and observations are being conducted, unless the Professor plans to submit work for publication using the data gathered by the students. Other than that, its just a term paper or field report exercise."


Yep, the IRB requirements still apply:

From Duke's Human Subjects IRB at URL:

http://www.ors.duke.edu/irb/fundamentals/index.html

"Please note that the regulations also apply to student researchers. (Student advisors also must become certified, even if they are not actively participating in the research.)"

Anonymous said...

1:48: Are you serious?

Does KC have expertise in the anthropology, sociology, or history of sexuality?

And how is ANY of that relevant to reporting on the unjust prosecution of 3 Duke lacrosse students? How do ANY of those credentials justify the outrageous and disgracefull statements of the 88/87 Duke faculty members?

KC is commenting on the validity of course in cultural anthropology; one focused on sexuality. His expertise in these fields would qualify him to do so.

Anonymous said...

1:48 AM
Please define "Define" and please define all your words so we can further delay any intelligent discussion. Oh, can you dig up a definition for "Intelligent"? That would be just great.

Anonymous said...

1:51

It all depends on what is, is

it's a copulative verb, meaning equal, you dumb cracker

Polanski

hman said...

To 1:33
Dr.(Professor) K.C. Johnson is manifestly one of the most gifted and hard-working historians of our age.
And it really does not matter whether you get this or not.
A number of serious, widely studied books are on the way. There will be a list of heroes and of idiots published. Millions of people will pay close attention.
All that remains is to chose sides.

Anonymous said...

1:51

My background is in chemistry, not biology.
But like Polanksi, I can recognize feces without the requisite academic credentials.

Anonymous said...

Polanski,

I would suggest beginning with Gayle Rubin's essay, "The Traffic in Women." You may also want to read Anne Stoler's book, Carnal Knowledge. These are two that are important to anthropologies of sexuality, but I am not sure you can handle them if you are not mature enough to get beyond calling people "chicks" and "crackers." You may want to ask your teacher for easier books.

M. Simon said...

1:48AM,

How about making judgements based on evidence and falsifiable theories?

Anonymous said...

To suggest that one needs any kind of academic qualification to comment on a course about the "Hook-Up Culture at Duke" is absolutely f*@&#+g ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Some people can sound so important and cold and insulting. Oh well, if you showed up at my work I'd save your life any way. sigh.
MTU'76

Anonymous said...

1:53 AM
My 1:51 AM was meant for 1:48 AM #3. Nice verb, is.

Anonymous said...

12:15

When you say that KC is a "right wing bigoted idiot" do you draw that conclusion from your expertise in anthropology or sociology, or does it come from your expertise in the history of sexuality?

Anonymous said...

1:05 - Thanks for a good laugh.

M. Simon said...

1:48AM,

In the real world telling your boss what he wants is crap can be very useful.

I did that to my boss on an occasion. Finally I gave in. Did it the way the boss asked. Charged extra for it too.

Guess what. The boss came around and decided that what he wanted was crap. Unfortunately such feed back is not common in academia.

"If everyone is thinking alike then somebody isn't thinking." --George S. Patton

Joe T. said...

If we can't call it "crap", can I call it "retarded"? And did anybody else besides me get the image of Allison as that psychiatrist played by Linda Lavin in a Sopranos episode? But perhaps I misjudge her. As I said, if she prefaces her course with that disclaimer, then...let her have a self-indulgent ball.

Anonymous said...

1:19 Look for a bow tie - It is either KC or Joe Cheshire(commonly known as the bearded one).

Bastiat Bastion said...

I stand corrected. I should have been more careful. The Human Subjects IRB requirements refer to student researchers. Alas, ethnographies, especially of the sort described in Dr. A's course, surely do not rate being called research. So the students are not researchers, but what? ... kids wasting their parents' money?

A Pokeman researcher? gimme a break!

Cedarford said...

I assume the IRB is such that students are free to decline an interview.

Thus:

Hi! Can I talk to you a moment? I'm doing a class project on hookup culture and the situation with the Lacrosse Team.

Sounds interesting. What do you want to know?

Well, it would be helpful if you were on the team or know someone who is

I scrimmage with the guys, know a few from my dorm and my girlfriend...wait a minute. Whose class is this for?

Professor Allison's class in....

Wait a second. (pulls card of names out of wallet) Oh, shes with the Group of 88..

And that is relevant to...

'Fraid so, I won't take a class from one of them and have no interest in an interview that could be used to harm Duke students because their race, gender, and class is hated.

But. but..

Bye, there!

Anonymous said...

Professor Allison, for extra credit can I research hook-up culture on other campuses?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Cedarford! Lovely!
MTU'76

Anonymous said...

You american are funny :) I guess it does not take much to make a course. A course about a continuing court case no less, wow. What a country you guys have.

Well why stop at one court case, I don't think Duke is trying hard enough. For sure someone can squeeze in a course say "Academic Violence and Dogma and at Duke university"

This course would study how dogma can be used to negatively affect the perception of a comminity toward a group of individial and openly promote sexual violence toward that same group.

The courses would go somethign like this:


How groups of proffesor can influence local polics. reading Durham-in-Wonderland. Liestopper.

Creating hostile enviroment for student and grade retalliation
Redings:
Group 88 statement
Group 87 Statement
Curtis vs Dowd


Study the use of pot, castrate signs, and other methods as means of persecution, intimidation and propagation of Dogma

Compare the similarities between group of 88, 87, protesters advocating sexual violence (i.e castrate signs) and Black panters.

I would take a course like that :)

Earl Hofert said...

Please, ladies and non-ladies, do not refer to Dr. Allison as a "chick." It is disrespectful, and inaccurate, since what fiftyish woman really qualifies as a "chick" anyway?

Anonymous said...

Why not chick? Isn't privilege white men meant to be disrispecful? Ok, I admit its much longer and does not roll off the tongue.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, 2:46, for your satirical course syllabus. It actually has far more substance than Professor Allison's "Hook-up Culture" and the readings are more thought-provoking.

Anonymous said...

Here's a chance for the Potbangers and the Group of 88 to have another demonstration - or maybe even a Listening Statement. From the N&O:

Durham police searching for suspect

From Staff Reports, N&O, Jan 31, 2007

DURHAM - A woman said she was kidnapped and raped early today, and police are looking for the suspect.

A 46-year-old woman told police she was walking on Mallard Avenue just after midnight when a man approached and asked for a light. As she lit his cigarette, he grabbed her and dragged her inside an abandoned house in the 800 block of Mallard Avenue, the woman said.

The man tied an electrical cord around her throat, hit her several times and threatened her with a knife before raping her, the woman told police.

The man fled when he heard police sirens. Police were in the area responding to a breaking and entering call.

The man is described as being in his 40s, 6 feet tall with a muscular build. He was bald and wearing a brown ski jacket and black pants.

http://www.newsobserver.com/141/story/538189.html

For extra credit, what is missing from the suspect's description?

Anonymous said...

Race. How much credit do I get?

Anonymous said...

average penis length?

Anonymous said...

Hey now, we can't expect the media to report the suspect's race, can we? I mean, if the guy is black, then reporting that fact might perpetuate racial stereotypes of black men as rapists, right? We all know that ain't PC.

Anonymous said...

Instead of Angry Studies, let's call for Friendly Studies at Duke.

As opposed to the race/class/gender triumverate, let's propose sxeeing the world through talent/personality/idiosyncrasy

Those are better criteria for her researchers than race and gender.

What a concept!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm sure we'll see a potbanging march arranged by Sam Hummel and Ubuntu for that latest Durham rape ( a real one, probably, this time). Just like they protested violence against women by marching at NCCU for that murder, right? (Then again, maybe Hummel is too busy trying to hide his assets to think about marching these days).

Anonymous said...

12:15. We know who you are.

Anonymous said...

THe course is pure ideology, which begs the question: why does Duke hire such people? It is architect of its own misfortune. Having given these ideologists a respectable and comfortable home, they are then attacked and villified for being nothing more than a white male dominated structure of oppression. Once again, in these postings, Duke gets off too lightly.

Anonymous said...

If I were at Duke, I'd be "impersonating" a student of the "Hook-up Culture" and interviewing every babe on campus - I'd buy her a few drinks and plop a roll of c-notes on the table, of course - lol

Anonymous said...

I notice in her faculty pic she tries to look like a 12 year old miniskirted cheerleader. What is that about?

Anonymous said...

kc johnson and bill anderson write a lot of bad things about the group of 88 because;

1.they are right wing(especially Anderson)

2.some of the group of 88 actually threaten the Duke 3 because they have drawn attention to the fact that the Lax team was not universally beloved on campus and had a poor reputation.

3.In KC johnson's case especially, he targets the G 88 because the Duke 3 families hae instructed him to do so as they think it will help the eventual civil case they will make againist Duke; KC's unrelenting attack againist Brodhead is for similar reasons

4.Both professors work in academic siberia compared with the professors from Duke, which is a world class almost IVY league institution. Despite thier continual ridicule of the subjects taught by the G88, these guys know in thier heart of hearts that the G88 professors are stars in theri field and are in the upper echelon of academia while Johnson and Anderson are at the equivalent of Podunk University--Johnson is from some 3rd tier in the Bronx and Anderson is from Frostburg U--not even in the ball park. Howard, one of the schools they ridicule, has a higher academic standard that their schools. How do I know? Ask these professors if their schools have a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa--and you will find out they do not but Howard does and has had Phi Beta Kappa there for decades! Phi Beta Kappa is the highest honor society in the US and a certain standard has to be met to even get a chapter. Just so you know, some of the state schools here with thousands of students have applied and failed to get Phi beta Kappa(in fact, I think UNC-CH is the only state school in NC so honored).


A lot of what Anderson and Johnson write about the professors at Duke is full of professional jealousy, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

I find it amusing that members of the 88 now read K.C.'s work and post here, attempting to defend themselves repeatedly by suggesting that K.C., and Bill are merely right wing, jealous of the 88, or acting upon orders from lacrosse families.

Not one of you can defend your mediocrity, your intellectual laziness, and your wildly inconsistent standards for those fluent in your fellow travelling folkways versus everyone else.

Your cover is blown. Now you get some of the attention your stupidity so richly warrants. My wife and I and many others who hold degrees from Duke would like to see many of you sent packing. You do not deserve a place on Duke faculty and perhaps some of you won't have such a place for much longer. sic semper tyrannis

bill anderson said...

It's interesting that the course is fully enrolled. Perhaps Duke students aren't right wing bigoted idiots like KC. Perhaps they truly want to explore hook up culture at Duke in order to understand the complexities of sexuality. Perhaps they understand that Anne Allison, an established academic who has an excellent publication record regarding these types of issues, actually has something more to say than some supposed expert on Lyndon Johnson who has become obsessed with his hatred of Duke faculty.

12:15 AM

12:21--liberals usually remain open minded to new ideas. KC is no liberal.

12:23 AM


This is one more example of how the hard left not only tries to make us believe fantasies (the "immaculate rape" and other such nonsense), but also politicizes everything. As one who has studies marxism and its effect on the current academic scene, let me say that the course offering being discussed is just part of the corruption.

First, the course seems to try to make the lacrosse party seem like a political rally of the Nazi bund. Get over it Anne Allison; it was a party just like the many parties students have.

Second, the course itself is one in which there really is no rigor. It is full of the marxist tripe complete with articles that have an incomplete assessment of the events at hand ("there could have been a rape" -- give me a break).

And then calling KC a "right wing idiot" because he recognizes this course as further proof of the rot that has occurred at places like Duke further tells me that the hard left is the naked emperor. And something tells me those comments came from a Duke faculty troll. Truly pathetic.

Anonymous said...

"Almost Ivy" ? Used to be almost Ivy.

gs said...

I've taken this type of classes from these types of prof in college.

It's an easy "A". You know what "B.S." the prof wants to hear and say and write it. You are really being graded on your acceptance of the premise and not your actual work.

I bet a lot of people take it to offset hard classes that require a lot of study, allowing more time for the real classes.

Mike said...

Read the synopsis of the class "Hook-up Culture". What a load of BS. As my wife said, "go to a party"! Angry Studies has gotten completely out of control.
Mike

Anonymous said...

Ya know if I didn't know better I'd say it was the full moon! Good God, don't some of the crazies ever sleep?

Quick - the sun is rising. Gotta go.......

Anonymous said...

12:21 How about posting links to articles/publications of Ms. Allison's work. For that matter, I couldn't find any of the professors work is posted on their web sites. It may be of interest to read some of the published material of these professionals. I find it disturbing that there is very little transparency in what is being taught in some of these courses.

Also, most would agree that Liberal and Marxist are not the same.

Anonymous said...

12:41 It's probably is a very difficult class if you're white, male, and don't a wear Chairman Mao hat.

bill anderson said...

Part of the irony here is that the hard left today pretty much is about promoting political violence and he Sexual Revolution. Since there can no standards for truth, all that is left is raw force exerted by the state, and marxists worship the state. Consequently, we see them always supporting violent political regimes.

As for the Sexual Revolution, they are in a quandary. The marxists were the ones (beginning with Lenin) that promoted free, hook-up sex, but they have believed that sex can be understood only in a political context.

However, much of the sex in the modern hook-up culture is gratuitous and does not require any deep personal relations, and the wrong people are participating. Sex outside the political context is anathema to the Anne Allisons of the world, so what they do is to make up a new narrative: Hook-up culture is one more capitalist plot to bamboozle the working classes.

Of course, rape falls into that as well. Yolanda Carrington's recent screed in a Marxist publication says that rape is a capitalist tool, so any attempt to say that the three accused Duke lacrosse players did not commit rape is wrong, since the lacrosse players represent the capitalists classes, and capitalism depends upon rape for its existence.

Yes, that is loony thinking, but it is part of the "party line." People like Allison and her cultural anthropology mates are so out of touch with reality that it is not funny. Having a degree from Chicago or Duke or anywhere else does not prove one has touch with reality. As one poster so aptly put it, in classes like this, all one does is to put down the same marxist slogans that the prof gives students, and it is an easy "A."

Anonymous said...

12:52 That is the point...regarding qualification to teach sexuality. Uh, most everyone is qualified.

Anonymous said...

People like Anne Allison have no place at a credible university.

Allison lacks serious scholarship, and her courses, from those who have been through them, are nothing more than politial idealogy, diatribes and propaganda.

Duke must clean house, and should begin by dismissing Allison now.

Kimberly Swygert said...

some of the group of 88 actually threaten the Duke 3 because they have drawn attention to the fact that the Lax team was not universally beloved on campus and had a poor reputation.some of the group of 88 actually threaten the Duke 3 because they have drawn attention to the fact that the Lax team was not universally beloved on campus and had a poor reputation.

Wow, 6:45 (anonymous - aren't you a brave one!), you mean that's all the public statements and demonstrations were about? You mean all that blather about castration and rapists confessing and the horrible culture of racism and rape at Duke and the rushing to judgment about a serious criminal investigation were just the Group of 88's way of saying to the LAX team, "You are not universally beloved" ? Really?

Why, I guess we've all just been overreacting then. We just haven't learned how to interpret the brilliant and eloquent statements of our Ivy-League betters. How silly KC - and the tens of thousands of readers and hundreds of blogs linking to him - must feel.

Anonymous said...

1:29 One should not yell fire in a crowded theatre.

Anonymous said...

KC:

Was there any particular Duke president or department chair who recommended or hired members of the G88?

In other words, is there some person or persons on whom we alumni can pin the blame for this corruption of the Duke faculty?

Anonymous said...

As a Jewish Muslim Scientologist who also practices Wicca, I am relieved that the Duke Student body, which is overflowing with racists and sexual predators, limits their bigotry to only three categories:

Race, Sex and Gender.

Thank for the Group of 88 for pointing out that their prevalent hatred and assaults does not include those of different religions.

Anonymous said...

1:44 We all fund this crap through subsidized, unsubsidized federal loans, grants, and ...donations to the University.

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson: "The results [of Allison's Hook-up course] seem pre-ordained"?

Hah, such restraint! Yeah, and Nifong seems to have run into a tiny snag prosecuting his little rape case; and the reputation of Duke, Durham, and North Carolina seems to be going through a bit of a rough patch right now.

Honestly, though, anyone who signs up for a course that uses the term "heteronormativity" deserves exactly whatever s/he gets.

Anonymous said...

6:45 How does a male have penis envy in an environment (Duke) that's clearly hostile to men?

Joe T. said...

I don't think of KC as a professor, anyway. I think of him as a cop. (And a great one).

Anonymous said...

"Yolanda Carrington's recent screed in a Marxist publication says that rape is a capitalist tool, so any attempt to say that the three accused Duke lacrosse players did not commit rape is wrong, since the lacrosse players represent the capitalists classes, and capitalism depends upon rape for its existence."

But who commits the rapes? Most often? In most any geographic or demographic mapping? More up is down and down is up.

Anonymous said...

Where does Duke get these freaky professors? Has Brod appointed the search committeeto hire these types of non-teachers? Brod is a disaster. I am sad for my alma mater.
BTW, the new strategy of the denial syndromers allied to Brod:Only conservatives are angry, liberals are fine with Brod and his trampling by silence of the 3 players' con law rights. Brod was known as one of the most PC deans at Yale, the mecca of PC.

Kilgore said...

Thank you KC for an excellent post that shows how an "Angry Studies" course can be used for propaganda and attempt to funnel people into a particular way of thinking. In essence we are seeing an advertising device that has no place on a college campus. It seems to attempt to indoctrinate rather than seeking the truth.

Defund angry studies. Duke could truly set an example for the rest of the country if they could defund this hateful nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Good grief! These people are NUTS! I don't think I have ever witnessed such an absence of common sense. I can think of no other way to describe this. I watch with amusement.

Anonymous said...

KC,
I realized this course existed, but wasn't aware of the exact content. It is sickening that this garbage is being taught on Duke's campus. While my child isn't taking any of the 88 professors' classes, her tuition money still indirectly helps to fund this professor. I am amazed that Duke has hired such people to teach this outrageous nonsense. The university will be receiving a complaint today regarding the content of this class.
On a side note, have these people honestly convinced themselves that only "right wingers" don't approve of their "work"? If so, they are sadly mistaken.
Keep up the great work, KC. I appreciate all your work regarding this case.

Anonymous said...

Bill Anderson,

This is a Marxist course? I thought I read somewhere that you were an economist, but I must be mistaken. I didn't read anything about capitalism in the course; in fact, little about the economy at all. Strange how you would misrepresent this. Perhaps another poster is correct and it has to do with simple jealousy, but I tend to think you are serious about your views. It's just that you read everything within your narrow prism of hatred for Marxism, and thus you forget that there may be some courses that make interesting points, and deal with arguments about things like sex, but have little to do with that pernicious ideology.

And for the many others who want Allison fired, you seem to think that academic freedom only applies to those who teach about Lyndon Johnson...many odd people on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Real Hook Up Culture -

My plumber told me there are three simple rules to hooking up ..."cold's on the right, hot's on the left, and shit don't run up hill"

Anonymous said...

You interview with my company, you bring your transcript. This course and others like it puts the resumes of all who wasted their time on such tripe into the round file.
If a student watsed their time in college, they will waste my time.

Anonymous said...

wasted

bill anderson said...

To 8:33

This is from Allison's own course description:

“To understand ‘hooking-up’ at Duke in terms of larger frameworks of race, capitalism/consumerism, class, lifestyle, identity, (hetero)normativity, and power, and 2) to enable students to critically assess both the nature of Duke hook-ups and the institutional setting of Duke itself.”

Modern Marxism has moved well beyond economics and the marxian believe in the labor theory of value (which, incidentally, was taken from David Ricardo, who would not have been a marxist). At its heart, Marxism falls under the umbrella of "Historicism" and the academic strain of Institutionalism that came from Thorstein Veblen at the turn of the 20th Century also falls into that genre.

Historicists -- and especially the "Post-Modernists" -- believe that there is no such thing as truth, and that all private institutions are creations of the power classes (white capitalists) to oppress the working classes, the poor, people of color, and, of course, women. Thus, one can only "understand" the "hook-up" culture from that point of view, since "hook-up" also is a plot by capitalists (read Yolanda -- she provides a crude but at least semi-honest view of the marxist perspective).

Marxists also believe that there is only power -- and they want it. That is one reason why they were so adamant that Reade, Collin, and David be railroaded to rape convictions. They want to demonstrate that they have the "power" to imprison "rapists" -- even if they did not actually rape anyone. Under the "rules" that the Marxists lay down, they still are rapists, since they represent the oppressive white, capitalists classes and play lacrosse. I am not making this up, people.

Lest we think this is harmless thinking, I would remind you of the millions of corpses that lie in the lands of the former Soviet Union, China, North Korea, and even Cuba. (Yes, I know, Castro was a mass-murderer, but the Cuban government provides "free" education to the masses, so who cares if he committed mass murder, since he is a Great Humanitarian.)

The G88 is a deadly serious group. They would have been quite happy to see the three railroaded into prison, and you can see their allies on the outside making the same demands. You see, Marxists are permitted to create their own reality, and you and I must be part of it, as long as people like the G88 can be in charge and set the rules.

For all of the talk of intellectual rigor, many of their classes are simple tools of crude propaganda, or they do like Karla Holloway and master the art of trying to sound intelligent without saying anything that actually is intelligent.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is what these professors want the social culture of their students to be?

Should we go back to separate male and female colleges? Should there be supervised dances where men fill out dance cards?

Anonymous said...

Allison, Anne
"Anne Allison (Ph.D. University of Chicago 1986) researches the ways in which desire seeps into, reconfirms, or reimagines socio-economic relations in various contexts in postwar Japan. Her first book, Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club (University of Chicago Press 1994) is a study of the Japanese corporate practice of entertaining white collar, male workers in the sexualized atmosphere of hostess clubs. Her second book, Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan (Westview-HarperCollins 1996, re-released by University of California Press 2000) examines the intersection of motherhood, productivity, and mass-produced fantasies in contemporary Japan through essays on lunch-boxes, comics, censorship, and stories of mother-son incest. Her current research is on the recent popularization of Japanese children’s goods on the global marketplace and how its trends in cuteness, character merchandise, and high-tech play pals are remaking Japan’s place in today’s world of millennial capitalism."

http://web3.cas.usf.edu/main/depts
/ANT/cma/CMAnthropologists.htm

Anonymous said...

http://fds.duke.edu/db/aas/CA
/faculty/anne.allison

Anne Allison, Professor and Chair

Office Location: 107 Social Sciences
Office Phone: +1 919 681 6257
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Spring 2007): (typical courses)

* Womenst 150.04, Selected topics Synopsis

French sci 2231, MW 10:05 AM-11:20 AM

* Culanth 180.04, Current issues (topics) Synopsis

French sci 2231, MW 10:05 AM-11:20 AM

Office Hours:

Tuesdays 1:00-3:00PM

Education:

* Ph.D. University of Chicago 1986
* M.A. University of Chicago 1979
* B.A. University of Illinois, Chicago Circle 1975

Specialties:

Globalization of Culture
Mass Culture
Asia
Sexuality
Popular Culture
Political Economy
Gender
Culture Theory
Marxism

Anonymous said...

It's courses like Allison's that make college such an interesting, but not necessarily transforming experience.

Several decades ago I took a number of anthropology courses at Duke along with courses in my economics major. I got A in every one of my anthro courses and I think I finished econ with less than a B average.

One of my most satisfying papers in anthro was "Drinking in a social fraternity" of which I had ample first hand experience. I may have written the paper the same year our fraternity had a stripper perform. Needless so say the paper was worth an A if not an A+ since I'm sure I conformed the paper to the expectations of the reader.

I enjoyed my anthro courses but never gave a thought to the syllabi, as these were filler courses that had little bearing on my objective to pursue a career in business.

Therefore, I wouldn't associate much credence to the thought process that occured before the students signed up for Allison's course.

70's Duke grad

Vivian Thomas said...

8:54am

Dude, you have no idea how bad it is. Kids are almost required to take these sorts of classes at a liberal arts college. It is almost like you have to take one worthless class for every 3-4 that they allow you to take. Through scheduling and distribution requirements, I was basically forced to take a course called "Gender and American Sport" my senior year at Duke. There is just no way to play away from these propaganda pieces unless you apply to graduate in 3 years or are in the engineering school.

Judith said...

In 1970, I started Duke as a freshman. The book that all incoming freshman were assigned to read was "Soul on Ice" by Eldridge Cleaver, published in 1968.

In this book, he tells how he decided to become a rapist of white women, as "an insurrectional act. It delighted me that I was defying and trampling upon the white man’s law, upon his system of values, and that I was defiling his women . . . I felt that I was getting revenge."

As a young sexually inexperienced woman, the idea that any man would rape me just for revenge against some set of "values" terrified me. That Duke had chosen this particular book as "required reading" bothers me to this day.

Anonymous said...

http://web.mit.edu/cms/Events/mit2/
Abstracts/AnneAllison.pdf.

The Cultural Politics of Pokemon Capitalism
Anne Allison

Excerpt:

"Pikachu iconizes this weave of relationality taken, I will argue, to the age of
millennial postmodernity."

Words fail me.

Anonymous said...

May I suggest that any truly objective and scientifically sensitive scholar would welcome , no encourage and request , that research into the reality of such courses be initiated forthwith .

Allison et al need to call for reseach papers viz the cultural anthropology of couses such as this .

But the results of such studies would only reveal what is so self evident in the pedestrian but experienced opinions of those on this thread who have gone to University and know the subject from the inside .

I suspect that the sensitivity manifest by some of the more defensive commentators ( who seem to be invested in this genre in some way ) reveals a less than courageous willingness to have such research take place .

But what would they have to fear if what they defend is scholastically valid and valuable ? What they fear is why they respond with the unsubstantiated political smear of Johnson . They fear that their work would be revealled likewise .

It NEVER fails that your emotionally ( fear) based responses reveal your sub conscious weaknesses .

Anonymous said...

The best way to discredit the G88 is simply to expose them. In their owns words. No need to add any commentary.
As Duke alumni and parents are exposed to more of G88's work, the outrage will grow

M. Simon said...

8:33AM,

I hate to inform you of this, but you have failed Reading. Perhaps a redo of First Grade is in order.

Course description:

“To understand ‘hooking-up’ at Duke in terms of larger frameworks of race, capitalism/consumerism, class, lifestyle, identity, (hetero)normativity, and power, and 2) to enable students to critically assess both the nature of Duke hook-ups and the institutional setting of Duke itself.”

Anonymous said...

KC is a historian. As such, his field subsumes all of the cultural anamolies such as Marxist Anthropology. History is a meta-anthropology, and studies the people who are behind the various philosophies and actions of various eras.

If only feminists had the authority to decide what comprised valid feminist studies, we might get entire academic departments full of mutually supporting incompetents flaunting research and credentials credited only within their self-congratulatory world. Oh, wait... did I just miss something?

Anonymous said...

Why don't we wait and see whether this course is a true academic exercise, with free and open discussion, or simply more indoctrination?

It would be an interesting study in Ethical Anthropology [now there's a field waiting to be discovered] to correlate student grades with gender, philosophy, and expressed opinions.

Anonymous said...

9:16--All courses should go through a rigorous review process.

Anderson--So let me get this straight. First you are arguing that any "Post-Modernist" is a Marxist, despite the fact that most postmodernists critique Marxism. Second, you are arguing that a postmodern critique of truth means that they are actually saying capitalists hold all the power? Wow!Third, you are arguing that Marxists say the lacrosse players are rapists because they are rich white men? Can you cite a single case of any self-declared Marxist saying this (or Allison or the so-called G88)? Finally, you are saying that the G88 are responsible for creating a society that will massacre people like in the Soviet Union? And we are supposed to believe this because, of course you are "not making this up, people." Fascinating...

Anonymous said...

6:27 AM
"I notice in her faculty pic she tries to look like a 12 year old miniskirted cheerleader. What is that about?"

Just a normal 'chick pic'.

Anonymous said...

Simon--the correction is much appreciated. The course does mention capitalism, even if focuses on other things. Now, how does this make it Marxist? And how does KC's expertise in Lyndon Johnson make him qualified to judge this course?

Anonymous said...

What I would like to see is a course on mob psychology. You could fill up the course with mostly one case. That would be the case of a self-annointed priesthood who is convinced of its moral and intellectual superiority yet is easily stampeded like a herd of stupid cattle ("farm animals"). Parallels will be drawn to Salem of the 1690's, Germany of the 1930's, and those townspeople running around with torches and pitchforks (did they bang pots also?) in horror movies.

The 88 should run their courses as they see fit and have some fun while they can. They already look like fools and their situation won't improve with time. Identity politics with its emphasis on victimization and congenital anger is a sinking ship. The ersatz and shoddy "scholarship" of these "great minds" will be the flotsam that's left when their ship goes under.

Anonymous said...

If you had told me that any academic institution, let alone one as prestigious as Duke, would actually teach a course on the party scene at their college, I would never have believed it.

One of the purposes of education is to get people to look beyond the concerns of their daily life. A frightening trend in today's academia is towards courses that students "can relate to". It is undoubtebly lots of fun for students to take a class that is discussing the sexual scene at their college and the national attention grabbing story of the lacrosse players. But is that the purpose of college?

Clearly, this course is objectionable for its implicit accusations against the demonstrably innocent accused players. But would the course have any greater place in a college curriculum if it were called "political correctness run amok at Duke", how the conduct of the group of 88, the university administration, the pot-bangers and the run-away DA have allowed preconceived ideology to trump ordinary common decency.

A college degree should mean something. It should not be credit for a dorm bull session or an ideological vent.

Anonymous said...

This is VERY entertaining!
The sad part is that this nut job is helping to keep charges against three innocent people alive.
"Hook up culture?" Laugh my ASS off. It's called SEX, you doofus!

michael said...

re: 9:38

Seems to me to be an odd as a
faculty picture. Especially
the background that she chose.

I think that your typical
corporate-type professional
photo makes for a better
representation to prospective parents and students.

nifong's hat trick said...

Regarding IRB approval for Allison's syllabus;
There would be none, since the first rule of thumb when observing human subjects (the lacrosse students) is "first , do no harm!"

Anonymous said...

Posit a cesspool. Near the cesspool is a large, garish sign that says, "Race/Class/Gender Studies."

Floating about in this noxious environment are disgusting lumps of useless matter with labels attached. The labels say things like, PhD Cultural Anthropology.

Periodically, new lumps are added to the cesspool, and some lumps are fished out and moved to other similar cesspools. The number of lumps in the universe, and the number of cesspools, is increasing.

Picture people jumping into the cesspool. The people wear buttons that say Silly Student. Some are actually able to ignore the smell. Most can't wait to get out and have a long cleansing shower.

Casual observers walk by and notice the cesspools. They say obvious things like, "What a noxious waste of real estate. " and "Boy, that thing really stinks."

The lumps protest, and the institutional owner of the land, which allows the existence of the cesspool in the first place and prides itself on its sensitivity to lumps (with perhaps an undercurrent of fear) listens to the lumps and does nothing - which is perceived as the safe response.

And the cesspools prosper, comfortable in their smelly pits and content in their rancid beliefs.

michael said...

I would hope that students bright enough to get into Duke would be better consumers though the current housing bubble, even in affluent areas strongly argues against rational consumers.

One can also look at it as a $4,000 chat session. $4,000 is pocket change for a lot of families.

KC Johnson said...

A few quickie responses;

"kc johnson and bill anderson write a lot of bad things about the group of 88 because;

1.they are right wing(especially Anderson)"

Yes, I'm heading up the 'right-wing blog hooligans' for Obama, a subgroup of the 'right-wing blog hooligans' for gay marriage and abortion rights.

"2.some of the group of 88 actually threaten the Duke 3 because they have drawn attention to the fact that the Lax team was not universally beloved on campus and had a poor reputation."

Hmm: The new party line is that the Group of 88's statement had nothing to do with the lacrosse players or their case.

"3.In KC johnson's case especially, he targets the G 88 because the Duke 3 families hae instructed him to do so as they think it will help the eventual civil case they will make againist Duke; KC's unrelenting attack againist Brodhead is for similar reasons"

I'm a professor at Brooklyn College. The only person that instructs me to do anything is my department chairman.

"4.Both professors work in academic siberia compared with the professors from Duke, which is a world class almost IVY league institution. Despite thier continual ridicule of the subjects taught by the G88, these guys know in thier heart of hearts that the G88 professors are stars in theri field and are in the upper echelon of academia while Johnson and Anderson are at the equivalent of Podunk University--Johnson is from some 3rd tier in the Bronx and Anderson is from Frostburg U--not even in the ball park. Howard, one of the schools they ridicule, has a higher academic standard that their schools. How do I know? Ask these professors if their schools have a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa--and you will find out they do not but Howard does and has had Phi Beta Kappa there for decades! Phi Beta Kappa is the highest honor society in the US and a certain standard has to be met to even get a chapter."

As far as I can recall, I've never mentioned Howard Univ. in this blog. And, for the record, Brooklyn College is not in The Bronx, and we do have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. I've even had a few students who have been inducted.

To the multiple-comment Allison defender:

While I've published on LBJ, my greatest amount of publications (three books, around a dozen journal articles) came on the history of Congress. (That training, alas, wouldn't make me qualified to teach a class on the Japanese legislature, or on anything relating to Japan; most Japan experts I know don't consider themselves qualified to teach about US history.) You need not accept my interpretation of the course--one reason I've provided links to its original description and lengthy quotes from its syllabus.

Anonymous said...

as a lifelong liberal let me say these women are sick.I don't care about other people's sex-lives(gay,bi-,groupsex,domination)so long as children aren't involved(pedophilia is RAPE!)but to suggest this is better than white-male heterosexuals because these guys are nothing but rapists is disturbed.these women have created a sexually hostile environment and should be reprimanded for it.

nifong's hat trick said...

9:42
Or, how about a course called "Very Abnormal Psychology" where students review the rantings of "a drug laden prostitute and a narcissistic DA who set out on an adventure to destroy the lives of 3 boys based on the color of their skin."

M. Simon said...

9:40AM,

You are stuck on credentialism.

I'm a non-degreed engineer.

Am I any good? You better hope so. Because I have hardware and software that helps keep the 747-400 in the air. And the A-320, some mil jets. The Blackbird etc.

So according to your lights I'd be an amateur engineer.

School isn't the only way to learn something. Even something as complicated and difficult as aerospace electrical engineering and computer science.

Compared to that most stuff is easy.

M. Simon said...

KC says:

I'm a professor at Brooklyn College. The only person that instructs me to do anything is my department chairman.

I take it you are not married.

Anonymous said...

For those slamming KC, here's his cv. Looks impressive to me.

KC's cv

And here's what Harvard historians and other distinguished history professors (within and outside of the Ivy league) think of KC:

Friends and Colleagues of KC

Note that one reason he was initially dismissed was because he objected to the scholarly credentials of another professor being considered for tenure.

I now completely understand why the G88 is being defended (by themselves, obviously). They know who's coming after them.

Go KC!

Anonymous said...

re: m.simon 9:40

Sounds like you could get a
graduate degree without too
much difficulty. I didn't get
my degrees until later in life
but had a great career in IS
up until then and then made
the switch to engineering and
that's been great too. Picked up two degrees that I didn't have to pay for along the way.

Anonymous said...

More required reading.

http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_1_free_speech.html

Anonymous said...

Correction to my 10:32 am comment -
KC was not dismissed, but denied tenure, which in effect meant dismissal.

The happy ending is that KC was granted tenure.

Anonymous said...

10:12 hits it on the nose. It is just sex. Hormones surging. Rape and capitalism BULL. I thought rape occured everywhere in the world in all socioeconomic classes. I always felt social studies should eliminated as a credit college class.

Anonymous said...

It's past time that these "experts" and their departments become transparent and held accountable. Most should be relegated to a designated area, where they collectively can stand on their milk cartons, and howl over each other into the wind.

To think that I, of sorts am supporting these people, through federal subsidized student loans is beyond belief.

libertewoods said...

Dear m.simon 12:15AM

my experience confirms your thesis. I received a MSW in 1968 from Howard Univ. I was in jeopardy of failing my field work class (at an old neighborhood settlement house) one semester because I was using normal English in describing my work rather than the jargon of the popular group work texts we were using. The following semester I decided to frame my reports using this jargon and reporting structure to see if this would make a difference in my grade. Sure enough I went from a failing grade to a B+. I realized then that my professors were not interested in my work or what I thought but rather how well I adhered to the jargon of social work.

Anonymous said...

9:15-- I agree, my jaw dropped when I used your html link.
I just read Prof. Allison's abstract on Japanese kid culture and the U.S. I urge readers of this blog to review this abstract. Aren't there greater issues for intellectual exploration than "Hello Kitty" toys, "Power Rangers", and "Pokemon", in which she makes the "astute" and far-reaching conclusion: "As one of my interviewees, a ten-year-old boy, told me, “Japan is cool because it
is the producer of cool things for American kids: Nintendo games, Sony Walkman, and
Pokemon'."
Now there is intellectual rigor for you.
The Academy is full of such foolishness; Duke doesn't have an exclusive for this sort of research blither. Every campus has some measure of pop culture/PC curricula. Stuff like the PC curricula at Duke and elsewhere makes one think about the relevance of an undergradute education.
As a Duke grad, I am grateful for a place that taught me intellectual honesty, objective analysis and skeptical investigation of all points of view. Thus, Allison's courses would appear to have no interest to me. While Prof. Allison is entitled to her opinions and views, a reading of her abstract makes me wonder why anyone --excepting those seeking a Pavlovian feedback grade--would ever waste his/her time on her courses. Indeed, why is the University, that has a world-class, exciting, challenging and difference-making curricula and stimulating faculty teaching them, stoop to this level? The rhetorical answer of course is that it is politically correct to make available valuable faculty slots for curricula that other universities are offering lest Duke be made out as biased.

M. Simon said...

10:35AM,

Why would I want to get a degree?

I have no need to impress any one with letters after my name.

Besides I'm having more fun poking holes in credentialism than I could ever have with credentials.

Anonymous said...

Please clarify. Isn't post moderism just marxism under a different name. The rational is that marxism failed, not because it is a really bad system, but rather, it hasn't been executed properly? So, it's renamed and useful idiots keep repeating the same failed experiment, fully expecting a differnent outcome. This of course, is a definition of insanity...one that keeps making the same mistake, expecting a differenct outcome.

Anonymous said...

KC finished his PhD in 4 years while teaching a gazillion courses (tutorials and sections etc) and supervising many undergraduate thesis writers.

Anonymous said...

There are many first rate historians, sociologists, and anthropologists at lower tier schools. Their even-handed approach to their disciplines is not welcome at elite universities. They are not hired or retained if their politics are suspect.

Anonymous said...

Again, I ask, why don't these experts post links to their publications? A woeful lack of transparency. The people, and their writings, need to see the light of day and be able to withstand the rigor of debate regarding their merit and/or credentials.

I've stated before that they've become what they despise...middle-aged, white male bigots OR AT LEAST THE MYTHOLOGY OF SUCH. But it's worse than that, they and their departments lack the transparency and controls, and apparent governance that were required of Enron...BEFORE IT FAILED.

Anonymous said...

OK, all you "intellectuals." You get out of a university what you put into it. I know VERY bright people who graduate from "lesser" schools. I would urge the bright posters here to not engage in the "intellectual elitism" being conducted by the Group of 88. It doesn't take a degree from ANYWHERE to realize Allison's research is BS. Any school that is intellectually honest would not support this crap.

Anonymous said...

This Pokemon stuff gives me an idea for an Xmas special next season . . .

"Nifong the Red-Faced DA"

The Group of 88/87 can be the inhabitants of the "Island of Misfit Toys" that Nifong visits

whwitham said...

6:45 am

Please provide a source to back up this statement.

In KC johnson's case especially, he targets the G 88 because the Duke 3 families hae instructed him to do so as they think it will help the eventual civil case they will make againist Duke; KC's unrelenting attack againist Brodhead is for similar reasons

I am interested to know exactly what the parent's instructions are...or to see if this statemnt is unqualified B.S.

Anonymous said...

The essence of Marxism/Stalinism is not the economics, which long ago passed into history - rather it is the demand that adherents parrot what they are told and follow the leader.


It is interesting that that appears to be what is required to get good grades in Angry Studies.

V the K said...

Did somebody say chicks?.

Anonymous said...

How can you possibly suggest that
"Pikachu iconizes this weave of relationality taken, I will argue, to the age of
millennial postmodernity."

is crap - it is one of the most illuminating sentences I have ever seen - right up there with

"Four in number were the bedsills upon which the learned exile built his edifice."

Gregory said...

The trolls from the Gang of 88 are out today! I would think they would be too ashamed to write, given the exposure of their insipid "Rush to Frame-Up."

This is clearly the worst tripe for a class I have ever heard. Couldn't this be taught in a community college somewhere? If at all? I mean it is really simple stuff:

1. Guys like girls with big jumblies and/or a pretty face;

2. Guys try to "get with" girls with big jumblies and/or a pretty face.

3. Girl with big jumblies and/or a pretty face either "gets with" the guy or not.

Do I really need to sit through hours and hours of class and write 6 papers to know that?

Of course not. But it gives idiotic professors the platform to attack guys who like girls with big jumblies and/or a pretty face.

K.C. Johnson, go down to Durham and speak at the 2007 Commencement. These folks have lost their way, and they need you soon!!!!! P.S. Take Bill Anderson along for backup.

M. Simon said...

weave of relationality

Strunk and White would not approve.

I believe she means connections.

M. Simon said...

Is relationality a word?

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