Monday, July 30, 2007

Group Profiles: Maurice Wallace

[The latest installation of a Monday series profiling Group of 88 members, which has included posts on Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Wahneema Lubiano, Pete Sigal, Grant Farred, Sally Deutsch, Joseph Harris, Jocelyn Olcott, Irene Silverblatt, and Kathy Rudy. The posts examine the scholarship and teaching of Group members, delving into the mindset of professors who last spring abandoned both the tenets of Duke’s Faculty Handbook and the academy’s traditional fidelity to due process. An item to keep in mind: in higher education, professors control the hiring process. The people profiled in this series will craft future job descriptions for Duke professors; and then, for positions assigned to their departments, select new hires.]

Group of 88 member and “clarifying” faculty signatory Maurice Wallace teaches in the English and African-American Studies departments. In 1995, he received a Ph.D. from Duke, where he studied under future Group of 88 stalwarts Karla Holloway and Cathy Davidson.

According to the summer 1999 Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Wallace’s appointment formed part of a late-1990s diversity “hiring spree” that “is one of the great success stories among the nation’s highest-ranked universities.” The dean of faculty at the time was future Group of 88 leader William Chafe; his associate dean was Holloway.

Wallace’s scholarship has focused on the idea of black masculinity, with particular interests in psychoanalysis and the race/class/gender trinity. In his first published article, he articulated his basic philosophy: “If there is to be an enduring theory of black male identity construction in the West, it will be significantly indebted to a careful analysis of the post-Freudian psychoanalysis and the epistemological work of black feminism.”

He has conceded, however, that utilizing the teachings of Freud—a white male of the West—poses potential problems. “Like so many of its detractors,” Wallace commented in a 2003 essay, “I would lie if I did not concede my own occasional pause at the psychoanalytical hermeneutic . . . it is almost too self-evident to say aloud how such lexemes as disorder, neurosis, and complex might well identify cultural contingencies, to borrow a now-familiar idea from Barbara Herrnstein-Smith, that serve the analysts’ own egotistic fantasies and, in her words, ‘justify the exercise of their own normative authority.’”

Wallace has been an active conference presenter. In a 2005 conference entitled “Re-Imaging Black Religious Identity: Race, Class, Gender & Sexuality,” a sympathetic correspondent recalled that Wallace

explored the connection between the spiritual and the erotic as he summarized the other speakers’ discussions. He talked about how men who “get happy” in church experience what he called a “self-shattering,” which involves “sacrificing one’s aura of being penetrated instead of penetrating.” As the one who “penetrates,” the minister’s “phallic ego is empowered,” Wallace commented. “The straight man shouting gets caught up in a third heaven: feeling feelings.”

At Duke, meanwhile, he assumed a prominent role in a Women’s Studies conference with the only-in-academia title of “Gendering the Diaspora, Race-ing the Transnational.” The Group of 88 member chaired and moderated the panel on “transnational sexualities,” which examined such issues as:

How does sexuality interact with other factors (for example, place, gender, and generation) to construct and differentiate diasporic communities? How are these differentiations articulated through processes of class formation and notions of respectability? In what ways might processes of globalization facilitate particular expressions of gender identities and sexualities? How might the same processes also limit these expressions? Can we actually speak of diasporic sexualities?

Wallace’s writing style combines opaque prose with excruciatingly long sentences. Anyone who’s taken a college composition course doubtless recalls admonitions against run-on sentences, which tend to be very difficult to follow. A case study of the problem could be Wallace’s article on black author Richard Wright, a prominent 1930s communist who left the party in 1942. Published in the Journal of African American History, the piece featured this 111-word sentence:

Perhaps more important to my own undertakings is this: Inasmuch as the psychoanalytic hermeneutic is aimed at a reliable calculus of dynamic intersubjective drives and desires, and insofar as that self-same method declares the subject to emerge as precisely the moment he or she is recognized, perceived to be by an other who is also somehow the same, then, for the raced figure, his or her reflection in the other’s eyes would seem to constitute a primary element of psychoanalytical utility to black and diasporic texts and contexts, the sort of primary function, that is, that constrains the important second glance at Native Son [one of Wright’s books] I pledged my time to moments ago.

In describing the novel and one of its characters (Bigger), Wallace took 117 words between periods:

In a manner extending from Claudia Tate’s reading of Savage Holiday, and following her thesis that “we can illuminate the manifest racial meaning of prominent texts by canonical black writers by probing the latent content in their corresponding noncanononical works,” I want to suggest, from the classical Freudian angle I am convinced, owing to Claudia Tate, Wright held to, that a deconstruction of the violence of the novel’s two infamous murders no longer simply seems as threatening as gazing into the face of Medusa under a Freudian frame; for Bigger that violence is a direct consequence of having already “caught sight” of her and the primal trauma, sublimated deep in the filial unconscious, of seeing her uncovers.

Wright’s novel formed a major element of Wallace’s only book, Constructing the Black Masculine: Identity and Ideality in African American Men's Literature and Culture, 1775-1995. The book attracted rave reviews and a major award from the Modern Language Association, whose past president, Houston Baker, typifies the organization’s location on the ideological spectrum.

The book, asserted Wallace, consisted of “a discursive mix of literary theory, photography and the visual arts, race and ethnic studies, psychoanalysis, queer theory, feminist epistemology, and performance studies.” The (82-word) first sentence of the preface laid out the argument:

Although the high profile of race in the West has made the black male body into a stark palimpsest of fears and fascinations possessing the cultural imagination, issues of gender and sexuality, on the other hand, have been so fully rationalized into our popular stories and stereotypes about maleness that the insufferable silence around these issues as constitutive elements in modern black male subject formation is too often mistaken for a sign of their discursive immateriality to black men’s lives and letters.

The book opened with extensive treatment of Native Son, in a chapter that Wallace described as “materialized . . . by a camerical metonymy that, owed to a suggestive constellation of mimetic and symbolic determinants, is also decidedly male, the racialist gaze (which by definition need not be a racist gaze) congeals black male bodies into statued rigidities, arresting representation at the threshold of human being.” He continued: “Cameras sometimes wield the same power of guns and penises to abase the Other (if not the cultural remembrance of them brandished at black men) to similarly reduce black male images to ‘crushing’ Fanonian objecthood.” The chapter, added the Group of 88’er, established “enframement as the ur-trope of black male specularity for this study.”

The book’s message, unsurprisingly, reassured the paragons of diversity, who often use their scholarship to uncover an idealized past that is—coincidentally, of course—remarkably similar to their contemporary agenda. “Because,” Wallace concluded, “postmodern black masculine identity tends to assert itself in a repertory of characteristically black male body stylizations that range from athletic to comedic to cool, the history, theory, and practice of black male performativity in dance, popular and performance, are especially suited to the task of uncovering (perhaps only recovering) a hermeneutics of black masculinity that is neither heterocentric nor misogynistic but develops out of a uniquely male racial experience nonetheless.”

----------

In the lacrosse affair, Wallace distinguished himself for his extreme views even among the Group of 88. On April 3, 2006, he praised Houston Baker’s demand that Duke immediately expel every member of the lacrosse team. Wallace criticized “the university’s handling of this unambiguously racist and sexist social disaster, whatever a criminal investigation turns up,” and promised that he, for one, would not “let pass, unchallenged, the affront to higher education and anyone’s moral intelligence the Duke men’s lacrosse team and its coaches have been permitted to carry out over years.”

In summer 2006—after Mike Nifong’s case began to implode and after the Coleman Committee’s report gave the lie to Wallace’s assertion that the lacrosse team had carried out “over years” an “affront to higher education and anyone’s moral intelligence”—a DIW reader asked Wallace if he had any qualms about signing the Group of 88’s statement. The reader also wondered whether, at least, Wallace would publicly support due process for the Duke students that Nifong had targeted.

The request “humored” the English professor. He asserted that the “social disaster” of the Group’s ad, “in fact, cannot be reduced to the accused players or the scandal associated with them.” In any case, he continued, “Our day-to-day experience on this campus is all the fact we need to justify our ad. Whether the accused lacrosse players are found guilty or innocent, the voices represented in the ad express wounds, injustices and daily disasters that could be heard ten or twenty years ago. That ad, therefore, could not but stand the test of time since it is a record of sentiments shared by no less than two or three generations of Duke’s invisible classes.”

Wallace’s prediction that the ad would stand the test of time, of course, hasn’t fared too well. It appears, indeed, that he failed to read the ad. Despite his claim, the ad was quite clear in its reference to the lacrosse case—whether in its unequivocal statement that something “happened” to Crystal Mangum; or in its praise for protesters “making collective noise” through such mechanisms as the “wanted” poster or the “castrate” banner; or in its anonymous quotes from alleged Duke students reflecting a belief in Mangum’s credibility.

And would Wallace uphold the academy’s traditional fidelity to due process? “I plan no public statements on behalf the accused students. They have secured well-paid lawyers to do that.”

Wallace concluded by promising to “disregard any subsequent correspondence” on the issue. A few months later, he signed onto the “clarifying” statement. He also was one of the six presenters at the “shut up and teach” forum, the culminating event of the disastrous Group of 88 Rehab Tour.

---------

Wallace teaches classes in African-American literature. In a 2003 interview with the Herald-Sun, he outlined his teaching philosophy:

I have a responsibility to all of my students—every single one of them—to disabuse them of all of the national, racial, middle-class, gender and sexual myths they’ve been taught to comfort or flatter themselves and, of course, the people who, perhaps unknowingly, miseducated them. While I do my part in my community, each May, they go out by the hundreds into our communities, too, and it’s my job, my vocation, to prepare them for our collective responsibility as thinking citizens, rather than mechanical mediocrities.

How, precisely, would this philosophy translate in the classroom? What happens when a student—in good faith—disagrees with Wallace’s inherently political decision on what constitutes “myth” and what constitutes reality? Can a professor who implies that students who do not accept his worldview are “mechanical mediocrities” grade them fairly?

Moreover, despite his assertion that he wants to train “thinking citizens,” Wallace’s behavior over the past 17 months suggests that he doesn’t practice what he preaches. His conduct in the lacrosse case gave no indication that Wallace believes that “thinking citizens” should speak out against prosecutorial misconduct in their midst—a vision of civic affairs that would leave students as automatons, discouraged from challenging government authority.

Wallace is a tenured associate professor. His fall 2007 classes are “Religion and Literature” and “King/Baldwin/Fanon.”

143 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Professor Johnson, for continuing to expose these Duke professors.

Anonymous said...

Well.....you'll have to scroll down for a pic of Maurice accepting an MLK poster.

There will also be a smiling Durham City Manager Patrick Baker in the mix.

A good time had by all:

Maurice_Wallace_does_Durham

Debrah

Michael said...

Incredible analysis on this guy.

He seems to be as nutty as the rest but what strikes me about your post is how detailed your analysis on him is tonight. Especially the pain in having to count up the words in one of his sentences.

It seems to me that the FBI or CIA could use you in their research department.

Anonymous said...

These quotations - are you sure Polanski didn't somehow forge this Wallace stuff? It can't be real.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, there is a good article in the current New York Times lamenting the fact that some universities now charge higher tuition for students in business or engineering than in the humanities. This article complements a much earlier New Yorker article discussing Duke's strategy of hiring well-known humanities faculty, who can be had for a relative pittance as compared to, say, engineering, science, or business faculty, as a way of moving up in the academic rankings. I guess Duke, or at least the regular readers of this blog, are now learning that you get what you pay for. (I say this with regret, recognizing that KC is a historian, and that the value of what he has done here is incalculable.)

Martin, Durham said...

Commenting on this site is all fine and dandy. KC Johnson has done a stellar work, no doubt about that, exposing a very sad state of affairs in the Duke academic world.

However, KC Johnson cannot do everything by himself. Before the Fall Semester at Duke starts, some responsible - and not pecuniarily-challenged - Duke alumni should think about printing out a concise brochure, to be mailed to each and every Duke student, for free, as well as being personally handed by volunteers to fresh(wo)men students during the orientation period.

A brochure, I repeat, for the use of returning, and especially "fresh" students. A brochure which should include a succinct history of the Hoax, as well as a list of the professors notoriously implicated in slandering their own students. Some of Prof. Johnson's exemplary "profiles" of the culprits should be used as well, should he give his gracious permission.

Finally, Duke University should be very strongly pressured into NOT making the taking of classes from any of the felonious professors compulsory.

Freedom of speech entails that students who are thoroughly informed about the ideologies of the 88+"clarifying" Gang be absolutely free to take classes taught by the Gang of Shame, but only as long as:

1) they (the students) ARE properly informed about who they're getting in bed with

2) Duke does not compel them to do so.


Nothing less will do. Forcing innocent and/or uninformed students to take the classes of potential felons, not to mention academic frauds, most of them, is unacceptable. Thank you for reading.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, would Bill O'Reilly have fun with a popinjay like "Professor" Wallace. With all the bloviating he has done, the Factor would likely fracture under the weight of the wordiness.

At least we know Wallace is true to his teaching. After all, having studied under Holloway and Davidson he was indoctrinated very well.

I found it interesting that his only book won a major award from MLA. Getting that award from a Houston Baker organization is akin to Chauncey Nartey getting an award from Brother Burness. Carry about the same weight, anyway.

I would be really concerned sending a son to Duke. Not just a white son or a black son or an Asian son or a Latino son but ANY son. The way these men teaching there are obsessed with penises and phallic ideals would instill a great deal of fear into what "male body stylizations" might come home to me.

I wonder if he has any compassion for canines. At least in this incident, we know that dogs were found abused. Do we know whether Michael Vick was involved or not? We do not at this time. Does the good professor consider now a good time to "shut up and teach" or will he clarify his position on dog-fighting?

I have know many people who tried to impress others with their "command" of vocabulary. It is much easier to prove to people that while you may have a large vocabulary of big words, not knowing how to properly use them in sentences and paragraphs serves only to expose ignorance.

AF

AMac said...

Professor Johnson:

If one examines structuralist subpatriarchial theory, one is faced with a choice: either accept Debordist image or conclude that truth is part of the economy of consciousness. However, Sontag suggests the use of social realism to challenge narrativity. The premise of capitalist discourse implies that reality is created by the collective unconscious, given that reality is distinct from truth.

Ack, my bad! That was the same tool that Prof. Wallace must have used to create the excerpts you quoted, The Postmodernism Generator.

And, just to get the question out of the way,

Is Wallace a ...

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

What in the hell is Wallace trying to write? I swear, I've read those two stupid sentences of his three times and they STILL don't make sense. Geesh! And this jerk is saying that it's the lacrosse players who are an "affront to higher education"? Lord, talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

(Pssst, Wallace! If you want to understand MY last sentence, it's called a 'double entendre'.)

AMac said...

At recent thread at David Thompson's blog concluded with this evaluation of the Postmodern aporoach to criticism:

"Postmodernism certainly didn't produce a critique of socialism; postmodernism can't critique because it is merely an action of deconstruction of synthesizing theories or metanarratives.

"This destruction of the synthesizing knowledge base, and the postmodern rejection of reason in favour of emotion, means that the result of such an action is 'freedom' - a false freedom in which the individual is 'free' to make whatever connections between X and Y that they choose. There is no objective reality to act as a constraint, no evolved knowledge base to act as a guide. The result is sophistry."

Hey--contra the quotes in the post, I can read that! What do you think, Prof. Wallace: enough material for an essay there?

One Spook said...

We've all seen some real whoppers here, but this beats all --- Wallace's own words regarding his "teaching philosophy":

I have a responsibility to all of my students—every single one of them—to disabuse them of all of the national, racial, middle-class, gender and sexual myths they’ve been taught to comfort or flatter themselves and, of course, the people who, perhaps unknowingly, miseducated them. While I do my part in my community, each May, they go out by the hundreds into our communities, too, and it’s my job, my vocation, to prepare them for our collective responsibility as thinking citizens, rather than mechanical mediocrities.

Regardless of whether Wallace teaches anger studies, basket weaving or spelling, with his arrogant, supercillious "philiosophy," he has no business teaching anyone.

I wonder he doesn't publish this "philosophy" on his web page?

I think a great book coud be written about these charlatans and the faux-academics they pander nationwide. Here's a working title: "Actual Course Offerings at American Universities and Colleges: You Can't Make This Up!"

I know the American public is well-schooled in such issues as the Department of Defense spending $400.00 for a simple hammer or a toilet seat, but I do not believe people have any idea how their money is being spent in education.

One Spook

Gary Packwood said...

...Whether the accused lacrosse players are found guilty or innocent, the voices represented in the ad express wounds, injustices and daily disasters that could be heard ten or twenty years ago. That ad, therefore, could not but stand the test of time since it is a record of sentiments shared by no less than two or three generations of Duke’s invisible classes.
::
My old friend Franz Bibo told me just before he died, that during the time he spent in the concentration camp
Auschwitz and then again with his mother at Bukenwald, he was reminded daily that his punishment was for infractions committed against the superior race by many generations of his kind.

At least Dave, Reade and Collin won't need to suffer any longer from the words and actions of Professor Wallace and his kind.
::
GP

Matthew said...

It's really remarkable to see your prose next to Wallace's. Sokal's "Transgressing the Boundries:..." is more accessible than any of the writing you quoted. I doubt he keeps a copy of Strunk and White at his bedside.

Anonymous said...

This stuff isn't funny. It's truly painful to read what he writes. To think of him wasting the time of the best and brightest students is appalling.

BA

Anonymous said...

The only thing humorous about Wallace and his brain-washed colleagues is their unabashed arrogance. Every parent of a Duke University student has a sober responsibility to read the trash these fruit-cakes write and decide if they want to subject their sons and daughters to the politically-correct gobbledy gook they are spewing out in the name of "education".

So far, the bios of most of them convince me that they are all totally hung up on sex. Looks like over half of them wouldn't even have any course content if they weren't discussing the multiple fascinations about gender issues.

These people have got a serious problem.

Their hypocrisy is outrageous.

They are hired with good salaries to teach at a (formerly) prestigious university, where student's parents pay outrageous sums of money to send them, so that the professors can insult them and their parents because they practiced a work ethic and made enough money to send them to the university so the idiots who wouldn't know which end of a Phillips screwdriver to use can insult the people whose diligence and hard work are paying their salaries. If that isn't bitiing the hand that feeds you, I don't know what is.

Right now it's a toss up as to who is more deluded. This ridiculously irrelevant faculty, or the Board of Trustees who fantasize that Duke must "move on", and is now "healing", or the President whose cowardly head is somewhere in the clouds, or the parents who keep sending their kids to a school so they can be "purged" of their morals, values, and all views other than those held by these clowns they call professors.

They are most useful for some kind of spoof on a late-night television drama.

That's about it.

Tenure for idiots is like feeding the cancer.

That system is way overdue for a reconsideration.

If we can keep this issue in front of the good folks long enough, we just might be able to impact some of these issues and force some changes.

Cautiously, very cautiously optimistic. Well, not quite that positive. May mostly just hopeful.

dsl/ NC

Anonymous said...

My question is: how come nobody (at least regularly) is chasing these jokers down around the country? If more of this gets publicized---schools will be at least get more scrutiny.

Kc, please keep these profiles coming. Its amazing how the anti-Duke 3 types all seem to fall apart when challenged.

I also invite Dr Ho to explain her position(on the Duke case) in more detail. Its seems to me she is a decent person who has been PC for too long.


ZEKE

Anonymous said...

As a Duke graduate I am appalled and embarrassed that this professor (and others like him) is on the Duke faculty. I used to think that some of the engineering and science majors at Duke had problems writing a well constructed sentence. Actually they can all write circles around this joker (even elliptical ones to match his prose). It appears that "Professor" Wallace is an academically and intellectually challenged English professor who is compensating for his own obvious lack of skills by attempting to intimidate his readers with arcane phrases and a Roget's Thesaurus approach to writing. If he can't communicate clearly in his writings how can he hope to teach? I will, however, designate him to receive 1 penny of my Annual Fund contribution of 88 pennies for his politically correct thoughts.

Stu Daddy said...

After laboring several times to read and comprehend Wallace's 100 word sentences, and after trying to decipher the postmodern deconstruction of Wright's Native Son, I've concluded that I am but a Mechanical Mediocrity.

That's a 33 word compound sentence.

Anonymous said...

I was bumfuzzled by much of his writing and I have a Ph.D. sigh

Anonymous said...

One must ask: In the real world, who are the more effective advocates for diversity-the Professor Colemans of the world or the Duke 88? The Duke 88 seem to be their own worst enemies.

G. Holman King
A proud Duke Lacrosse grandparent

Anonymous said...

No "public statement" supporting the indicted players would seem to be more than a little late, Mr. Wallace. How about a public statement . . . supporting a social contract that protects all citizens . . . it's called the Constitution.

bill anderson said...

All one has to do is to read the emails that Lubiano, Baker, and others were sending to each other BEFORE the infamous April 6 ad, and it demonstrates clearly the lie that somehow the ad was not related to the LAX team.

This "hiring spree" gang has had run of the campus for years, and we see first that academically speaking, they are frauds, pure frauds. Second, we observe the real damage they have done to people's lives.

They are not "academics" in any true sense of the word. Instead, they are impostors and frauds, academic charlatans. I would like to say that they contribute nothing to education, but that would be wrong, since their "contribution" is negative. People like Wallace are to higher education like Jeffrey Dahmer was to the culinary arts.

Anonymous said...

Is Wallace a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or do the profiled "professors" seem obsessed with sex? I've never seen so many references to the male anatomy in "scholarly" works. Psychoanalysis seems called for- for the faculty. I find their pretentious writing amusing, since I do not have children who must suffer the ingnorance and arrogance that masquerade as "scholarship" at Duke.

Anonymous said...

Where would we be if "groupthink" had been the driving force for inquiring minds in higher education? Looking at the G88 it appears we haven't developed much since Galileo's day. A young person could become much better educated by spending time in libraries (or in serious internet inquiries) than by associating with the likes of the angry studies poseurs who now seem to control higher education. Oh, if only there were a few more KC Johnsons!!

scott said...

I would defy Wallace to put any of the 3 sentences listed in the post in front of the 2 groups listed below and ask them to accurately summarize the main thesis of the sentence:

1. Any 10 black graduates of Duke's Pratt School who have not taken a course from Wallace and are not teaching at a college or university: my bet would be that maybe 1 could do it.

2. Any 100 college graduates of various races who graduated from various colleges prior to 1970 and are not teaching at a college or university: my bet would be that maybe 1 could do it.

Nobody I know talks like these people or writes like these people. My contention is that these people talk and write for the only people that can possibly understand them: other(limited to some; certainly not all) college professors. What is the value in that?

Neighborhood Retail Alliance said...

Hey KC. What is camerical? Does this fraud mean chimerical?

miramar said...

I find it strange that no one at Duke ever figured out that this man does not know how to write.

haskell said...

"Postmodern black masculine identity tends to assert itself in a repertory of characteristically black male body stylizations that range from athletic to comedic to cool"

Style, not substance, is what counts, with Dennis Rodman as the poster child.

Anonymous said...

K.C.--I was kind of interested to see your description of Richard Wright as a prominent communist--a fact I hadn't known about him, though I'm familiar with his book Native Son, which both of my kids were assigned in high school. Did this identification merely reflect your background in history, or were you just trying to preempt the commenter who always asks whether people are communists? (I see he/she asked about Wallace anyway.)

(PS--I know Native Son should be italicized, but my comment keeps being rejected for improper html tagging--I guess I'll have to work on that.)

KC Johnson said...

The latter--but I guessed wrong the ID of the "communist" question!

Anonymous said...

This only reminds that Duke's fatal AA diversity "hiring spree" rampage during the 1990s has all but destroyed Duke.

Shouting Thomas said...

Yet another BS artist afflicted with delusions of grandeur.

Megalomania seems to be the defining characteristic of the Group of 88. They don't just teach literature. They are charged with transforming the entire world into Utopia!

Do any of them have any humility?

Anonymous said...

Taxpayers of the US:

What is wrong with our higher educational system? It has become a bastion for mental midgets to reproduce faster than hamsters and rats. Doesn't it seem odd to you that we have an overabundance of Klan 88ers and far too few Professor KC Johnsons.

Now is the time for us, those with some common sense, to evaluate all of our universities, both public and private, to determine if they are offering too many garbage studies courses. I realize that some need to be offered for those students who need to "expand their minds" (somewhat akin to those who dropped acid in my generation) and for those professors who cannot teach intellectual subject matter. As long as public taxpayer dollars are going to these institutions, we need to have some accountability that our educational system is not being totally sabotaged. Rise up, become involved, and check out universities in your area to see if they are overwrought with sexual /racial/class perverts. If so (and I'll bet you can find them), pressure the BOT to cleanse itself and the school. Bang the pots LOUDLY!

AF

Anonymous said...

If Wallace truly believes that "black masculinity . . . is neither heterocentric nor misogynistic" then he apparently has never listened to any rap or hip-hop lyrics. Or perhaps Wallace doesn't consider it misogynistic for black songs to contain repeated references to women as "bitches," "sluts," and/or "'ho's" -- or repeated references to how the bitches, sluts, and 'ho's deserve to be slapped, beaten, and/or killed. After all, judging from Wallace's writings, we can't even be sure he knows the meaning of the word "misogynistic." Wallace doesn't appear to know the actual meaning of a lot of the words he uses.

BTW, Prof. Wallace, could you point us to a popular black song that expresses an ideal of black masculinity that is homocentric? I've tried hard to think of one, but so far I'm drawing a blank.

Ralph Phelan said...

"the Department of Defense spending $400.00 for a simple hammer "
DOD's "simple" hammer must:
Not shatter when used to bang on things at -30F,
Not have the padding on its handle melt into goo when stored in a shed in the Qattar sun,
Not cause RSI due to shock transmitted up the handle,
Be 100% American made,
Of 100% American made components,
By a company that has a government approved Affirmative Action program in place,
That uses a specified number of minority owned businesses as subcontractors,
And ekkps all the necessary records to prove the above.

We know what we're getting for our $400 hammer. Some of it's technical goals that make sense for the military, some it's social goals that received a majority vote in Congress at one time or another.

I don't think we know what we're getting for our education dollar to nearly the same degree, and the "social goals" constraints are for the most part not anything explicitly enacted by elected officials.

Anonymous said...

I assume Prof. Wallace considers himself to have been a member of "Duke's invisible classes" since Wallace received his Ph.D. from Duke. He seems to have done pretty well for himself at Duke, despite his "invisible" status (not to mention the fact that he seems to be incapable of writing a coherent sentence).

Ralph Phelan said...

"So far, the bios of most of them convince me that they are all totally hung up on sex."

Many are hung up on sex. All are hung up on "identity."
I suspect that Borderline Personality Disorder is as widespread among college faculty as Narcissistic Personality Disorder is in Hollywood.

hman said...

If I could create a bill of indictment for the crimes commited by the Gang of 88, at the top of the list would be their crimes against the English language.
In my opinion, that is a serious type of crime. "Camerical metonymy" ???
A childish, made-up word and a thoroughly arcane word (from the already arcane field of linguistics) make a great start towards the goal of being understood? Not.
The implication is clear: This guy does not want anyone to figure out exactly what he has to say because it is in fact awfully thin stuff.
On the other hand, the great blues singers would explain, if pressed, why they slurred the lyrics of so many old blues songs. They said that if the hearer is not sure of the words, they will use their imaginations plus the singers inflections to interpret it all as something much raunchier than what could ever be sung on the radio.
So, I suppose if Wallace can obscure his meanings and act smart while saying it, someone might imagine that there was some meaning there.
Whatever. But at least you can dance to the blues.

Anonymous said...

As regards the counting of words, K.C. Johnson could have used MS Word or the MS Works Word Processor or some other program in order to do that. (Incidentally, if one does it, it's best that no two words be joined by a non-breaking space. Double hyphen for a dash may also skew the count in one way or another.)

Anonymous said...

I would hardly say that these idiot professors have "destroyed" Duke - as KC has documented exhaustively, hardly anyone actually takes their classes as it is. It appears that they have been hired in spite of their lack of scholarship in order to pump up Duke's statistics as to the number of minority faculty. Then they sit around and bloviate - mostly to each other, it seems, and to the handful of foolish students who can't or won't hack it in "real" subjects.

I'd still have no hesitation about sending my child to Duke - I know they'd have the sense to avoid these "study of absurdity" classes and get a decent education from the many fine professors in places like the economics department and the engineering school.

Besides, what's the alternative? As the good Professor Ho demonstrates, this kind of internal rot is prevalent at every one of Duke's peer institutions. It's still quite simple to get a good education at these school, as long as you avoid the "nothing" classes taught by the 88 and their kin (or perhaps even take one when you've got a heavy class schedule - the good thing about the "nothing" classes is that they're always an easy "A" for the savvy student).

Of course, you could also get rid of every single "nothing" class and every professor that specializes in these subjects and not lose a single thing of value, but that's another discussion.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mac said...

If an Arachnologist wrote like Wallace...

The abstractual analysis of the Other's contemplative-contemporary,
self-disabused, by Other, of course, marginalizes and heteronormalizes the dissectivist
nature of Latrodectus Mactans, though silent, daily spinning subcontectual racialist methaphors
for black females possessing, and ever using,
neurotoxicity against the more fragilistic male of
the same species, who utilizes pedipalps of immensity and provoking envy
in a nihilistic effort to procreate,
though not penetratively inseminatory, as the male is masterbatory,
using his enormities to gather and store his own Essence,
while her assimilation of his cephalothorax and abdominus ad rectum et spinneret,
perpetuative of the arachnoid, contextualized in the family theridiidae
and memorialized in the genus Latrodectus, the species of Mactans black immensity,
female only, the male reduced to oversized pedipalps
that would have aroused Freud to spontaneous self-combustion.

Translation on a human level:

Ever see a L. Mactans (black widow) eat her mate after he inseminates her?
He's small, has a big set, which he uses like a sop-bag,
carefully depositing his sperm in her reproductive orifice;
she's big, is many times as venomous,
and she helps make more offspring when she gets a
spider's version of a breakfast-in-bed.

jim2 said...

It might be useful to identify which courses, if any, that are taught by the 88 will be required courses in Fall 2007. Presumably, the syllabus for any such course would be publicly available.

Anonymous said...

Below is Ruth Sheehan's latest column. She takes a tour around Duke with Burness.

I have to say that her writing usually makes me wince. So banal. So silly. As if she's been capsulized inside one of her kid's kindergarten show-and-tell classes.

We recall how she jumped out like Nifong to deliver an almost goofy demand of the lacrosse players to "tell the truth".

Then she went into an embarrassing-to-read recount of her own rape decades ago. Date rape? What did that have to do with the lacrosse players?

Then, some gave her credit for saying "I'm sorry" when it was made clear the lacrosse players were innocent.

That was like giving Jeffrey Dahmer a medal for sitting down with a camera crew and admitting that he ate the body parts of his victims.

Sheehan is no better than the other rabid Hoax-lovers at the N&O and all the other newspapers who devoured and savored the false accusations.

At her paper Joe Neff is the only adult.

Without ole-boy Democratic connections through her husband, Sheehan would never have been given her current role of "columnist". Her psychologically-arrested musings and opinions are mere echoes from a silly high school girl who was not on the "A" list of popularity......so she settled for being an assistant on the yearbook staff.

This column is so silly that you might lose your breakfast....or at least, have a coffee or cappuccino spittake.

Another example of MSM problems: They hire simpletons like Sheehan to opine about significant things.

Banality_to_the_End

Debrah

Anonymous said...

Geez, it always comes down to sex with these people.
It's as if they use Race, Class, and Gender as cover to talk about what they really are interested in: Sexuality.

Anonymous said...

Why can't these jerks just get up and say "the ad was a bad idea. It increased tensions on campus at a time when they were already bad, and although it wasn't our intent [allegedly], it made the situation much worse for the accused players and the alleged victim. We are sorry."

Seriously... wtf?

mb said...

It seems to me that there are two main types of people who make up the G88 and their ilk: 1) Feminist women obsessed with the power and control aspect of the "metanarrative," and 2) 'Pro-feminist' men who are obsessed with sex, deferential to the classic race/gender/class metanarrative so beloved by said feminists, and often have strong leanings towards homosexuality (according to 'real' feminists, men cannot be true feminists because they possess a penis. Ooo, I said it!). Thus, it seems to me that the G88 types are deeply threatened by men who embrace healthy, normal masculinity because it challenges their power and authority to coerce passive minds and otherwise control the situation. Freud could write a book about these loons. Oh wait, I think he already did.

Normal persons - men and women - wouldn't put up with this horse manure for split-second, which explains why these folks clam-up and tell the challenger to never contact them again when confronted re. their insipid gobbledygook. I'd love to attend a symposium where these folks were compelled to answer to the likes of KC or our dear well-endowed Deborah and not be allowed to slither away back into their hidey-holes. Like cockroaches they can't endure the light of day.

Tenured professors? Astounding. Where do I sign up for this sweet gig? I can say "penis" all day if need be.

Point and laugh... :D

P.S.: Oh yeah, I forgot: Penis!

christoph said...

Bill Anderson -- could you (or anyone else) please refer me to pre-"listening statement" emails among the 88 which show that the statement is about the lacrosse accusations? I'll need that for a conversation in which I'll be told that there was no link. Thanks.

Gary Packwood said...

I noticed that Professor Wallace's office is in the Allen Building.

Is this the same building the President calls home?
::
GP

Richard Aubrey said...

Anonymous 10:01.
The profs may always going on about sex, but the case wasn't about sex.
If it were about rape, other rapes at Duke would have generated the same amount of interest.
It was about class and race.
See the fem blogs when, grudgingly, they admit the guys didn't do it.
They still want them punished, or insist they're the lowest of the low for...being white, wealthy (presumably) men.

I had the misfortune of sitting through a horrid graduation speech once upon a time. To pass what seemed like hours, I read the titles of the PhD dissertations.
From what I could discern, they were almost uniformly about the totally unimportant, used huge words, and, to the extent I understood the huge words, misused them.
I gather the idea is that someplace in these files there may be a nugget of new knowledge which actually advances scholarship and knowledge. Like the buried pony.
Perhaps the hard sciences more uniformly generate something new.

Anyway, making fun of a professor for writing poorly, on subjects of monumental unimportance, and possibly with such leaps of illogic as to make the reader's head hurt is too easy.
The real question is not the subject, but how the subject, if taught or read, is expected to influence the student or reader.

mac said...

What Wallace said:
"I have a responsibility to all of my students...to disabuse them..."

What he meant:
"I have a responsiblilty to all of my students...to abuse them..."

At least it seems that way, since he claims they were all
"miseducated." Of course, it remains for Wallace to be
the sole arbiter of truth.

Perhaps he can organize special "camps" for children to attend,
so that they can be properly "educated."
(Camp Mao, Camp Pol Pot...)

KC Johnson said...

To Christoph, 10.17:

Here's the post. Wahneema Lubiano, the author of the ad, e-mailed people stating that “African & African-American Studies is placing an ad in The Chronicle about the lacrosse team incident.”

Gary Packwood said...

Debrah 12:16 said...

...Well.....you'll have to scroll down for a pic of Maurice accepting an MLK poster. There will also be a smiling Durham City Manager Patrick Baker in the mix.
....A good time had by all: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/factor/issues/2005feb.pdf
Debrah
::
In this article, Baker said 'the criminal justice system is a broken, overburdened system, one that is managed by the state and the county and one in which the city has little control.'

Wow!

There is always a tension between City government and County government but I have never made the connection between those tensions and the lacrosse case and Durham.

Will the current study of the DPD include an analysis of Durham County involvement with the lacrosse case and the flow of information from County government officials (including law enforcement) to former DA Nifong?
::
GP

Ralph Phelan said...

10:02:
"Seriously... wtf? "

See my 9:25. I sincerely believe that the modern academic career track, especially in the liberal arts, strongly filters for psychopathology.

This inability to apologize reminds me of Nifong.

mac said...

KC,
The post you just referenced would have been a good response to the
ill-informed critic from yesterday's thread: it provides a
raison d'etre for DIW, and for continued analysis of the 88 et al.

don t. said...

I say again....I am deeply embarassed for my school. Where did Duke dig up these scum balls??? WHERE IS THE BOT????

trinity60

christoph said...

KC, thanks VERY much.

By accident, I stumbled this morning on an article by Deborah Tannen back in 2000 relevant to this academe-to-hell-in-a-handbasket observation. I was struck by how well it prefigured the 88's misconduct in the lacrosse hoax.
She defines an antagonistic kind of discourse she defines as "agonism" and writes about the effects "of agonism in three domains of public discourse: journalism, politics, and the law. But the domain in which I first identified the phenomenon and began thinking about it is the academic world. I remain convinced that agonism is endemic in academe -- and bad for it.

The way we train our students, conduct our classes and our research, and exchange ideas at meetings and in print are all driven by our ideological assumption that intellectual inquiry is a metaphorical battle. Following from that is a second assumption, that the best way to demonstrate intellectual prowess is to criticize, find fault, and attack.

Many aspects of our academic lives can be described as agonistic. For example, in our scholarly papers, most of us follow a conventional framework that requires us to position our work in opposition to someone else's, which we prove wrong. The framework tempts -- almost requires -- us to oversimplify or even misrepresent others' positions; cite the weakest example to make a generally reasonable work appear less so; and ignore facts that support others' views, citing only evidence that supports our own positions." She describes and predicts the corrosive, duplicitous, and dehumanizing effect this discourse has on everyone involved. Finally, she describes it in non-partisan terms, although anyone on this blog will recognize its use by liberal academics. Please, readers, check it out, and my apologies for not finding the correct way to post a link -- feel free, anyone, to repost the link correctly:
www.9.georgetown.edu/faculty/tannend/chronicle033100.htm

mac said...

Ralph,

I agree with you.

IMO (unprofessional, of course)
the 88 consist of hardcore
Borderline PD cases (mostly the
angry women,) NPDs consisting of
the folks who insist upon unmerited
accolades - (that includes many of the Angry Studies folk.

Seems to be a strong element of Histrionic PD, too.

Seems like lots of overlapping
psychopathologies: mix'n match.

Anonymous said...

To 9:56AM

There are no required "courses" at Duke, in Fall 2007 or anytime. First Year Writing is "required", but you can change sections as you please. Unless you are a major in one of the departments like AAAS or Women's Studies or Literature etc., you can avoid required courses that you think are silly.

Anonymous said...

I am so disappointed that I cannot comment on Professor Ho's blog even with my white male privelege.

AMac said...

Christoph 11:09am referenced Deborah Tannen's 2000 essay in "The Chronicle of Higher Education" titled Agonism in the Academy: Surviving Higher Learning's Argument Culture.

To see how to format hyperlinks with the anchor tag and the href attribute, try a fast tutorial like this one.

Anonymous said...

Debrah --

I must disagree with your 10:00. Ruth Sheehan made a mistake, yes -- she did not guess that the rock-solid evidence Mike Nifong was telling all the world he had against the lacrosse players didn't exist. However, that was an easy mistake to make: even if you didn't assume that Mike Nifong was ethical or honest, you might think that he was smart enough not to tell a huge barrage of lies that could be solidly refuted. It's a mistake that anyone could have made.

Sheehan has done far better than many others who made the same mistake. She made a sincere apology to those she wronged, doing so in the same forum where she wronged them. And unlike what seems like a depressing majority, she did not try to downplay the effects of her mistake by attacking the players' characters.

We can't ask of people that they never make mistakes. What we can ask is that they be capable of having their mistakes pointed out to them, and that they make appropriate amends for their mistakes. I think Sheehan has done that.

Anonymous said...

"The Duke 88 seem to be their own worst enemies."

Not while I'm alive.

jamil hussein said...

Can't the real sciences secede from Duke?

Angry Studies dept. should be pleased. They'd get rid of all those evil white males who teach euro-centric and jewish myths like Theory of Relativity - I'm sure Angry Studies Dept can create a new meta-narrative around Theory of Relativity using mexican feminism, race and gender as a guide.

Perhaps in the future there will Duke Univ of Angry Studies and a real university (Duke University of Real Sciences?)

Anonymous said...

Is Duke a state school?

Anonymous said...

"Doesn't it seem odd to you that we have an overabundance of Klan 88ers and far too few Professor KC Johnsons."

Not at all. Excellence is a recessive trait.

inman said...

I am truly intrigued with the style and pendantry of Wallace as he circumnavigates the global perspective of the diaspora first, among those who can be considered air-born equivalence to many dormant nonreproductive asexual bodies formed by in response to adverse environmental conditions, discussed among the Greek non-incognizant and subsequently promulgated by the Goths and Visigoths upon themselves as progenitors of other equally tragic examples of European maleness in the throngs of Asiatic sexual predation loosed among the tribal states of neurosis boiling among Germanic language herpetic notions of dream states existing in parallel with Machiavellian sympathies, as an adjuctive forebear of Freud himself, and closely redefined by trade existing as a passageway to native cultures, even as those cultures were defined in terms of sexual nuance depicted by cave-drawn woolly mammoths arriving on ice-laden sheets covering the Ball Bering Sea.

Ralph Phelan said...

mac 11:11
The axis B disorders seem to overlap a lot. Deciding which one is primary can be pretty arbitrary.

(p.s. I'm not a psychiatrist but I have a bunch of people I know who are under their care and have had to learn quite a bit.)

Anonymous said...

TO 11:41--

Please address the bulk of my comments.....that Ruth Sheehan has no business writing about important things in a major newspaper....albeit in Raleigh.

Even if her scribblings do appear in the least-read Monday's edition.

Your opinion is respected. I just disagree.

In any case, even if I could forgive her past performance.....giving us gratuitous details of a "date rape" in years past that happened to her and whipping up emotions from readers....her offering today was pathetic.

Debrah

Anonymous said...

11:23
re: required Freshman Writing Course

A Duke student cannot 'change out of the freshman writing course' as she/he pleases. Student can change ONLY if there is space avsilable in another writing class. There are finite seats for each of the required writing course offerings, so a number of Duke students are forced to take G88 classes, no matter the students' preference. (If an interesting, popular writing class fills up, for example, in the first of three rounds of class registration- reg. dates and times are assigned by Duke- there are no 'new' sections of the same course opened up for other students. Those students in round 2 or 3 of registration are indeed stuck with whatever is left.
(My Duke student was in round 3 for fall registration - and no viable courses were available - no surprise there. She was in round 2 for spring reg. - nothing was left then,either - but she was required to sign up for a writing class - in which there was NO interest. You will guess correctly that professor was a G88. She spent most of Christmas break om her computer checking drop-add. (On Jan 3 she was able to get into another class (non G88)that required 'volunteer' hours on Eno River as part of curriculum. Trust me, environmental studies is not a big interest of hers, but preferable to G88.) She ended up really enjoying the class.
She had dorm mates who were forced to take some of the G88 classes. Most were miserable. (No one (of the 5) received above B- . Two are not returning to Duke, in large part b/c of lack of course selection choices.

a 2 Duke mom

Anonymous said...

Deborah - The Ruthie rape story is a total embarrasment. It is apparent that many woman use this as an excuse for their bad judgement and behavior. I know thousands of woman and never once has one, claimed she was raped. Yet, since this case, "raped woman" come out of the woodwork. I don't know if they were "raped" or not. As a blogger wrote on another board - Twenty years ago, the manta was "incest survivor" - now it is "rape survivor."

no justice, no peace said...

9:46 a.m. inre: "Of course, you could also get rid of every single "nothing" class and every professor that specializes in these subjects and not lose a single thing of value, but that's another discussion."

Actually that is the discussion. The race/gender/class warfare progressives suck oxygen out of the room and receive funding in non-transparent ways. Brodhead, through his CCI, also appear to be requiring some of this indoctrination as mandatory in order to earn a degree.

Imagine if any of these were allowed to present during the prospective student visitations. Hell they don't even publish links to their own work.

And, Richard Brodhead overtly supports these frauds through his actions which is especially egregious given the timing and context of his support.

Ralph Phelan said...

"in our scholarly papers, most of us follow a conventional framework that requires us to position our work in opposition to someone else's, which we prove wrong."

It's very different in science(*) and engineering. Excepting unusual circumstances (such as major incompetence or dishonesty by another researcher, or being in the middle of a "paradigm shift") the usual structure is to look at someone else's work and expand or extend it without disputing that acknowledging that it was correct as far as it went. And yes there are obnoxious, aggressive, nitpicky questioners to be dealt with, but the expectation is that a well-researched work will survive anything they can throw at it (partly because "That's beyond the scope of this project" is considered a perfectly valid response). In practice, this goal is very often achieved. I'd like to see Tannen investigate the academic culture of these fields and compare it to the humanities.

(*) Please don't give me any counterexamples from sociology or psychology - I'm talking about real science.

Locomotive Breath said...

I attended the "Shut Up and Teach?" meeting on campus. There's an account I wrote on Liestoppers.

http://z9.invisionfree.com/LieStoppers_Board/index.php?s=9ec5221896b652dfc17db907edcaba75&showtopic=2088&view=findpost&p=7926688

In response to a question, the conclusion of the panelists was that all the white students at Duke are racists. However, they could be divided into two subgroups: those that are "ignorant" (MW's words IIRC) of their racism and those that are not.

They freely admitted that the goal of the Campus Culture Initiative was to force all the racist white students to take a class where they could no longer be ignorant of their racism.

Having been burned by the "Listening" and "Clarifying" statements which went into the public record, the panelists ensured that the only recording of the event was their own which they refuse to release.

mac said...

Amac 11:39,

The article you linked ("Agonism in the Academy")
is eloquent.

To some extent, we posters are performing a similar function:
we call out "Pull!"
KC sends up a skeet,
and we blow it to smithereens!

This stuff we shoot at, however, is NOT good work,
part or parcel; it's self-important drivel, produced at
enormous expense and passed off
as serious work. It's often cheap,
unimportant and easily satirized.

Some of what passes these days for scholarship and originality
is mere boasting, and deserves serious unravelling:
for instance, something Wallace said about students being "miseducated"
is the grand mal of intellectual seizures, a brag on the scale of
a P-Diddy or a Wilt Chamberlain!

And it's also exhibit A in this conflict-driven scholarship
that Tannen decries:
"Piss on the rest, mine's the best!"

The chief difference between what she's writing about is that
Wallace is pissing on some mighty big shoes,
not just untying shoelaces, as he suggests that
it's his-way-only. How's that for patriarchalism?

Destroy the gods, then become one!

On a personal note:
I don't go to art galleries to see what I won't like:
I go hoping to see something that I might.

inman said...

whew...I just caught my breath from my run-on 140 word sentence.

I have a new found respect for Wallace, for his linguistic endurance and for his proper use of the term "hermeneutics."

But...question...is he Scottish? Did his ancestors charge the field at Bannockburn? Just curious.

Ahhh...the pen IS mightier than the sword.

no justice, no peace said...

10:26 Mac inre;
"Perhaps he can organize special "camps" for children to attend,
so that they can be properly "educated."
(Camp Mao, Camp Pol Pot...)"

They already are...they're more commonly understood to be our public school system which is driven by the Department of Education.

It is interesting to note the flight to primary private schools in order to get a solid education so that consumers can spend $60k per year to receive a private university education that is so terribly lacking, on so many fronts.

Anonymous said...

"WHERE IS THE BOT????"

Take another look. They are right there behind the group of 88. 100%, apparently.

Anonymous said...

TO 12:47PM--

Agreed. :>)

Debrah

no justice, no peace said...

Christoph inre: 11:09

The link is incomplete.

What is unstated is the fraudulent nature of the process. Those who seek truth aren't just critical of other's ideas, but depend upon competent peers to be critical of their own. Most important and lacking among these frauds are self-critique and doubt of their own work.

Can any imagine this tripe being put forth with the multiple solicitations that are consistently sent from Duke?

Anonymous said...

Other than the few AAs or AAAs students enrolled in this discipline, I imagine those who took the course are laughing behind this guy's back. Just like Thugan.....

jamil hussein said...

Ward Churchill got fired. How long does it take for Duke Angry Studies Dept to make an offer for him?
He would be great addition to Duke.


Free Speech v. Academic Freedom: Ward Churchill & Radical Academics


excerpt:
While the ensuing controversy exposed Churchill as a fraud, it also exposed fundamental problems in higher learning that, as a parent of college students, causes me particular concern. My ensuing research revealed that Mr. Churchill is not as much of an aberration as I hoped, but is in fact an example of a pervasive problem..
A liberal education does not mean a leftist education, or a socialist one, or an “alternative lifestyles” one, or an education advocating anarchy. We have come to the point where in application; education and indoctrination are becoming synonymous.

Anonymous said...

To 12:49
The intensity of criticism is no different in the sciences. The scientific method is all about testing hypotheses and rejecting them. I am more likely to be published if I reject them.

tod allison, detroit said...

“sacrificing one’s aura of being penetrated instead of penetrating.” As the one who “penetrates,” the minister’s “phallic ego is empowered,” Wallace commented. “The straight man shouting gets caught up in a third heaven: feeling feelings.”

--------------------------

There it is again. Another G88er describing somebody else's behavior through the lense of their own sexual fixations.

All these guys are doing is going to church, and practicing their faith.

Wallace has no idea what he's talking about, but when he gives his condescending, perverted explanation, its treated by some as scholarship.

Chafe, Rudy, Wallace. These people need to keep their fetishes to themselves.

Anonymous said...

To me, the most distressing thing about Ruth Sheehan's column today is that she let the (apparently) least effective public relations person in history, John Burness, implicitly claim that all would be right with the world if only those other fools at Duke had had the good sense to listen to his advice four year ago without challenging him--a proper journalist should ask follow up questions, not "sigh."

Anonymous said...

Off topic.

From Breitbart.com: "NAACP Leaders Urge Fairness for Vick"

Nothing else - couldn't stand to read it.

Anonymous said...

Ernst Ingmar Bergman has passed on; perhaps the greatest director in history.

We'll miss you, Ingmar.

Jim Faro

mac said...

Ralph 12:49,
I agree in principle that sciences are less political, but in practice?

Depends upon the science: much of the gold-standard, double-blind research done in pain-relief, for example, is nothing more than anecdote, multiplied by thousands. Case-in-point: the flawed "research" on glucosamine, which contradicted an earlier, better study.
Trouble with pain research is that placebos are so unreliable, and sometimes the success rate is higher than the tested drug!
("Ooops! Start over!")
How does that work?

Flawed research and flawed practice happens all the time: the human element - (as evidenced by the metric/American measurement fiasco that sent a Mars orbiter etc. into eternity) - is still an unfortunate reality.

Lately, FMRI and other tools have been used for their abilities to help us comprehend the brain and its many functions: one day, these "soft sciences" may be more adept than the shitty/shoddy stuff that often comes out of pharmaceutical-based research,some of which is about as ethically-based as Brian Meehan's work with Nifong.

Did you know that the sample the doctor gives you counts as a writeoff for "research?"
Some of these guys are about as scientific as the Tobacco Institute.

Do I have to mention "global warming?" More science in a Ouija
Board than in some of those "studies."
And 'bout the same credibility.
Same credibility as G88.

Anonymous said...

A little off topic - just read Ruth Sheehan's column, "What If."

The 800 pound gorilla "what if's" are as follows: what if the 88 had not been racist/bigoted in their approach, or had adhered to their ethical requirements to their students, or apologized when it became clear that their cause celebe was mis-guided, or if Brodhead had shown real leadership and a preseumption of innocence, or if Nifong had integrity, or if those in the Durham PD were not trying to manipulate the system, or if T. Levicy had not made "I never met a rape victim who lied" assumptions, or if the MSM had a modicum of objectivity, or if the BOT saw students as their primary stakeholders, or if Precious were not such a pathological liar, etc., etc...

Instead, the only "what if" implied is that if the house had been bought, then all the cockroaches that ultimately came out of the woodwork would not have been exposed for all the world to see.

Glad she apologized, even if begrudgingly so.

Ed

Anonymous said...

It seems that the Gang of 88, like the wonderful Prof Ho, cannot stand scrutiny of their ideas or views.

Oh well.

Anonymous said...

How commonplace is the Group of 88 thinking at other top schools?

I don’t feel comfortable call them liberal as they are unlike people who I would consider liberal. Perhaps the best definition of there type of thinking is cult like. There is no allowing of dissent, which is what keeps most educational endeavors relevant. In addition it appears that you cannot be skilled with logic or consistency. Bad writing also appears to be a must and complexity is rewarded over simplicity.

Anonymous said...

Duke will pay forever for its diversity "hiring frenzy" in the '90's. Thank you, Professor Chafe, for ushering in such angry mediocrities.

Duke no longer has to go outside to get these fools. Maurice Williams is a product of it graduate school. Now, as a tenured professor, he can join forces with one of his mentors, Holloway, and the other tenured 88, to bring in more mediocrities to spew their brand of nonsensical truth, as the administration stands idly by.

By the way, thank you too, Duke Press for publishing so much of their crap.

The saying, "the bad drives out the good" has never been truer.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if this incident has had an effect on the enrollement of the 88's class attendence? One could only hope.

scott said...

2:14 PM --

I'm sure if anyone were to ask the NAACP about their support of Vick vis a vis their thoroughly irrational criticism of the Lax 3, the response would go like this:

It's not that we are prejudiced against white males. We just don't like dogs.

Anonymous said...

KC, are these profiles only for the blog or will they appear in print publications, such as your forthcoming book?

Anonymous said...

WHAT A DIFFERENCE ONES COLOR MAKES

same for the Groupof 88

-----------------------------------
AP
NAACP leaders urge fairness for Vick

By ERRIN HAINES, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 51 minutes ago

ATLANTA - NAACP leaders urged public restraint Monday in judging Michael Vick before he has his day in court.
ADVERTISEMENT

R.L. White, president of the Atlanta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said the Atlanta Falcons quarterback has been vilified by animal rights groups, talk radio and the news media and prematurely punished by his team and corporate sponsors.

"If Mr. Vick is guilty, he should pay for his crime, but to treat him as he is being treated now is also a crime," White said at a news conference. "Be restrained in your premature judgment until the legal process is completed."

Vick has pleaded not guilty to charges of sponsoring a dogfighting operation.

On Monday, Tony Taylor, a co-defendant in the case, pleaded guilty in Virginia to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges in a plea agreement with prosecutors. Purnell Peace of Virginia Beach and Quanis Phillips of Atlanta face similar charges and are scheduled for trial Nov. They remain free without bond.

Businesses have been quick to recoil. Nike suspended its lucrative contract with Vick and Reebok stopped sales of his No. 7 jersey. In addition, two trading car companies withdrew Vick items.

White plans to contact Vick to see what assistance the Atlanta NAACP chapter can offer. White predicted that public opinion may worsen in the wake of Taylor's plea deal.

Until then, he said he would keep an open mind and encouraged others to do the same.

Georgia NAACP President Edward Dubose thanked Vick for his community service and the money and excitement he has brought to Georgia as a Falcon. Dubose said Vick is being prosecuted in the court of public opinion before he has had a chance to defend himself.

"We're not condoning bad behavior, but Michael Vick is innocent until proven guilty," Dubose said.

Atlanta chapter member Bernadette Allen attended the news conference and also a rally Sunday to support Vick.

Anonymous said...

I too saw that article on the NAACP urging everyone to give Mike Vick the presumption of innocence to which he's entitled.

Amazing how the NAACP's reverence for this principle changes with the skin color of the accused.

Anonymous said...

AP
NAACP leaders urge fairness for Vick

By ERRIN HAINES, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 51 minutes ago

ATLANTA - NAACP leaders urged public restraint Monday in judging Michael Vick before he has his day in court.
ADVERTISEMENT

R.L. White, president of the Atlanta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said the Atlanta Falcons quarterback has been vilified by animal rights groups, talk radio and the news media and prematurely punished by his team and corporate sponsors.

"If Mr. Vick is guilty, he should pay for his crime, but to treat him as he is being treated now is also a crime," White said at a news conference. "Be restrained in your premature judgment until the legal process is completed."

Vick has pleaded not guilty to charges of sponsoring a dogfighting operation.

On Monday, Tony Taylor, a co-defendant in the case, pleaded guilty in Virginia to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges in a plea agreement with prosecutors. Purnell Peace of Virginia Beach and Quanis Phillips of Atlanta face similar charges and are scheduled for trial Nov. They remain free without bond.

Businesses have been quick to recoil. Nike suspended its lucrative contract with Vick and Reebok stopped sales of his No. 7 jersey. In addition, two trading car companies withdrew Vick items.

White plans to contact Vick to see what assistance the Atlanta NAACP chapter can offer. White predicted that public opinion may worsen in the wake of Taylor's plea deal.

Until then, he said he would keep an open mind and encouraged others to do the same.

Georgia NAACP President Edward Dubose thanked Vick for his community service and the money and excitement he has brought to Georgia as a Falcon. Dubose said Vick is being prosecuted in the court of public opinion before he has had a chance to defend himself.

"We're not condoning bad behavior, but Michael Vick is innocent until proven guilty," Dubose said.

Atlanta chapter member Bernadette Allen attended the news conference and also a rally Sunday to support Vick.

Anonymous said...

...it is almost too self-evident to say aloud how such lexemes as disorder, neurosis, and complex might well identify cultural contingencies...that serve the analysts’ own egotistic fantasies and...‘justify the exercise of their own normative authority.’”

That is too self-evident to say aloud. In fact, better it is never said at all.

mac said...

"Racialist: a person with a predjudiced belief that one race
is superior to others."

Hmmm. Other definitions vary, used by different people to mean different things, including
an "emphasis on race or racial considerations." For the Klan of 88,
that might work, too.

Wallace said:
"the racialist gaze (which by definition need not be a racist gaze)..."

I love it when scholars use language that is ambiguous, so that they can say that what they
mean is nothing more, nothing less
than what they mean.
Wonderland!
Jackpot!

KC Johnson said...

To the 2.51:

The profiles will only appear on the blog, although some of these figures do appear in the book, without as much coverage. Space is the primary constraint: the blog right now is around 800,000 words of posts; the book is only around 120,000 words.

On the issue of how common figures like the Group are in the academy: it's absolutely correct, it seems to me, not to use the term "liberal." The race/class/gender worldview sees little to differentiate liberalism from conservatism. The two principal tenets are intolerance of others' views and a conviction that American society is so deeply oppressive on bases of race, class, and gender that analysis through any other lenses is useless.

Such intolerance, sadly, exists throughout the academy; though the Group might be more vehement and slightly more influential than its counterparts elsewhere, the scholarly approaches of the Group are not at all uncommon.

BBZ said...

Wallace has his purpose & right to present a radical, polarizing dogma if he chooses. Such opinion and scholar should not be silenced. Without Wallace(s) students are not presented with or prepared for confrontations of radically different perspectives.

For every highly educated, articulate Wallace there are several non-educated pseudo-Wallaces without the mental dexterity to teach their perspective, rather, presenting with alternative ineffective or outrageous approaches.

Professors like Wallace allow students across the racial, ethnic, gender, transnational milieu to absorb the unknown. Because it exists with or without Wallace.

Much to the dismay (and in total unfairness to Wallace) of most people on this blog Wallace has every right to speak up. His ideas, although outrageous to some, counter the polar opposite. What is the polar opposite? The polar opposite is the lack of Dr. Wallace, thus, the lack of all everyday-pseudo-Wallaces who walk Main Street with you and I.

The anti-Wallace could also be the racially igornant cretins prevalent in our society. What a better way to proactively counter them than to teach the polar opposite allowing the student to internalize their own understanding. The anti-Wallace could also be the hard-sciences, engineering, numbers-oriented programs lacking the human emotion and substance necessary to compete in a global world. Without Wallace(s) how do the engineers, businesspeople, and scientists truly understand the impacts of their discoveries, investments, and ethics.

Kudos to Wallace.

mac said...

Might be interesting if a student were to use DIW - (and the G88) -
as a topic of study.

History: The History of Hoaxes
Economics: G88 and its Franchisees
English: Parodies and Paradoxes of the G88: Self-made Satire.
Biology: Mutating Cells.
Sexual Studies: In Flagrante Felatio?
Sociology: A Comparison of the French Revolution with the Duke Lacrosse Burning: Was Toxiplasma Gondii Responsible for Both?
Art: Cubism v. Cubanism

KC: Since you're going there, one wonders: how many of the 88 are anti-Israel?

KC Johnson said...

Unsurprisingly, if sadly, there was a considerable overlap between anti-Israel faculty extremists and anti-lacrosse faculty extremists.

neal said...

I wonder if the people like Wallace actually do anything to advance the cause of race/class/gender, or are they just sucking down paychecks by writing unintelligible gunk.

One of my ancestors fought on the Union side of the civil war, and voted for Lincoln, as did a lot of Americans. To me, that is putting something on the line for race relations.

Or listen to the words in this video:
http://www.wral.com/news/local/video/1617659/ first few minutes.

Joe Cheshire describes how his father helped to integrate the North Carolina bar at a time when doing so posed danger to him and his family.

To me, that is real, not the "opaque" writings of Wallace.

BBZ said...

To neal:

That is all newsworthy and noble.

But what about continuing to listen to the people who your ancestors (and Mr. Cheshire) fought for? For they are true heros.

So tell me, did they fight and risk their lives only to silence those who wanted to speak in the first place?

Thankfully Wallace exists to remind us what our ancestors fought (or voted) for!

Anonymous said...


Without Wallace(s) how do the engineers, businesspeople, and scientists truly understand the impacts of their discoveries, investments, and ethics.


We don't actually need a poseur like Wallace. Any old moron will do :-)

mac said...

4:22
No, Cujos to Wallace.

Perhaps you need to re-read the post by 12:37 (a 2 Duke Mom.)
The students she cites were obviously not impressed.

Wallace has a right to remain silent, too;
whether or not he has a purpose is
about as relevant as whether or
not a mosquito has a purpose in the ecology.
Probably does, but as for the rest of the animal kingdom, it usually just spreads disease.

What is a pseudo-Wallace? Who would want to be a false-Wallace??
A "pseudo," you know, is an imitation, a counterfeit.
I ask you: who would want to be a bowel bacterium of a bowel bacterium?
A shit-of-a-shit? Merde-de-la merde?
To each his own, I guess.

Much to the dismay of the people -
(such as yourself and the
rest of the 88) -
we posters also have the right to speak up;
our ideas, though outrageous to you,
counter your low-grade excrement:
I wouldn't even step in what you and Wallace teach,
not even on Main Street.

I like your name-calling skills: trolls like yourself always jump on ship,
calling us names, and then squealing that we're name-callers!
So: "racially ignorant cretins," eh?
How's that for name-calling?
Ah, I see: you were merely quoting
the Good Apostle Paul!
(Did you know that's where the notion
of the "cretin" comes from?
I doubt it, somehow.)
Your "cretin" comment is racialist, too.

Must be out of ignorance;
perhaps you should "internalize" this "understanding":

"You wasted $150,000 on an education
you coulda got for a buck fifty
in late charges at the public library."

Anonymous said...

Mac--Parodies and Paradoxes 101, by Pseudoprofessor Polanski--LOL

Wallace is not a mediocrity, as "mediocrity" implies that he's anywhere from below average to inferior. No, what Wallace is, is grossly inferior; he has no business teaching kindergarten, never mind Duke students.

It is sad to realize that this boob thinks he's intelligent--the top of the pops. I bet you his self-esteem is off the charts.

Ralph Phelan said...

mac: 2:27

Certainly the sciences have their difficulties, medecine especially, and *some* career benefit accrues to the guy who can prove someone else wrong.

But the business as practiced in my experience (up to successfully defending a Ph.D. thesis) doesn't fit the "agonist" model: Shooting down opposing work is only one of many ways of making career progress - extending or improving it is another. I didn't usally see us vs. them two way battles with entire fields divided into camps - the battles were much more ad-hoc with shifting alliances. And I especially didn't see the "user you opponent's worst arguments and ignore their best" strategy or the "oversimplify your opponent's position into a strawman" strategy because it just doesn't fly - the audience will call "BS" on you.

The agonist model is useful in law, where the quality of opposing arguments is evaluated by judge or jury, and and science/engineering where the quality of opposing arguments is evaluated by a marketplace of ideas that starts with scientists in other fields who don't have a dog in your fight, but just want solid information to base their work on, running all the way out to the actual marketplace, where products and services will succeed or fail depending on how well th assumptions behind their design conforms to reality.

The agonist model works badly in the humanities where (as we have recently had so dramatically demonstrated) there are no consequences to being wrong, and where the politicization of everything along left-right lines means that you always have obvious allies in other disciplines, so instead of lots of little fights about individual issues you just have lots of fronts in a single "culture war."

Anonymous said...

BBZ-

I don't know if Wallace - any more than David Duke, the head of the skin-heads (whomever that is), Ward Churchill, or anyone else needs to be silenced. Ridculed for what they are, maybe, but not silenced. People (students, parents, etc.) do benefit from knowing what they are getting in to.

The truth has this way of finding the light of day. The racism and bigotry of many (and many organizations) who purported to stand for justice has been highlighetd by the Duke Lacrosse travesty.

Ed

Anonymous said...

I'm a Duke grad, class of 2001. I'm a longtime reader of this blog, ardent Duke Three supporter, and an attorney.

I was disappointed to hear of Prof. Wallace's extreme stance on this case, because he was one of my favorite professors in college. I had the distinct pleasure of taking Crime and Criminology in American Literature with him in the spring of 2000. His class and teachings were consistently insightful, thought-provoking, and eye-opening. We did indeed spend some time dissecting Wright's "Native Son," as well as novellas from Iceberg Slim, Capote's "In Cold Blood," and others.

While Prof. Wallace may have become more PC and wedded to extreme elements of the Duke faculty over the past seven years, I still believe him to have been a great professor who truly cared about his students and their viewpoints. Rest assured, I often sparred and disagreed with him in class, and still managed to wrangle an A+. I hope, for his students' sake, that he still maintains his sense of humor, his incisive wit, and his thought-provoking method of discussion -- no matter what he may publish or speak on the lax scandal.

mac said...

Ralph,
I agree.

Consequences for being wrong in
science: a lost Mars mission.

Consequences for being wrong on a rape-hoax:
awards for Nartey, and promotions all 'round
for pathetic, pedantic proximates of
pudendal anatomy.

Ahem.

Anyway, I agree with you; well-stated.

Anonymous said...

I find it unsurprising that so many members of the Group of 88 consider themselves as postmodern and their approach as deconstructivist. This may explain why we have heard not a whisper of regret from any of them; indeed, why they have dug their heels into the quicksand of their careers (er, sinecures). When Jacques Derrida, a Jew born in Algeria during the Vichy regime, came to the defense of his late colleague and mentor Paul de Man when it was revealed that de Man had secretly authored some 170 anti-semitic diatribes for a collaborationalist newspaper in Belgium during WWII, Mark Lilla, writing in the New York Review of Books, observed that Mr. Derrida's contortionist defense of his old friend left "the impression that deconstruction means you never have to say you're sorry." So don't expect any intimations of regret from the Duke 88, because being an academic hack means never having to say you are sorry.

Anonymous said...

Ed, nobody wants to silence Wallace. He should dazzle us from some YMCA after a hard-fought Parcheesi contest.

Are you maintaining that this bottom-feeder deserves to be drawing a salary from Duke?

Anonymous said...

5:22 is Dick Brodhead

Hey, Dickie! Have your CV updated?

rod allison, detroit said...

"Without Wallace(s) how do the engineers, businesspeople, and scientists truly understand the impacts of their discoveries, investments, and ethics."

Without Wallace(s) the engineers would thrive, despite being deprived of learning the finer points about auras of penetration, phallic ego, or diaspora sexuality.

Without the engineers, and others who produce, the Wallace(s) would be food gatherers living in mud huts. Most of them would starve or die of exposure.

Anonymous said...

Come on now, bbz. No one here is suggesting that Wallace "be silenced." He has the right to say and write whatever he wants, no matter how vacuous. Moreover, as a tenured professor, he has the right to say and write whatever he wants and keep his job at Duke; even attacks on his own students are apparently just fine with his employer. All that's happening here is that his views are being exposed to the light of day, and subjected to scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

To 12:06:00 pm

Point well made, and hurrah for you. I should have said the Duke 88 types are diversity's worst enemies. That would have been more precise.

GHK-Old Granddad

Anonymous said...

As a Duke alumna and mother of a Duke grad (white semi-privileged male who likes sports and who graduated a half-decade before the rape hoax), I am especially interested in the anecdotal accounts of the experiences of current Duke students in course selection.

My belief that courses by the 88 could be avoided has been destroyed by the blog comment above by "a 2 Duke mom" at 12:37 p.m.

No one should be required to take a writing course from a professor whose goal is to indoctrinate anything but clear writing. To that end, the offerings in the freshman writing course should be plentiful enough so that no student feels "stuck" with a teacher imposing his or her world view on the students or with one whose own writing ability consists mainly of slinging post-modern or any other jargon into complicated sentences. Maurice Williams teaching English at any level is beyond my comprehension. Did he teach freshman writing as a graduate assistant before he received his PhD and tenure at Duke?

The writing program should be set up so that student can avoid having to suffer through a meaningless PC experience or to play to an instructor's biases in order to receive a decent grade. The provost, vice-provost, and dean of undergraduate instruction need to attend to this problem of its "customers." The director of the writing program (an 88er himself, I learned on this blog) will respond to the problem only if his superiors receive letters from parents and alumnae, especially recent alumnae who have experienced first-hand the space availability problems of freshman writing courses.

In the late '90's I personally found people in the administration responsive to student problems, although these problems did not involve race-class-sex agendas. It was complaints from parents about difficulties in scheduling airline flights for their children returning home during the winter break that led Duke to publish the final exam schedule earlier in the semester. Provost Peter Lange responded to my letter, noting that that Duke had become aware of the scheduling problems and would be posting exam schedules earlier. In another case, my son and others who signed up for a science class critical to their major found themselves not with the professor, an expert in his field, scheduled to teach the course but with a graduate student who simply could not teach. My son would normally suffer almost anything from a teacher before having his mother interfere, but he seemed amenable to my writing a letter to the chair of the department. Having always disliked interfering parents at the elementary and high school level, I hesitated but then thought about how much that one course cost me and my husband, how Duke always publicized its excellent teaching, and how my son, finally serious about academics, was truly upset that he was learning nothing from his teacher in an important class, not a throw-away gut. The chairman responded to my e-mail letter by e-mail, thanking me for my comments, but praising the graduate assistant and expressing his belief that the students were benefiting from the course. About two weeks later the full professor originally slated to teach the course was back in the classroom, the result of both student and parent complaints.

These two problems were not complex and not political, but their resolutions did indicate a responsiveness on the part of some people in the administration.

I realize that the problem of lack of availability of desired courses in the required frosh writing program is a minor part of the the seemingly intransigent problem of the proliferation of the race-class-gender cult and the administration that caters to them. I do believe, however, that dealing with such smaller problems has an impact on the larger problem. If enough letters by recent graduates, their paying parents, and appalled alumnae of yesteryear addressed the specific problem of space availability in the freshman writing courses, the cumulative impact of the letters could well provide an incentive for some in the administration to take ameliorative action.

Letters addressing other, broader issues of the hoax directed to the Board of Trustees are essential in trying to prevent the rot from spreading, but letters on smaller, more easily solvable but related issues are also important.

Thanks, "2 Duke mom," for recounting the plight of your daughter and some of her friends who tried so hard to navigate the course offerings in the freshman writing program.

Letters to the provost with a copy to the director of undergraduate studies (if that position hasn't been filled by an 88 sympathizer) recounting such experiences but not necessarily revealing student names would be helpful to those administrators and faculty who truly care about the student experience at Duke. The Duke lacrosse players were savaged publicly by the administration and the 88 ilk, but other students are quietly suffering. Their voices need to be heard.

It's so easy to comment on the blog; it's so hard to write letters. I'm still composing mine to the Board of Trustees.

Anonymous said...

In my recent blog comment above, I mentioned Maurice Williams. I meant Maurice Wallace. My apologies to anyone named Maurice Williams.

mac said...

5:22
You sound intelligent.
Ever read Heart of Darkness,
or see Apocalypse Now?

Is it possible that Wallace did a Kurtz?

Anonymous said...

Wallace is free to be an idiot and no one will "silence" him. We are also free to opine that he is indeed an idiot.

Evidently, bbz, you haven't been out for a while. "Diversity" training is forced down one's throat (on into other more painful places) in large quantities in corporate American, school at every level, the military, etc. You needed worry that student's won't hear about it.

Anonymous said...

In retrospect, Gromit would have been a better hire for Duke than Wallace.

inman said...

7:41

Thank you for your heartfelt, reasoned, cogent and worthy analysis and opinion.

mac said...

8:30
"In retrospect, Gromit would have been a better
hir for Duke than Wallace."

Good 'un!

In retrospect, Kermit would have been a better hire for Duke than
Wallace, too!

Anonymous said...

mac @ 7:53...

You are as extreme as Wallace. Yes, that puts you in the same league as Wallace in terms of your magnitude of intolerance.

It is a shame you are just some everyday-joe (yes, an assumption of mine, refute only with supporting data) with a malformed opinion and he is a tenured professor with an informed misinclination making bank on your fears. It is plausible that he has outperformed you in life.

Please don't disappoint me and please remain your consistently inconsistent self with a cordial reply to somehow garner some support among your fellow bloggers. Here is an approach you've tried before: hide your pain behind some celluloid classic in hopes it touches someone else who saw the emotionally-charged movie.

Good day.

no justice, no peace said...

It appears the "Visiting Scholars" have discovered there isn't much there, there in the Duke English Department.

The list isn't a long one...

Duke English Dept. Visiting Scholars

They must have had difficulty in understanding anything produced from the Dept.

The duty of the message is with the sender. It amazes me how frequently the English Department fails in their individual and collective ability to communicate.

One is reminded of the Cheech & Chong song that had a verse about "...Mexican-Americans, go to night school, and take Spanish, and make "B"s."

locomotive breath said...

In my recent blog comment above, I mentioned Maurice Williams. I meant Maurice Wallace. My apologies to anyone named Maurice Williams.

Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs. Maybe we can write a tune called Go!

Anonymous said...

Good day to you, 10:10.

What on earth is your post supposed to mean?

Anonymous said...

8:30
"In retrospect, Gromit would have been a better hire for Duke than Wallace."

Good 'un!

In retrospect, Kermit would have been a better hire for Duke than Wallace, too!

Jul 30, 2007 9:58:00
----------------------------------

Anonymous said...

8:30
"In retrospect, Gromit would have been a better hire for Duke than Wallace."

Good 'un!

In retrospect, Kermit would have been a better hire for Duke than Wallace, too!

Jul 30, 2007 9:58:00
----------------------------------

You're right. Currently 0% of Duke's faculty is green, so Kermit would have been the better diversity hire.

Anonymous said...

Apologies for the false start.

Anonymous said...

mac's question at 7:53 p.m in response to the anonymous 2001 Duke graduate's 5:22 p.m. comment on his positive experience in Maurice Wallace's course, Crime and Criminology in American Literature, interests me.

"Is it possible that Wallace did a Kurtz?"

Did Wallace change once he went deep into heart of darkness at Duke and mingled with the race-sex-class savages? Is the garbage he spews now an antic disposition he has to play to please the more powerful in order to move from associate to full professor or has he tranformed into a freaking PC racist who believes what he says?

mac said...

10:10
Hahahahahahahahahah!

"Informed misinclination!"

"making bank on my fears?"

Hi, Maurice! Or.....

Polanski! How'd you get back
here?

Ralph Phelan said...

"Unsurprisingly, if sadly, there was a considerable overlap between anti-Israel faculty extremists and anti-lacrosse faculty extremists."

Why is it sad? Of course its sad that anti-Israel extremism exists at all, but given that it does, I find it heartening that it's in the same individuals. That means that the total number of idiots in academia is lower. And if all the idiocies are interlinked then there is just one problem to soleve, not a separate one for each individual idiocy.

Anonymous said...

I'm the Anonymous Commenter from 5:22 last night.

I don't know that Wallace "pulled a Kurtz," per se. His point of view was clearly of the postmodern leftist variety. I actually enjoyed his class for precisely that reason. I'm a political moderate who was raised in an exclusively conservative area. Insofar as we were studying crime and literature from a leftist slant, I found it fascinating to approach issues from a point of view far different from my own. "Native Son," in particular, is a work that lends itself to diferent interpretations depending on how you view it through the lens of class, race, and politics.

The thing that I liked about Professor Wallace is that he had his preferred views and liked to teach them, but he was (or at least seemed) tolerant of dissent. There were a number of occasions where he and I would go back and forth and have very interesting discussions as a result.

I guess what disappoints me is that he appears to have hardened his views and applied them to the real world. I enjoyed debating with a race/class warrior over works of literature. It saddens me to see a race/class warrior at work condemning his own students. That's all.

AMac said...

Thanks for the follow-on thoughts, former Wallace student 5:22pm/9:03am.

Hope you add your voice to the mix again.--insightful perspective.

mac said...

9:03
I second Amac's thanks.

My guess is that (many) people in the 88
have become caricatures of themselves.
It happens when we take ourselves too seriously,
when we toss out the intrinsic bullshit detectors.
It happens when we think our own ideas and thoughts
are Gospel.

Maybe Wallace will have learned something from this, and become
a different man, inspired by reason? Somehow, I doubt it:
he's likely showing signs of burnout,
and that sometimes leads to self-
destructive behavior.

In any case, it's not too bad when you have an occasional
loon to the left or goon to the right
to keep the middle honest, but
the pendulum's gotten stuck.

Wallace needs to learn how to say -
with meaning:
"I'm sorry."

Anonymous said...

Mac, Duke has to say its sorry--for hiring Wallace!

mac said...

10:10
Just re-read your comment, and had to laugh at your description of my
posts:

"Here is an approach you've tried before:
hide your pain behind some celluloid classic
in hopes it touches someone else who saw the
emotionally-charged movie."

Do I REALLY do that? AWWwwwwwWWWWW!

Which movie that I've regularly quoted that's emotionally charged?

Mars Attacks?
Animal House?
Monty Python and the Holy Grail?
Good Will Hunting, (when he disses expensive education that
could've been had at the local
library.)

Ya know...I made lots of references to those movies.
Other ones you might be referring to?

Just wondering: do these movies tug on
your widdle heartstrings, too?
Awwwwww-wwww!
Cwy me a wiver!

Anonymous said...

Profs in racegenpriv, the "thin" arts, all seem to love to dream up some embarrassingly false, strained cultural "lens"(usually by jamming together two or three ill-fitting abstractions); then - in an attempt to pitch their nonsense as if it's secretly been on others' minds as well - they ask if we can "speak of" it.

"Can we actually speak of diasporic sexualities?"

Uh, no. We cannot.