Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Credentials

At any elite university or liberal arts college, professors are expected to publish. In most disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, the path to publication usually features books and peer-reviewed articles; in others—such as Economics—peer-reviewed articles and case studies are the preferred options. Math, Engineering, and the natural sciences have quite different sets of scholarly expectations.

Only three members of the 69 tenured or tenure-track members of the Group came from Math or the natural sciences. (None came from Engineering or Economics.) Of the remainder, apart from a scattered few in Music and Dance, all teach in departments where professors are expected to publish books.

In looking through the Group’s c.v.’s, an interesting pattern emerges: sixteen* have published books with Duke University Press.

A couple of prominent anti-lacrosse professors are virtual DUP regulars. Diane Nelson has two forthcoming books with DUP (including The End/s of War: Reckoning and Assumptions of Identity in Post-Genocide Guatemala).

And Duke’s equivalent of Linwood (“The Intimidator”) Wilson, former Women’s Studies Director Robyn (“Language of Lynching“) Weigman, has three edited volumes plus a scholarly monograph with DUP. The “clarifying” professor—who tried and failed to intimidate into silence campus critics of the Group of 88—has written American Anatomies: Theorizing Race and Gender, while her edited volumes include Women’s Studies On Its Own: A Next Wave Reader in Institutional Change.

For the most part, however, a disproportionate number of the DUP-published Group members are professors without books published elsewhere. The DUP book thus was or is a critical credential for the candidate’s recruitment to,* continued employment at, or promotion at Duke. This list includes:

  • Ranjanna Khanna (English): 1 book, Dark Continents: Psychoanalysis and Colonialism. Duke University Press, 2003.
  • Priscilla Wald (English): 1 book, Constituting Americans: Cultural Anxiety and Narrative Form. Duke University Press, 1995.
  • Maurice Wallace (English): 1 book, Constructing the Black Masculine: Identity and Ideology in African American Men's Literature and Culture, 1775-1995. Duke University Press, 2002.
  • Alberto Moreiras (Literature): 1 book in English, The Exhaustion of Difference: The Politics of Latin American Cultural Studies. Duke University Press, 2001.
  • Antonio Viego (Literature): 1 book, forthcoming, Ruining Ethnicity and Race: Latino/a Studies, Psychoanalysis and Ego Psychology. Duke University Press, forthcoming 2007.
  • Esther Gabara (Romance Studies), 1 book, forthcoming, The Ethos of Modernism: Photographic Aesthetics in Mexico and Brazil. Duke University Press, forthcoming (no publication date listed).
  • Ralph Litzinger (Cultural Anthropology): 1 book, Other Chinas: The Yao and the Politics of National Belonging. Duke University Press, 2000.
  • Rebecca Stein (Cultural Anthropology), 1 scholarly monograph, Itineraries in Conflict: The Political Life of Tourism in Israel and the Middle East. Duke University Press, forthcoming, (no publication date listed).

It’s not hard to miss the pedagogical slant of the list above. The website of the press states that DUP “publishes primarily in the humanities and social sciences and . . . is best known for its publications in the broad and interdisciplinary area of theory and history of cultural production, and it is known in general as a publisher willing to take chances with nontraditional and interdisciplinary publications.” But while the site lists the press editors, it does not contain a listing of the Editorial Advisory Board—which is composed of Duke professors, and which has the ultimate authority to render decisions on whether or not to publish a manuscript.

Because of the difficulty of gathering public information on the DUP EAB, I sent an email to Prof E. Roy Weintraub (Economics Department) since I recalled from his c.v. that he had served on that board. He said that he would not offer me his personal opinions on it or its members, but that specific factual information should be publicly available, since the Duke Faculty had in the past voted its support of the Press through the Academic Council. (A note on “interest”: Weintraub co-edits a book series on Science and Cultural Theory for DUP, and thus has many dealings with the editors of the Press. His last book was published by DUP, as were his three edited volumes in the History of Political Economy Conference series.)

I asked Professor Weintraub several questions, and he has permitted me to reproduce those questions and his answers:

Q. How is Duke Press organized?

A. It is a university unit reporting to the Provost, and is charged to support the university’s scholarly mission on a financial “break-even” basis. It is set up in two divisions, Books and Journals. Given the cost allocations, and the separate revenue streams to each, the Journals division is, per agreement with the Provost, a cross-subsidizer of the Books division.

Q. What is the reputation of the Books division?

A. It appears that among humanities scholars, and other university presses, it is quite high, and is regarded as fostering and supporting “cutting edge” work in the new humanities areas related to Cultural Studies, widely understood.

Q. What is the role of the Editorial Advisory Board (EAB)?

A. The EAB is a group of Duke University faculty who are selected by the Provost on the recommendation of the Editor of the Press to advise the (Book division) editors on projects, manuscripts, and other matters that the Editor brings to it from time to time.

Q. How does it work?

A. It meets monthly. The editors, in my time on it (1998-2003), provided pre-meeting copies of materials on the projects requiring advice/approval at the monthly meeting. Packets included referee reports, author’s responses, editor’s letters to the authors, tables of contents, c.v.’s of authors, chapter outlines, sample chapters, etc. Packets usually ran 50-100 pages per project, and each month there were ten or more projects to discuss. The editors asked the EAB for its views on each project, its author’s and reviewers’ reputations, and current “action” in the field of the author’s research, as well as suggestions for the editors and the authors, marketing advice to the Press, etc. Since all the Book division editors were present at the meetings, it was a way for the scholars and the book people to learn from each other.

Q. Who was on the EAB?

A. I recall serving at perhaps different times with Jan Radway, Fred Jamison, Priscilla Wald, Orin Starn, Anne Allison, Bruce Lawrence, Wahneema Lubiano, Patricia Leighton, Walter Mignolo, Stanley Hauerwas, Srivanas Aravamudan, and Houston Baker as well as the University Librarian at the time, David Ferriero. I am sure I am forgetting some people, though.

Indeed, Lubiano, for one, lists on her c.v. her DUP Editorial Advisory Board experience—creating the extraordinary situation of a professor who had herself not published a scholarly manuscript being put in a position to pass judgment on the manuscripts of others. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to determine that such an arrangement is highly problematic. (Lubiano has, at times, listed as a DUP publication one of her “perpetually forthcoming” offerings, Like Being Mugged by a Metaphor: “Deep Cover” and Other “Black” Fictions.)

Beyond Lubiano, the list of past EAB members includes Group members Jan Radway, Priscilla Wald, Anne Allison, Patricia Leighton, Walter Mignolo, Srivanas Aravamudan, and Houston Baker—along with anti-lacrosse extremist Orin Starn and Bruce Lawrence, husband of and co-author with Group member miriam cooke.

In short, it appears that—in the recent past, at least—the DUP has had an Editorial Advisory Board dominated by Group members or their sympathizers, which in turn has recommended publication of manuscripts produced by . . . Group members or their sympathizers on the faculty. And these manuscripts, in turn, have been vital to the continued employment at Duke of . . . Group members or their sympathizers.

*--modified from 14, error on my part ; added the Wald item more purposes of clarity.

250 comments:

1 – 200 of 250   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Waiting for the G88 sympathizers response to this -- seems very clear-cut an damning! Fraud.

j.nc said...

Sounds like a traditional "good ol' boys club"... though I bet they'd be the last to realise that yet the first to decry such an establishment if they saw it elsewhere.

KC wrote: Editorial Advisory Board dominated by Group members or their sympathizers, which in turn has recommended publication of manuscripts produced by . . . Group members or their sympathizers on the faculty. And these manuscripts, in turn, have been vital to the continued employment at Duke of . . . Group members or their sympathizers

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

Exactly, j.nc it is hardly revolutionary to merely build a good ol' boys club with a different membership.

Anonymous said...

Please publish an article in MSM about this disgraceful situation. Duke University Press sounds a lot like Doofuses R' Us.

This just in: Wahneema Lubiano just signed a contract with DUP to edit a book of uplifting poems about white people.

[file under "forthcoming"]

Anonymous said...

Brilliant uncovering and exposing of the self-perpetuating sickness. Now tell me, where is the DIVERSITY in this group???

Debrah said...

KC is brilliantly maddening!

Anonymous said...

KC's book is #505 on Amazons bestseller list - before release - 0 these folk can not get anyone but Duke to publish them. they never imagined this would happen when they signed their "statement."

Anonymous said...

For a number of years when I have seen advertisements for Duke University Press, I have wondered why there were so many junk academic titles. Now I know. I'm so ashamed of my alma mater for allowing fools to run various aspects of the University and now to humiliate it. "Cutting-edge" scholarship in humanities is often a euphemism for "trendy." If any topic is interdisciplinary, it's automatically genius because Bill and Melinda Gates gave a lot of money to Duke to support interdisciplinary studies--hence we have Karla Holloway teaching a course in the law school.

Oh, Duke, where have your standards gone?

Anonymous said...

#505 --amazing. The book was in the mid-700's on Amazon's list earlier today. It's skyrocketing.

Freddy Hill said...

Amazon sales ratings:

Dark Continents - 642,532
Constituting Americans - 1,122,506
Constructing the Black Masculine - 373,282
The Exhaustion of Difference -3,847,915
Other Chinas - 1,349,944

Breaking even? Maybe. Anyway, contrast with:

Until Proven Innocent - 505

Of course this is unfair because Until Proven Innocent is not available yet. Reserve your copy now!

hman said...

But has anyone considered that Duke has no real choice in this matter?
1. As an academic institution in a PC universe, they must have a certain percent of "diversity" hires and they cannot wait for reasonably well qualified candidates to materialize.
2. So they must hire dreck.
3. Somehow or the other, a veneer of academic respectability for dreck must be created, which implies published work.
4. Real Academic Forums might or might not accept the product of these losers, at least not as quickly and as reliably as is needed for the keeping up of appearances.

So there it is. If there was no such thing as a swallow-anything, print-anything, Duke-beholden and kept whore-press the whole rotten edifice would collapse.

Carolyn said...

How much money does Duke pay to subsidize this vanity press?

Anonymous said...

Questions:

1. For purposes of comparison, how many faculty at say, Cal or Yale, publish with the presses where they teach because the presses, like Duke, have excellent reputations?

2. Don't many faculty publish books where they teach and/or often their first book where they got their doctorates?

3. Were all of those who have books with Duke members of the Duke faculty at the time they published with Duke?

4. Are there no members of the Psychology Department who signed the statement? Psychology is NOT a book-driven field.

Thanks for the clarification!!!

Anonymous said...

Duke University Press publishes 120 books annually. Fourteen of the G88 have published/will publish with Duke. Of the 88 you listed, the earliest publication date was 1995. Was the faculty member at Duke at the time? Did s/he LATER serve on the editorial board, a practice which isn't unknown?

Is Duke an award-winning press? Of course, it is. Were the books you're citing well reviewed? At least some were. Doesn't the press board come from across the campus? Seems so. Are you arguing that all of the acquiring editors at Duke have been "duped" into publishing bad books?

This kind of information would make your "expose" more useful to the people who have had experience with presses.

Anonymous said...

Since Priscilla Wald was at Columbia teaching through academic year 1995, the year her book first appeared from DUP, we can assume she was not an employee of Duke at the time her book went through the review process.

How many others on your list fit this criteria?

Anonymous said...

Gee, even with her buddies on the board, Lubiano, still can't get published?

What a joke.

abc said...

I've posted on this blog before, and here's my last contribution. I will stop reading these comments because I think a large majority of them suffers from groupthink, thus they have nothing useful to say. I subscribe to "When all are speaking in one voice, the text is of no importance," usually attributed to S. J. Lec.

Here is the main question one needs to ask, in my view: What is the main reason the G88 types are so successful, at Duke and at many other universities? (A moment's thought will convince you that they are successful, but if you disagree please skip the rest of this post.)

First reason: ideological/religious conviction. Prof. Johnson eloquently criticizes their work from logical and historical perspective, but this is to a large extent irrelevant. I'm sure treatises of Vatican theologians on fine points of transsubstantiation or on purgatory time for discarded stem cells could be open to ridicule, just like some of the G88 jewels. In both cases, however, the main purpose is to reaffirm the devotion to the sacred cause, and the G88 are quite good when judged by these standards.

Second reason: organization, discipline and strategy. They are extremely good at asserting their authority in the academia, and dissention in their ranks is very rare. It certainly would not benefit them to get into a discussion in any public forum, and they would view all of us as a bunch of losers. And, in an important respect, they would be right! Those of us who work in the academia know very well in what sort of deep doo-doo they can dunk us if they so choose.

Third reason: ruthless tactics. They are not afraid to use harassment, intimidation, blackmail, and even direct physical threats. They use their access to the media (where they have many disciples) as a very effective tool. They have financial backing of the university at their disposal, in case of legal troubles.

A very important point: the G88 types are not the only coalition (and not, by far, the worst) which has gained considerable power via dubious means oulined above. Many others come to mind, like various religious organizations, neocons, military, big business, and doubtless many of us can think of some that we belong to or at least agree with.

In the academia, no amount of reasoned, facts-based arguments can be used to counter the G88, and the only effective suggestion I ever read here was the "Not Wanted" poster of G88.

In general, this was a very good blog. Best to all of you, especially to Prof. Johnson.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has spent time around academicia can recognize these sort of frauds.

Its probably just as bad at other institutions (esp in the social sciences) but Duke looks pretty silly.

I'm very hopeful that the KC/Taylor book will really tear the lid off of these jerks.

Anonymous said...

The G88 thought they would write the book, not Dr. Johnson. It seems with the Duke settlement, they will not be protected from any negative statements about the LAX players. This must surely be a killing blow.

AJ

Anonymous said...

Charlotte Allen, who penned the damning article "Duke's Tenured Vigilantes" in the weekly Standard appears to agree. She describes the Duke University Press as "the laughingstock of the publishing world".

no justice, no peace said...

I'm shocked...just, shocked.

no justice, no peace said...

They have become what they despise - middle-aged white racist, bigots.

Only problem is that their mythology of the middle-aged white racist, bigot was a largely a lie.

Beautiful...they've become in reality what never really existed, only a falsely constructed meta-narrative.

no justice(s), no peace said...

One wonders why the Klan of 88 CVs don't include forthcoming reviews of "Until Proven Innocent".

It should be quite interesting to read the Amazon blog/review and watch people like Amanda Marcotte come unglued.

As it has been mentioned before, I think the decision to put the three young men's faces on the cover is a great one.

Note the plural "shameful injustices" on the dust jacket which keep growing...injustices.

steve from DC said...

This appears very consistent with the lack of appropriate faculty governance at Duke University. Hiring, tenure, promotion...and now publication all appear highly suspect. Not being an academic, however, I cannot tell how bad faculty publication within its own university really is. Are there any studies, articles or even anecdotal evidence that discuss this issue? Intuitively, a professor using his/her own university press to publish does nothing to enhance his/her reputation.

AF said...

EAB---Enablers Advisory Board

DUP---Dukies Unfair Professors

mac said...

Duke University Press?
Isn't that what's known as a "vanity publisher?"

Anonymous said...

That's the thing about the G8x - underneath all their BS, if you keep digging long enough, you'll find - oh, sorry, just more BS.

Anonymous said...

The development of the multitude of interdisciplinary programs and departments is quite common in academia. A college catalog in 2007 looks nothing like one from say 1977.

Thirty years ago there would be sections for history, political science, sociology, English, mathematics, biology, etc. Now there are African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Women's studies, Queer Studies, Latino/a Studies, Jewish Studies, International Studies, Performance Studies, Cultural Studies, American Studies, Environmental Science, Communications, and so on.

Obviously, the schools don't have enough jobs to fully staff these departments so they consist of a head, chair or program director, maybe one or two faculty and a lot of affiliated faculty. The courses in these disciplines are cross listed among several programs. The college catalog has become something of a labyrinth. The process of advising has become considerably more difficult as general education requirements have become cutting edge.

While such curricular developments are marketed to prospective students as new and exciting, many consider them simply old wine in new bottles. The administration of such complicated programs requires considerable amounts of time resulting in the hiring of a larger advising staff as well as considerably more faculty time devoted to administering such them to make sure they are accomplishing their mission.

What is unclear is whether Balkanizing the curriculum leads to better education. What is more, it is not clear whether the flowering of interdisciplinary departments and programs are breaking down barriers to create new lines of research or simply creating a patchwork of isolated fields with no traditions with which to measure the quality of research or for that matter the course work of students.

African American history is an important part of the story of the United States. There is a serious question as to whether housing the subject within its own department has really improved our understanding of that history. Is there a culture of studying history that has been developed over centuries that is lost by taking a historical subject out of that culture. Are there standards of rigor and relevance that are important to any study of a historical topic. Are we losing something by avoiding the standards of traditional disciplines.

It would be interesting to study how this all came about. It seems to have resulted from a combination of diversity considerations, marketing strategy, educational folly, boredom and university politics. Its creation has been labor intensive and its maintenance is costly in terms of both time and money. In particular it has greatly increased the adminitrative cost of running a university.

What KC is pointing out is that the events at Duke are best seen from the perspective of certain changes that have come about in how the university goes about its core business which is teaching and research. The reduced standards for judging academic research has gone hand in hand with a reduced level of common decency. The group of 88 is a group of largely academic poseur's with an oversized influence in academic governance because they are seen as being cutting edge and promoting diversity. Their continued prominence is maintained by promoting an ideology based on a narrative of pervasive oppression based on race, gender and class. It is in their professional interest to promote such a view. That is why appeasing such people doesn't work. The more their place in the university is justified on the basis of correcting perceived victimization, the more racist and sexist the institution must be perceived to be.

The lacrosse players accidentally wandered into this swamp and almost got drowned. For the group of 88, the false accusations of a disturbed sex worker were simply political capitol to advance their personal and ideological agendas within the university. The players lives were irrelevant. The clarifying statement said as much. The accusation advanced their agenda and that was good. That it inflicted a nightmare on the accused, their families, the lacrosse team and its coach was of no consequence. What really mattered was their own self-promotion. Since in their own minds, their self-promotion within the university is equivalent to overcoming societies racial, gender and class biases, self-promotion trumps the harm done to the innocent players.

When you strip away all the moral pretense of the group of 88, you are are left with moral idiocy.

THe bottom line: The players guilt meant tenure, promotion, administrative favors and salary increases.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone read the comments of Scott Eric Kaufman inre: to DIW? You can link to them through the Johnsonville News site.

Surely he has something to say about this entry and our "commentariat."

Anonymous said...

It might be asked, "Who runs Duke?" I think we know, and it doubles the hypocrisy of a self-righteous Group88 of bigots . . . thank you for not waiting . . . it is really long since time to bang a pot up and down the streets of Durham . . . what infamy . . . what calumny . . . what evil lurkes in the hearts of men (and women) . . . what fraud is the priVILEdged study of race and hypocrisy at Duke and Durham.

M. Simon said...

Mann this is beginning to sound like Climate "Science".

Except in Climate "Science" there is actually more diversity of opinion.

KC would be the Steve McIntyre of "Studies". Doing the audit.

Anonymous said...

As a veteran of the academic publishing business for 15 years I can tell you that university presses generally are commercially regarded as little more than vanity presses. Most university presses operate at a loss. The topics chosen are removed from the reality of the marketplace. Its kinda like a Wonderland atmosphere for the authors where results dont matter, hmmmmmmmmm?

bill anderson said...

K.C.,

I have a question of my own:

If DUP works on a "break-even" basis, what is the PAYING audience for these books?

I ask this because I am wondering if the way that DUP makes its money is to publish these books, charge a very high price for them, and then require Duke University students to purchase them for their classes.

My guess is that DUP also would try to get faculties at other colleges and universities to use them for their classes. It is highly doubtful that any of these books actually sell on an open market, unlike the situation with the book by you and Stuart Taylor.

Prof. Weintraub has a good reputation, and he does not need any assistance from DUP, given his own publishing credentials. However, I do find this whole arrangement to be problematic, as we have professors on a board that makes decisions about their OWN works, which are necessary for tenure.

One thing that has come out in this whole affair has been the outright fraudulence of so-called Duke scholarship, at least in some areas. For the most part, Duke has the excellent reputation that it deserves.

Unfortunately, in its drive to be "cutting edge," Duke has brought in marginal "scholars" that really should be teaching, at best, at a junior college. This hardly is limited to Duke, as we have seen how other universities are doing the same thing.

The problem not only is that we see inferior "scholarship" at elite places like Duke, but also that these faux scholars are extremely evangelistic and are demanding that their way of thinking be what dominates ALL academic disciplines.

Unfortunately, universities are caving into these faux scholars, and we have seen the very unhappy results. Furthermore, we have seen the leadership of Duke go out of its way to defend the worst offenders. So, we can get a picture of the future of higher education, and it is not promising.

If one tries to go against this trend, one is called a racist, or sexist, or homophobe. One thing is for sure: Absolutely NO discussion is permitted on the real issues. Even an attempt to discuss things is seen in itself as being racist, sexist, homophobic, and the like.

Anonymous said...

Is Robyn a Communist?

Debrah said...

I recall serving at perhaps different times with Jan Radway, Fred Jamison, Priscilla Wald, Orin Starn, Anne Allison, Bruce Lawrence, Wahneema Lubiano, Patricia Leighton, Walter Mignolo, Stanley Hauerwas, Srivanas Aravamudan, and Houston Baker as well as the University Librarian at the time, David Ferriero. I am sure I am forgetting some people, though.

Indeed, Lubiano, for one, lists on her c.v. her DUP Editorial Advisory Board experience—creating the extraordinary situation of a professor who had herself not published a scholarly manuscript being put in a position to pass judgment on the manuscripts of others. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to determine that such an arrangement is highly problematic. (Lubiano has, at times, listed as a DUP publication one of her “perpetually forthcoming” offerings, Like Being Mugged by a Metaphor: “Deep Cover” and Other “Black” Fictions.)


This is information that could produce great laughter if it were not so troubling.

Anonymous said...

KC
The embedded link (language of lynching)associated with Robyn Weigman directs the user to an October 26, 2006 Johnsville blog entry concerning the use of the phrase "tar and feather" and "ride on a rail". From the context of it's presentation, it seems this is not the target you intended.
Mike Rayfield
Spring, TX

Anonymous said...

Just further evidence that these folks live in a closed and parallel universe of their own making.--Buddy

Debrah said...

As a sidebar: I have to say that Diva clairvoyance was working overtime months ago when I thought David Rudolf was going to be a part of the civil suits.

He's the local att'y representing Reade...along with Scheck. He hates the DPD and is probably salivating to get started.

Such poetic justice!

maria horvath said...

This whole business sounds to me like one of those vanity publishers scams.

I wonder:

How many of these books are actually bought and read by outside Duke people?

How large is the print run of each? What are the royalty arrangements?

Does anyone outside Duke review them? Are any of these books ever exposed to sunlight and reason?

Just wondering.

By the way, Congratulations! on YOUR book, KC. I'm very much looking forward to reading it.

Ralph Phelan said...

KC is way too polite, so I'll say it:


CITATION CIRCLE

Ralph Phelan said...

"it is hardly revolutionary to merely build a good ol' boys club with a different membership"

But it is what most purported "revolutions" wind up turning into. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...."

Anonymous said...

The inbreeding of the 88 would make James Dickey blush.

For further reading, see:
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970.

KC Johnson said...

To the 1.58:

"1. For purposes of comparison, how many faculty at say, Cal or Yale, publish with the presses where they teach because the presses, like Duke, have excellent reputations?"

Why don't you do that comparative research for the blog and share the figures with us?

"2. Don't many faculty publish books where they teach and/or often their first book where they got their doctorates?"

Those are two quite different questions--but "many" faculty publish books where they teach? Most profs in relevant fields at elite institutions publish books. But I'm unaware of any pattern where, in normal circumstances, profs at elite schools disproportionately publish with their university's press.

"3. Were all of those who have books with Duke members of the Duke faculty at the time they published with Duke?"

All but one.

"4. Are there no members of the Psychology Department who signed the statement? Psychology is NOT a book-driven field."

There were no psychology dept. members who joined the Group of 88.

Ralph Phelan said...

"[DUP] is regarded as fostering and supporting “cutting edge” work in the new humanities areas related to Cultural Studies, widely understood."

Part of the problem here is differing opinions inside and outside the academy as to the value of such work, and how and by who the value should be determined.

Questions for academics from other universities for whom publication by the DUP could be relevant either to performing scholarship or rating its quality:

(1) Were you aware of this?
(2) Do you give high weight to DUP publications?
(2a) If so, why?
(3) Is this unusual, or would we see similar patterns in other university presses?

miramar said...

KC, I think the situation in DUP may be worse than you think, believe it or not. Other than the obvious inbreeding, many of the books they publish are laughable in their approach and content. In fact, a colleague of mine receives their catalogs and he enjoys leaving them in my mailbox at school, with snide comments on the nonsense they publish. There is no question that at Duke Press, the writer's slant (or should I say bias) is far more important than the quality of his or her work. Many of these so called researchers would have a very hard time publishing at any other university press. After all, who else would publish titles such as “Femininity in Flight: A History of Flight Attendants,” “Dreaming of a Mail-Order Husband,” “Goth: Undead Subculture,” and “Gods in the Bazaar: The Economies of Indian Calendar Art”? Fortunately, it seems that even DUP has begun to see the error of their ways, since their catalogs are not nearly as frivolous as they used to be.

scott said...

This is quite a circle jerk that Duke has going, eh?

And how is it that someone who has never produced a book is in a position to render judgment on pending publications? Isn't that kinda like someone with a Masters Degree evaluating Ph.D. candidates? Where does that happen.

Oh, now I remember, this is Wonderland.

Ralph Phelan said...

hman said...

"1. As an academic institution in a PC universe, they must have a certain percent of "diversity" hires and they cannot wait for reasonably well qualified candidates to materialize."

Why?

A while I was reading an article by some admissions weenie pathetically whining and kowtowing to some pressure group that had given his school a poor rating. In fact it had been branded third worst in the nation for enrolling and hiring blacks.

It was Johns Hopkins. The two that were worse?

U. Chicago and Cal Tech.

These universities' poor diversity scores have negatively impacted them how? I suspect the perception of a need for minority recruitment comes from within the faculty and administration, and reflects conditions long past.

Consider the way the University of Wisconsin fought the state referendum against race-based admissions. That's no longer something the public is forcing the university to do against its wishes. It's become something the university is doing against the public's wishes. Probably because of "social activists" frozen in the amber of academia, still blindly striving to solve whatever problems were hot back when they were tenured.

Kyo said...

Is it a requirement in the humanities these days that all books have titles of the form "Snappy Catchphrase, colon, More Descriptive Phrase Which Actually Describes the Book"?

Forget diversity of the races and all that malarkey; I want diversity of book title structure! Free us from the oppression of the colon!

Locomotive Breath said...

Back when I was an academician I used to joke with a colleague at another institution that we should form our our own journal and then publish in it in order to ramp up our publication list. Little did I know that Duke has actually done that.

Anonymous said...

You wrote that a "disproportionate number of the DUP-published Group members are professors without books published elsewhere." What are the actual numbers though? What constitutes "disproportionate"?

AMac said...

This thread has substantive, thoughtful comments that are critical of Prof. Johnson.

Meaningful dialog--hooray for that!

Anon 1:58am had questions about Duke University Press; KC responded at 8:51am.

Anon 2:11am and 2:15am (probably the same person as Anon 1:58am) had further observations on DUP.

KC: to clarify the point raised by 2:15am, is Priscilla Ward (mentioned by Anon 2:15am) the one Group of 88 member who had a book published by DUP prior to joining Duke's faculty?

AMac said...

Excellent comments by abc at 2:32am and by Anon at 6:32am. Thanks to both of you for writing; I hope abc contributes again, notwithstanding his or her farewell.

abc offered insights about academic publishing: could you say more about your point of view (e.g., author, editor, prof in the field)? (A follow-up won't count against your vow in any case, I hope.)

Anon 6:32am gave a dark view of the power politics that underlies the Hard Left doctrine of Group of 88ists. It is completely consistent with Gramsci's philosophy of undermining capitalist hegemony via a "Long March through the Institutions." The traditional Liberal ethics of the Academy become nothing more than a means to an end, to be used or discarded as the situation dictates.

Anon 6:32, are you a professor in the humanities? Tenured? Do you have first-hand experience with the sorts of conduct you describe?

Steven Horwitz said...

Just three thoughts this morning:

1. Yes, it looks very bad when faculty appear to get tenure on the basis of books published by their own university press whose editorial board is comprised of close colleagues, if not themselves. In that situation, one would hope that in presenting their tenure/promotion cases, the faculty in question were able to produce scholarly evaluations of their work from folks outside the DUP circle (and ideally outside what Ralph called the "citation circle"). One would also hope that the university T&P committee would be a non-DUP internal check, but we have our reasons to be skeptical there.

I should add that while this may be especially bad at Duke, my guess is that it happens elsewhere as well.

2. DUP, like almost all academic publishers, make their book revenues through library subscriptions. What academic libraries tend to do is agree to purchase all the books in a series from various publishers, assuring them sales, and at full price. Also, given that there is scholarly interest in these topics at other schools, faculty there probably ask their libraries to buy copies. Neither of my books was published by a university press, but libraries made up a good hunk of the (fairly miniscule :) ) sales.

3. The hit DUP may take on its rep is unfortunate because, within Economics, it has a decent reputation, built mostly on the work of people like Roy Weintraub and others in the Econ dept there. The journal History of Political Economy is the top journal in the history of econ and is published by DUP. They've also published, aside from the conference proceedings, other good work as well.

redcybra said...

Maybe the mention at Instapundit is helping the pre-orders. Congrats KC!

STUART TAYLOR AND K.C. JOHNSON'S BOOK ON THE DUKE NON-RAPE CASE is now up to 567 529 on Amazon. Not bad for a book that doesn't come out until next week.

Carolyn said...

1:58: "Psychology is NOT a book-driven field."

That statement is so stupid that not even the Gang would 'listen' to it.

Steven Horwitz said...

Folks interested in how some serious historians view the goings-on here at DiW might check out the post and comments here.

Orson Buggeigh said...

"When you strip away all the moral pretense of the group of 88, you are are left with moral idiocy.

THe bottom line: The players guilt meant tenure, promotion, administrative favors and salary increases." Anon at 6:32.

"If one tries to go against this trend, one is called a racist, or sexist, or homophobe. One thing is for sure: Absolutely NO discussion is permitted on the real issues. Even an attempt to discuss things is seen in itself as being racist, sexist, homophobic, and the like." Bill Anderson, at 7:32.

Well spoken folks. The Jacobins have, indeed, taken control of higher education, and until the public takes back the management of colleges and universities, it must expect more of the same. The self-supporting circular arrangements in the Duke U. Press and the mutual self support of the Jacobins is well documented in this blog, and elsewhere. The thing is, it is not new, and it is not just Duke. Like professor Anderson, I am not particularly optimistic. The system works to actively encourage academic lightweights publishing the kind of dubious material that probably would not pass an open review by anyone other than their carefully selected friends. Thanks for nothing Mr. Chafe - your legacy is an utterly failed academic enterprise. It would be nice to think that he and his 88 colleagues would recognize that they have made a mockery of education, but I doubt that they are willing to engage in such deep introspection. Certainly most normal, decent people would long ago have recognized that the lacrosse case was a phony, and would have apologized to the students. Metanarrative indeed! Just another excuse to maintain their position in power, and, most importantly, the big paychecks they receive for producing nothing of value. What a scam - professor of angry studies beats robbing banks and convenience stores, and, best of all, it is *legal* if not ethical. Barnum was right - there is a sucker born every minute.

Debrah said...

Just checking over at Amazon......hadn't read the official book description yet.

Panoramic and captivating!

What began that night shocked Duke University and Durham, North Carolina.
And it continues to captivate the nation: the Duke lacrosse team members‘ alleged rape of an African-American stripper and the unraveling of the case against them.
In this ever-deepening American tragedy, Stuart Taylor Jr. and KC Johnson argue, law enforcement, a campaigning prosecutor, biased journalists, and left-leaning academics repeatedly refused to pursue the truth while scapegoats were made of these young men, recklessly tarnishing their lives.
The story harbors multiple dramas, including the actions of a DA running for office; the inappropriate charges that should have been apparent to academics at Duke many months ago; the local and national media, who were so slow to take account of the publicly available evidence; and the appalling reactions of law enforcement, academia, and many black leaders.
Until Proven Innocent is the only book that covers all five aspects of the case (personal, legal, academic, political, and media) in a comprehensive fashion. Based on interviews with key members of the defense team, many of the unindicted lacrosse players, and Duke officials, it is also the only book to include interviews with all three of the defendants, their families, and their legal teams.
Taylor and Johnson‘s coverage of the Duke case was the earliest, most honest, and most comprehensive in the country, and here they take the idiocies and dishonesty of right- and left-wingers alike head on, shedding new light on the dangers of rogue prosecutors and police and a cultural tendency toward media-fueled travesties of justice. The context of the Duke case has vast import and contains likable heroes, unfortunate victims, and memorable villains—and in its full telling, it is captivating nonfiction with broad political, racial, and cultural relevance to our times.

Anonymous said...

I know it's early, but I think we already have out

Q U O T E O F T H E D A Y

When you strip away all the moral pretense of the group of 88, you are are left with moral idiocy.

THe bottom line: The players guilt meant tenure, promotion, administrative favors and salary increases.

8/28/07 6:32 AM

KC Johnson said...

To follow up on Steve's 9.59:

I'd urge people to look at the comments (I responded several times, as did a few colleagues from Cliopatria).

To the 2.11:

"Are you arguing that all of the acquiring editors at Duke have been 'duped' into publishing bad books?"

If I had intended to argue "that all of the acquiring editors at Duke have been 'duped' into publishing bad books," I would have said so in the post.

Judge Rufus Peckham said...

Can any academic ever write a "scholarly" piece without a colon?

rrhamilton said...

Bill Anderson says ...
If one tries to go against this trend, one is called a racist, or sexist, or homophobe. One thing is for sure: Absolutely NO discussion is permitted on the real issues. Even an attempt to discuss things is seen in itself as being racist, sexist, homophobic, and the like.

8/28/07 7:32 AM


Prof. Anderson, if I were not being called a racist by these diversity racists, I would wonder what I was doing wrong. It's a badge of honor, don't let anyone tell you different.

Debrah said...

To 9:59AM--

Acephalous is full of over-ripe vintage seat-warmers.....

....so perplexed and angry...and most of all, envious...

.....which makes their obfuscations and misrepresentations all the more amusing!

It's the old adage, folks. And don't ever forget it:

Just so they're talking....

And I see they spelled KC's name right!

Anonymous said...

The psychology department at Duke is considered quite good. It has a heavy emphasis on neuroscience and very few "share with us how you feel" touchy-feely types on the faculty.
They won't be hurt by the presence of angry studies program on campus. The location of the campus in Durham is a big negative though. I've taught at places where I have needed a guard to accompany me to my car after dark. Never again. I wouldn't go near Durham.

Debrah said...

The detractors from the academy have nowhere to go with KC's response on this one:

Finally, I'm a bit amused by the Howoritzian argument, as I have been publicly denounced by Horowitz and have publicly opposed (through an AHA amendment) the ABOR. In any event, Until Proven Innocent has received strong words of praise from ACLU president Nadine Strossen, former Crossfire co-host and LA Times editorial page editor Mike Kinsley, defense attorney and author John Grisham, and Kirkus Reviews. It would strike me as rather unlikely that such figures would endorse a book that was "positively Horowitzian in tenor and substance."

Anonymous said...

Anon at 6:32 wrote:
"Since in their own minds, their self-promotion within the university is equivalent to overcoming societies racial, gender and class biases, self-promotion trumps the harm done to the innocent players . . .THe bottom line: The players guilt meant tenure, promotion, administrative favors and salary increases."


That's it! Throughout this case I've wrestled with the question of whether or not the G88 know that they wronged the players but made a calculated decision to not apologize or if they really can't see their transgression. But as you pointed out, the answer is a little from column "A" and little from column "B". Because they really think that casting stones against the individual (here, the LAX players) is better for society, they can't see that they done anything wrong. But . . .they also need to destroy the LAX players to achieve personal gain.

Simply amazing.

Thank you for your thoughtful essay.

Debrah said...

I'm so glad that my good friend Steven provided that link.

This is such a great example--in bold relief--of the brand of double-talk and obfuscation of issues in which many from the academy engage.

They must think that everyone is as gullible as their first-week freshman students.

KC covered the Duke professors who took the most active roles in the Lacrosse Hoax. He has never said that ALL professors produce such shoddy scholarship as have many of them.

The reason he did not highlight ALL of 88 is because NOT ALL OF THEM showed their posteriors publicly as did the ones highlighted.

What about this simple issue does a smart professor not comprehend?

They are coming out of the woodwork to shield the fact that there are some very unqualified and unproductive urchins among them.

Steven Horwitz said...

Carolyn wrote:

1:58: "Psychology is NOT a book-driven field."

That statement is so stupid that not even the Gang would 'listen' to it.


Is it? I have team-taught with two different psychologists and have come to know the field pretty well. My sense is that, when it comes to tenure time, it is refereed journal articles and grants that matter much more than long monographs. Books count of course, but the core of scientific contribution in the field appears to me to be in the journals. Can you provide us with some reason to think otherwise?

Ralph Phelan said...

Steven Horwitz 8/28/07 9:59 AM

If "Acephalous" is a "serious historian" then history is in serious trouble.

His inability to understand KC's elegant proof of Harris' unseriousness about the "corporatization" of higher education is either stupid or disingenous.

His irritating, smug, self-righteous writing voice exemplifies much of what is wrong with modern academia.

The sum total of his response to those who question the value of "theory" and "race/class/gender studies" is to dimiss them as "anti-intellectuals who think Jay Leno is funny." As a taxpayer who funds much of this work I do not find this argument fully satisfying.

Anonymous said...

Off topic for this thread, but I spoke to an attorney friend of mine yesterday who has worked on cases where municipalities are sued in the past.

He mentioned the fact that groups like the NAACP, UBUNTU, and others in the "something happened" crowd are actually the player's best friends at this point. In fact, he said it's unfortunate that the NAACP removed the talking points from their website.

He claims (and it seems logical to me) that the more the players can show there are people out there calling them rapists and saying bad things about them, (showing this lie will stay with them forever) the bigger a judgment they will be able to get from Durham.

So, thanks UBUNTU, all the lies you've told (and continue to tell) are helping to line the player's pockets and bankrupt your city.

Anonymous said...

Another excellent column from Kristin Butler in today's Duke Chronicle:

http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2007/08/28/Columns/ByeBye.Brodhead-2940006.shtml

Steven Horwitz said...

Sorry Ralph, but the folks in that thread ARE serious, high-quality historians. In fact, since several of them co-blog with KC at Cliopatria (perhaps one of the most highly regarded group blogs among historians), you might start questioning the company that KC keeps and start dismissing him for guilt-by-association (another favorite strategy among some commenters here).

It's precisely this sort (and Debrah's) of anti-intellectual and close-minded dismissal of serious, thoughtful people who actually know how academia works and know personally some of the players involved in KC's writing on the G88 that makes people dismiss his whole project here.

How hard is it to admit that people you disagree with might be smart and well-intentioned but just wrong?

Instead of dismissing them, why not head over there and do what you tell others to do here (and what KC did): make some real arguments, with real links, showing them why they don't know what they're talking about?

Anonymous said...

Let me repeat my question, as it seems to have gone unnoticed the first time.

You wrote that a "disproportionate number of the DUP-published Group members are professors without books published elsewhere." What are the actual numbers though? What constitutes "disproportionate"?

Locomotive Breath said...

Interesting post about DUP. Not doing too well are they?

http://www.library.yale.edu/~llicense/ListArchives/0410/msg00020.html

Debrah said...

It's precisely this sort (and Debrah's) of anti-intellectual and close-minded dismissal of serious, thoughtful people who actually know how academia works and know personally some of the players involved in KC's writing on the G88 that makes people dismiss his whole project here.

Nice try, but no cigar. Revisit my posts on Chafe. I don't dismiss real scholarship. Just when it's long-expired......or as in many of the 88--never has been, never will.

I've been called many things, but "close-minded" has never been one of them.

I just don't have the time nor the inclination to read or listen to people with a personal interest in stifling this blog tell me what did or did not happen among the Gang of 88 and what is still happening.

Most of those people are subhuman in my world. I sympathize with them and their apologists a bit, however. It must be very difficult to admit you are wrong when you have never been held accountable before.

Stop trying to make a dimestore sack dress into a Valentino.

Anonymous said...

Steven Horwitz wrote: "How hard is it to admit that people you disagree with might be smart and well-intentioned but just wrong?"

Well said. The G88 made the wrong choice and have since displayed a lack of moral clarity in failing to acknowledge their error in judgment and apologize for it. Does that one choice render each of their entire academic careers a fraud? It can't and it doesn't. I'm NOT a G88 defender, but I've struggled with the critiques on this blog and the weight to attribute to the G88's actions in comparison to their overall academic contributions, admittedly, some better than others.

Thanks for the link.

Anonymous said...

Yes, thank you, Steve Horowitz at 10:51. I'm the "too stupid" person who, coming from a book-driven discipline and having served on college personnel, learned that for psych, books don't matter much at all in the tenure process.

Carolyn, I guess two of us--at very different universities--in academia are nitwits.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steven Horwitz said...
"Sorry Ralph, but the folks in that thread ARE serious, high-quality historians."
Many of them seemed pretty reasonable. But if you consider Scott Eric Kaufman's reasoning "high quality" then your standards must be low. He says "keeping K.C. Johnson on the roster does the rest of the contributors a disservice" then claims he didn't call for him to be tossed off because he doesn't have the power to do so himself. What a weasel.

"It's precisely this sort (and Debrah's) of anti-intellectual"

If by "anti-intellectual" you mean opposed to the intellect that's bullshit. If by "anti-intellectual" you mean opposed to the sorts of people who call themselves "intellectual" then I say "Hell yes!"

"and close-minded dismissal of serious, thoughtful people"

Sorry, but I don't consider experts in postmodern theory to be "serious, thoughtful people" and I do "dismiss" them in exactly the same way I would an "expert" in astrology. Sokal killed "theroy," why is its rotted corpse still giving conference papers?

" who actually know how academia works and know personally some of the players involved in KC's writing on the G88"

And who are therefore invested in preserving the status quo.

"that makes people dismiss his whole project here."

You should consider whether the reaction that all these non-academics are having to discovering what really goes on in academia might indicate a real possibility that someday the American taxpayer will decide to dismiss your entire project.

The spotlight is on, the outside world is taking notice, and "business as usual" is no longer tenable. Be smarter than the Durham city government - take action to fix things yourselves before outsiders come to do it for you.

AMac said...

Here's another link to the post at historian Scott Eric Kaufman's blog "Acephalous" where he harshly criticizes D-i-W.

In the comments, other historian-readers join in, and KC rebuts.

I don't find many of Prof. Kaufman's arguments compelling, but they are strongly stated--about how I might have expected the most civil, moderate, and engaged of the Group of 88 to have responded to KC. (Instead of < crickets chirping >.)

Interested people should read Kaufman et al., instead of peremptorily dismissing them.

Anonymous said...

8:51/KC:

I'd be glad to do the research for your blog, but my university wouldn't consider it scholarship.

Have you ever publoished with your alma mater? I know the answer. Remind your readers.

You don't know if there is a pattern of publishing with the press where you teach, do you? Unless you do, this report means very little, other than the fact you've gotten the crazies going again.

Anonymous said...

Defending your drunken buddy in a bar fight seems like a good idea until you awake to a deputy screaming at you to get up so he can take you to another concrete room in the jail complex to explain to the unhappy magistrate, who is now late for his kid's little league game, why you did it.

Same with defending the 88. Just because you know them, or they are "smart" doesn't excuse their actions.

Gary Packwood said...

Steven Horwitz 9:59 said...
...Folks interested in how some serious historians view the goings-on here at DiW might check out the post and comments here.
::
Thanks for that link. Lots of frustrated people talking about life, literature and who reads and writes... what.

I am finding myself feeling bad for many scholars who are doing what they do best yet Time magazine tells me that 25% of Americans last year did not read even one book.

There are just so many books out there chasing after so few customers.

I wish we could make universities more teaching centered and student centered rather than publish or perish centered.

Reward the teachers and mentors along with the great writers, artists, poets!

hnam 1:15 has a point that Duke may have no choice in the matter if publishing is required of everyone.

Perhaps we should expect the new 'studies' scholars to include their teaching evaluations and out of classroom work on their CV's. Perhaps we should expect that for everyone who works at a university.

Concerning the economics of calendar art in India, I might add that volume to my library now that I know about it as I enjoy reading about such studies ...including the economics of pipe organ manufacturing and restoration in America.

I will also renew my ongoing efforts to help younger people learn about the joy of reading.

Even funny and fun little books such as 'On Bullshit' ... http://press.princeton.edu/titles/7929.html...You just have to read On Bullshit! It is a hoot.
::
GP

mac said...

University presses have the potential - note the word potential - to become a kind of "company store." That is, for the students.

At least if I took Wahneema's class, I wouldn't have to buy her (perpetually forthcoming) book!

Anonymous said...

11:19:

You aren't going to get an answer from KC to your question. If, as DUP's website notes, the press publishes some 120 books a year, and has published 14 from this group in the past 11.5 years (Priscilla Wald's book was first published in 1995 and reprinted in 1998), this looks like something around 1% a year came from this group.

The man from econ, not an 88er, that KC spoke to about the press seems to have published multiple times with Duke. Is he publishing disproportionately with DUP or is he taking useful work to a press that is refereeing it well and publishing it in a timely fashion?

Guess it's a matter on which two intelligent people can disagree.

mac said...

Anon 10:32,

Good to hear that Duke's pyschology dept. is heavy on the neuroscience. These days, that's the real deal. One of the main reasons I hope Duke weathers this storm is so that it can continue to do research in those very valuable areas of inquiry.

Perhaps Karla and "Grade Gremlin" Curtis will offer their brains for FMRI study, to see if (strongly suspected) personality disorders are, in fact, neurologically based?

Ralph Phelan said...

KC Johnson said...
"To the 1.58:

"1. For purposes of comparison, how many faculty at say, Cal or Yale, publish with the presses where they teach because the presses, like Duke, have excellent reputations?"

Why don't you do that comparative research for the blog and share the figures with us?"

For once I'm going to have to side against KC. The figures you give us are uninformative without a baseline to compare them to. I have no idea whether what DUP does is standard practice or obviously flawed, and the comments from academics as to the DUP's reputation range from excellent to terrible.

You need to give this data point some context or it tells us nothing.

KC Johnson said...

To the 8.51am:

"Have you ever publoished [sic] with your alma mater? I know the answer. Remind your readers."

I have published two books with Harvard Univ. Press, one with Cambridge Univ. Press, one (forthcoming) with Cambridge Univ. Press, one with St. Martin's, one (edited) with Imprint, two (co-edited) with Norton, and two (forthcoming, co-edited) with Norton.

The post didn't say anything one way or the other about Group members having "publoished [sic] with [their alma mater." I invite you to re-read it.

Anonymous said...

According to Acephalous, KC is sullying the rarefied air of Cliopatra because he allows postings from anti-intellectuals who would laugh at Jay Leno.

Must be just my taste...I actually don't laugh at Leno, but I certainly do laugh at that.

Anonymous said...

"As a taxpayer who funds much of this work I do not find this argument fully satisfying."

Hoo hoo!

Well said.

This Acephalous person shows sign of not being able to keep up with the pressure of ideas.

Horowitzian? Hardly.

Acephalous calls us anti-intellectual, but we don't seem to have any trouble keeping up with him.

We aren't anti-deconstructionists: deconstructing Acephalous' smarmy ass is easy and fun.

Next, Acephalous will be calling us uncollegial.

Anonymous said...

Do serious historians always make a judgment after reading a blog for "an hour this afternoon"? (paraphrased)

Do serious historians always base their judgment on about 1,000 words from a 750,000 word blog?

I can see that the word "anti-intellectualism" is the "R" word of the academy. Any criticism at all is apparently also "Horowitizian."

Like Debrah, I see a lot of jealousy over there and a lot of "anti-anti-intellectualism," which I will define as the immediate defense of ANY attack on the academy (even if the "attack" is a simple criticism or a search for truth).

Floyd says to all the serious historians: "Get a backbone, we aren't going after your tenure or your freedom of speech. We would like some answers to what happened in Durham unencumbered by ANY variation of PC, whether it is race, gender, class or academic related."

Ralph Phelan said...

"Instead of dismissing them, why not head over there and do what you tell others to do here (and what KC did): make some real arguments, with real links, showing them why they don't know what they're talking about?"

My argument with them is not about facts. It's about values.

For example, while I agree with KC that David Horowitz is a sloppy researcher, and that his sloppiness hurts his cause, I still think it's a good cause and worthy of support despite Horowitz' involvement.

AMac said...

A strong criticism of the premises of this post on the Duke University Press was left at Acephalous's comments by Tim Burke.

I don't have the background to judge the relative merits of the facts and arguments, or the inclination to find out.

But this sort of cross-blog discourse can be a valuable way of getting insight into the truth, or at least identifying the major areas of contention.

KC Johnson said...

To the 11.19:

My apologies for not answering your question immediately. I do have a day job, as well as other responsibilities.

You asked,

"Let me repeat my question, as it seems to have gone unnoticed the first time.

You wrote that a "disproportionate number of the DUP-published Group members are professors without books published elsewhere." What are the actual numbers though? What constitutes "disproportionate"?"

Two areas of "proportionality" stats. (First, in looking up the CV's of all the Group members for your answer, I realized I missed two Group members--Lentricchia and Coles--who also have books with Duke). 16, therefore, is the appropriate total, not 14, as in the original post.

The next highest press among the Group of 88 members is the University of Chicago: 7 Group members have published with the U of C (as opposed to 16 with Duke). The next highest: Princeton, Cal, and Oxford--four Group members have published books with them (as opposed to 16 with Duke). Cambridge is next--three Group members have published with Cambridge (as opposed to 16 with Duke).

As for the Group members with only one scholarly monograph, no more than two have published with any press other than Duke (as opposed to 8 with Duke).

I would suggest that the ratios above are disproportionate.

Anonymous said...

Until Proven Innocent

#370 (and climbing) at Amazon.

Anonymous said...

Debrah at 11:28:

Since all I know about you is that you're a diva (?) and that some dismiss your comments here as "anti-intellectual," what are your credentials for deciding what is "good research"? If you have informed the readers before, please provide a link...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

12:28//KC Johnson:

Proportional in comparison to what? This is just blah-blah-blah unless you can show the reader that these 16 faculty prublishing with their OWN university's extremely reputable press is disproportionate to other faculty elsewhere publishing with their own university press, you aren't telling us much.

You strike me as a case in point. You published your first (I think, first) with the press at the university to which you followed your advisor. This doesn't seem to me to be ourtrageous.

Anonymous said...

KC,

You wrote:

I would suggest that the ratios above are disproportionate.

Framed this way, they may be. But I would suggest this is slightly different from your original statement.

For example, Rom Coles would not qualify, as he has published with Manchester University Press and University of Minnesota Press. Lentricchia is in the same boat, having published with the University of Chicago Press. To qualify for your original statement, a faculty member would have to have only published in DUP.

So, let me again ask you, what portion of the Group of 88 have only published books with DUP? My sense is that it is a minority.

Ralph Phelan said...

KC 12:28

I'm not a statistican but I have to play one now and then at work, and you've completely missed the point:

There's no control group.

You study your subject in detail, give us a bunch of ratios and suggest they are "disporportionate" while giving us no standard of comparison.

What proportion of non-88 Duke faculty purblish with their own university presses?

What proportion of race/class/gender specializing faculty at other universities publish with their own university presses?

What proportion of non race/class/gender specializing faculty at other universities publish with their own university presses?

Until you address these questions we have no reason to believe that what you've documented mightn't be perfectly normal at Duke, or in their fields, or even in academia as a whole.

To be significant this observation has to be unusual.

Anonymous said...

The Kaufman blog is great. I love seeing KC easily bested by a graduate student!!!

For those of you who go on and on and on about interdisciplinary studies: they aren't new, kiddies. Point of information: area studies date from the Cold War. Similar funding; similar structure, but I don't hear any of you attacking them. Wonder why?

KC Johnson said...

To the 12.42:

"So, let me again ask you, what portion of the Group of 88 have only published books with DUP?"

I urge you to re-read today's post. It provides a list.

I never suggested that a "majority" of the Group, or anyone else in the Group other than those I listed, had published only with the Group.

Anonymous said...

12:47//KC Johnson, you are not answering 12:42's question. Tell us what the fact that 16 members of Duke's faculty (15, if you don't cound Wald, have published with DUP, where they work). Is it normal for faculty to publish with their university presses if said presses publish books in their fields?

You've provided information, but not way to analyze what it means.

Anonymous said...

Correction to 12:41--publishing. Not to worry, KC, you needn't sic it!!!

Debrah said...

Thanks for your link, "Amac". Nice job with your signature soft approach.

***********************

As for other comments concerning Acephalous and similar blogs, it is my belief that those detractors will never quite get it.

Most observers outside of the academy do not care if some members of the Gang of 88 are fun dinner companions....or swell joke-tellers....or might be kind to their mothers, etc.....

No doubt, a few among them have produced some semblance of scholarly material somewhere. As luck would have it, the ones who organized and helped railroad their own students, and who were, consequently, highlighted the most on this blog, have very little to show the world that cannot be dismissed as unadulterated looniness.

Not the fault of observers or people on this blog who become alarmed by their fraudulence.

How people present themselves is how they will be viewed and evaluated by others.

Ankle-biting and dissing from some little graduate students whose futures depend upon kissing the posteriors of their current professors/mentors---most of whom are threatened by KC's work---are breath on a mirror in the grand scheme of things.

Anonymous said...

I urge you to re-read today's post. It provides a list.

I did read it. I still believe you've yet to provide us with the numbers that would make the case.

I now understand that your statement is limited to those faculty who have published with DUP. Fine. How many of them are there? It's a simple question.

Then, how many of this group have only published with DUP? Ostensibly, this is another, finite number. I'm only trying to suggest that the numbers are useful, and that reasonable people might disagree as to what constitutes disproportional.

I never suggested that a "majority" of the Group, or anyone else in the Group other than those I listed, had published only with the Group.

When you write that a list "includes" the following, that certainly allows for the possibility that the list is longer than provided.

Finally, please note that Khanna lists Algeria Cuts as forthcoming in Stanford University Press.

Anonymous said...

12:43 says:


The Kaufman blog is great. I love seeing KC easily bested by a graduate student!!!


Those who can, do, or, at least try.

Those who can't, merely talk about it.

LarryD said...

Until Proven Innocent is now ranked at 280

Anonymous said...

great 1:03 post debrah. you seem to do really well for someone so "anti-intellectual"

Debrah said...

To 12:32PM--

Was on my way out....to take care of some business this afternoon, and saw your post.

There has been only one post that I've read regarding your question. Not "some" or "many".

Listen, we all know what's going on here. If I had the entire afternoon, I would gladly do this tap dance with you. I enjoy arguing.

About specific "research", I'd have to take a look. This blog is filled with thoroughly researched material and you know it. That's not my job.

But what really makes me feel qualified to pass judgment on low-level-bottom-feeding people who warm seats on a campus...usually pulling in about six figures...and who can't even devise an e-mail with decent grammatical skills, and whose scholarship is that of junior high school essays.....is that I am among normal people.

Moreover, I've been around the "professor scene" most of my life in one way or another.

Like many here, I received a good university education, have interacted with people all over the globe, am well-traveled, and didn't fall off any pickle boat yesterday.

I am also told that my IQ is quite high.....whatever that means.

Hence, I feel more than a little qualified to pass judgment on the members of Duke Gritty Gang of 88 as being some of the most overrated fools on the face of the earth.

And, oh yes.....they also hate their students!

Later, all.

Anonymous said...

Debrah, Right, you research the venom you spew. Like "they hate their students." Like you know.

Great. You can tap dance.

If you had some bona fides to make judgements on anything, I'm sure you'd provide them.

I'm planning on assigning some of your comments to my students. Assignment: How not to construct an argument. (I'm sure they'll ask: what argument?)

Ralph Phelan said...

"For those of you who go on and on and on about interdisciplinary studies: they aren't new, kiddies."

Yeah, I remember a big fad for them at MIT in the '80s. After a while the conlusion most people reached was that a typical "interdisciplinary" project in, say, physics and biology would contain some physics that the biologists thought was interesting but the physicists thought was either well known or wrong, and some biology that the physicists thought was interesting but the biologists thought was either well known or wrong.

The cracks between disciplines are both a good place to find unstudied problems and a good place to hide weak scholarship. Such work is high-risk/high-reward and needs constant, extremely skeptical outside scrutiny.

"I don't hear any of you attacking them. Wonder why?"

Exhaustion.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Kaufman's blog is wonderful. A kid takes on a full. And wins.

I regularly notice errors of omission in KC's comments on faculty & I was glad to see Kaufman take him on for attacking those who write about teaching writing. (Some of KC's sentences could use some work!)

I figure KC knows when he's taking short cuts & it's not worth mentioning them every time--like not being accurate about the fact that Wald was almost certainly not at Duke when her book was accepted--because his fans don't care.

Ralph Phelan said...

" I love seeing KC easily bested by a graduate student!!!"

Only if you consider being accused of being a Leno fan "bested."

Anonymous said...

"Until Proven Innocent is now ranked at 280"

The cream continues to rise. Hopefully, this will translate into some decent bucks for KC Johnson. I hope his targets have the despair of their exposure and humiliation as scholar-frauds compounded by the knowledge that he has also made money in the process of taking them down.

Since unmasking hypocrites is a worthwhile service, it should be profitable as well as good sport.

Get rich, my man. Feeelthy, steeenking reeech.

Anonymous said...

Ralph Phelan,

I don't care who the kid watches--Jay Leno is fine with me--he's caught out KC Johnson & that is a good thing. Too many of you seem to worship KC Johnson's every word without considering that his arguments contain errors of omission and errors of fact. When you're shown them, you demand more. Or ignore them. Rather like KC himself.

Anonymous said...

If and when someone assigns KC's book in a course studying prosecutorial misconduct and ethics, KC will have hit the big time.

I suspect that day will not be far away.

Anonymous said...

larryd says:


Until Proven Innocent is now ranked at 280


That can't be. It hasn't been released yet!

Anonymous said...

TO: KC Johnson
RE: Book Sales and Profits

You wrote at http://acephalous.typepad.com "The blog has no advertising: I put my own money--around $8000--into twelve trips to Durham to cover hearings and conduct interviews. I did so because I came to believe in the innocence of the three falsely accused students . . . It would be nice if the book sells enough for me to cover the blog costs, although I've never published a book that allowed me to recoup my research expenses, and I don't expect this one will sell well enough to do so, either."

Two points:
First, that you have done what you have done on your own time and your own dime makes you even more heroic than I previously thought.

Second, ohhhhh pllleeeaassee. You can't really doubt that the book is going to be a huge success and result in a very much deserved and earned payday for you. While your false modesty, like the biting sarcasm of your posts, is not without its charm, none of your DIW readers will find some well earned pride on your part off putting. You know that even when we disagree with you, we love ya!

p.s. I can honestly say this is the first time in 38-years of living that I am looking forward to the END of the labor day weekend. ;)

Anonymous said...

"you've yet to provide us with the numbers"

Get them yourself.

Your not teaching some verkockte class here. We're not here waiting for you to give us our grade.

Why don't you take your bona fides, of which we are intensely sceptical, and buzz off?!

Anonymous said...

It is clear from their whining on this thread why the G88 types have such a dismal publishing record. They don't know how to do research.

How many times are you going to tell KC to do the research you want? You are proving his point for him. You are lazy.

-RD

Anonymous said...

Need I point out the obvious?

Professor Johnson teaches at a very good city college. Look at his publication record and the level of his writing. Guess what, folks? There are a lot of other Harvard-educated Caucasians teaching at schools like Brooklyn College. Does anyone know why Duke would not be interested in Johnson's services?

"Credentials" is a great word as its Latin derivation is "credo"--which translates as "I believe."

Does anyone believe le CVs 88?

Ralph Phelan said...

"In short, it appears that—in the recent past, at least—the DUP has had an Editorial Advisory Board dominated by Group members or their sympathizers, which in turn has recommended publication of manuscripts produced by . . . Group members or their sympathizers on the faculty. And these manuscripts, in turn, have been vital to the continued employment at Duke of . . . Group members or their sympathizers."

Such feedback loops may well be part of the normal operation of academia.

see Science & Public Policy, 19(5) pp.321-327, October 1992
Citation data: their use as quantitative indicators for science and technology evaluation and policy-making.

"While citation circles are much talked about, they are rarely, if ever, documented and identified. The problem is, it would be difficult to distinguish between a citation circle and an invisible college (colleagues who legitimately share common research interests and build on (and cite) one another’s papers). This is especially true in small and emerging subspecialties in which a comparatively small group of authors are active."

Indeed, since this world contains few conscious villains, and many more people who convince themselves that what's in their self-interest is also the right thing to do, the difference between a "citation circle" and an "invisible college" will be difficult to define, and will largely hinge on whether any given observer considers the work being produced to be outrageous bullshit.

I'm sure you'll find plenty of folks at Kepler College citing each other, and I'm sure they would claim with good reason, as they're a world center of excellence in their field.

You can't distinguish between a group of people forging ahead into valuable new territory and a group of people charging down a blind alley just by analyzing their publication and citation patterns. You have to actually look at the substance of what they're doing.

So to me the question of whether the G88ers have promoted each other to an unusal degree isn't very important - even if they have, they can claim it's because they're a "center of excellence" in race/class/gender studies.

The really important question, the one that universities as currently structured seem incapable of even asking, is "Is the whole field of race/class/gender studies full of outrageous bullshit?"

KC Johnson said...

To the 1.54:

It seems rather intriguing to be accused of "ignoring" critiques, given that I responded three times to Kaufman's, and generally try to answer questions on the blog.

I couldn't help but notice that the (anonymous) commenter who has praised Kaufman's item has cited no specifics.

To Ralph, 12.46:

Your control group point is well taken. But, to my knowledge (and I'm happy to be corrected on this point), there's no study that gives stats of at which university presses professors publish.

That said, I hadn't considered my specific point at all controversial--it's not my sense that profs from elite universities are more likely to publish with their university presses than they are with any other elite academic press. That's why the numbers on the Group and DUP jumped out at me (and, indeed, while Group members have published at lots of other university presses, no more than 7 of them have published at any other single university press, as would be expected).

It's been a little like the Academy-in-Wonderland to read a few of these comments--which have implied (though never come out and said so) that profs from elite universities are more likely to publish with their university presses than they are with any other elite academic press; or that have raised the relationship between academic presses and people who receive Ph.D.'s from the institution, which was a point wholly unraised in the post.

Steven Horwitz said...

Frankly, if I were at a university with its own press, I would be at great pains to *avoid* publishing with that press lest I be subject to precisely the sorts of questions raised today.

But then I suppose it matters what the goal is. If I am seeking to enhance my reputation as a good scholar whose work has been vetting by as blind and objective a refereeing process as possible, then I should look outside my own press, especially if the Board is comprised of friends/colleagues. However, if my goal is to simply get my book published to either show that I've done "something" (regardless of quality on the margin) or to "advance the cause," then perhaps I go in-house.

My point is not that publishing with one's university's own press is *automatically* a sign of an inferior review process, but that it raises that *question* in a way that publishing with another university press wouldn't. The question itself would seem to be something worth avoiding.

Also - Ralph's point about the inability to distinguish between "citation circles" (the bad thing) and an "invisible college" (the good thing) is well taken. One way to distinguish them would be to note the degree to which members of such groups ALSO manage to publish in journals in their disciplines/fields that are *outside* of that circle. It's one thing to get published in the journals within your small community, it's another to hit a top or mid-level journal in history or political science.

AMac said...

So the Group of 88 acted reprehensibly in creating and endorsing the Listening Statement, and there was additional bad conduct by many of the Group (Clarifying Statement, Op-Ed, Letters to the Editor, Shut Up & Teach...). The refusal to admit error, apologize, or make amends makes their conduct yet worse.

That still leaves numerous possibilities as far as the work of the 60 or so tenure-track professors among the Group:

(A) Nearly all of them meet the high expectations as far as quality and quantity of scholarship that one would expect from every prof at a top-notch research university.

(B) Many Group members meet these high standards, but a significant fraction seem to perform at a lower level.

(C) A minority of Group members shine by the traditional metrics employed by peer institutions, some have output that looks "okay," but the scholarship of a substantial number appears to be deficient in quality and amount by any reasonable measure.

(D) They are all a bunch of illiterate hosers, every last one.

Many of the academicians uncomfortable with Johnson's Profiles seem to be pointing out that (D) is not the case. And indeed, the Profiles show that it clearly is not.

On the other hand, I had not taken it to be Johnson's mission to show that it was. Instead, he has been providing context on Group members' performance as far as professional academic standards.

The question might be: what correlations, if any, exist between the moral stance defended by the Group and their accomplishments as productive researchers and intellectuals?

If Case D, above, has been ruled out--so, alas, has Case A. Perhaps a weak argument can be made for a weak Case B.

The delight of the Group's defenders that their shared moral failings are accompanied only by professional deficits of "C" or perhaps a very indulgent "B" should be, er, muted.

Why would an institution of Duke's stature accept anything but "A"?

Does the Group of 88 typify Trinity's faculty? Would Profiles of the faculty signers of the FODU Petition also return a "C" or "low B"? How would the median Duke professor's scholarship compare to the work of the median 88'er? And since we are considering individuals within a group, what of a comparison of the second quintile, or the fourth quintile?

Perhaps the G88's conduct correlates, imperfectly, with scholarship that is charitably described as mediocre. Or, worse, perhaps it does not.

Either answer should loom like quite a large elephant in the middle of Trinity's quad.

Gary Packwood said...

Ralph Phelan 2:28 said...
...The really important question, the one that universities as currently structured seem incapable of even asking, is "Is the whole field of race/class/gender studies full of outrageous bullshit?"
::
If students don't sign up for their classes/seminars, people don't purchase their books/journals and their work is not mandated by law...I guess not.

Unless of course some wealthy university throws money at them for the sake of entertainment.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

"errors of omission?"

how 'bout an example there, sport.

Floyd sez: See ya at Page, 88er.

SEK said...

Debrah writes:

What about this simple issue does a smart professor not comprehend?

Being that I'm a dumb graduate student, I wouldn't know.

Ralph writes:

If "Acephalous" is a "serious historian" then history is in serious trouble.

Actually, I have a name. Sure, I have a blog, too. But a name as well. Also, a discipline: English, not history, although I'm what they call an "historicist." You can get a taste of my project here, so long as you graft discussion of the best-selling literature between 1890-1910 to it.

His irritating, smug, self-righteous writing voice exemplifies much of what is wrong with modern academia.

Smug? Self-righteous? I've been called many a name, but never those two.

The sum total of his response to those who question the value of "theory" and "race/class/gender studies" is to dimiss them as "anti-intellectuals who think Jay Leno is funny."

Mr. Phelan, for someone so invested in accuracy, you sure didn't expend any effort to do me any justice: 1) the Jay Leno comment obtains to something entirely different, and 2) what reputation I have is as someone who stridently questions the value of the theory-with-a-capital-T. I suggest you check out The Valve. My name's right there on the left, waiting for you to click it.

In short, it is possible to critique theory and race/class/gender studies. Check out The Valve's book events on Theory's Empire and The Trouble With Diversity.

Stephen gets almost everything right here, short his description of me as a "serious, high-quality historian."

Ralph again:

If by "anti-intellectual" you mean opposed to the intellect that's bullshit. If by "anti-intellectual" you mean opposed to the sorts of people who call themselves "intellectual" then I say "Hell yes!"

[...]

Sorry, but I don't consider experts in postmodern theory to be "serious, thoughtful people" and I do "dismiss" them in exactly the same way I would an "expert" in astrology. Sokal killed "theroy," why is its rotted corpse still giving conference papers?


Sokal doesn’t even claimed to have "killed 'theory,'" so I'm not sure why you do. (He's a presence in the aforementioned book, Theory's Empire, and while his shadow's long, it's not quite as withering as you make it seem.) Literary theory isn't the equivalent of "astrology," or only is inasmuch as they both deal with fictional constructs which hold claim on the world.

Moving on, I can't help but agree with AMac: you should really take this "KC Johnson" fellow seriously. He has some interesting things to—what? Well, who were you talking about then?

This Anonymous points to one of the reasons reading these comments are so off-putting. The use of "Anon." here makes this place sound like 4chan. I keep waiting for someone to call me a "/b/tard." Point being, this anonymous army here is largely anti-intellectual, as you can tell from this very comment. Claims to be "deconstructing [my] smarmy ass" with his, um, forceful refutation of what I wrote?

This Anonymous takes aim at me for saying I spent "an hour this afternoon catching up with DIW." He paraphrased, and rightly so, because spending an hour catching up with is entirely different from spending an hour reading. He wants you to think the latter. It's like if I said "I spent an hour catching up with a friend" and Anon. wants to convince you I just met her.

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson at 2:38,

Your comments show that you didn't consider that the (elite) Duke faculty publishing with (elite) Duke University might be a usual practice. And why wouldn't it be? If one's university has an elite press that is excellent in one's own field, why necessarily go elsewhere?

I checked KC Johnson's old stomping ground to discover--I'm suprised you didn't notice this yourself, KC Johnson--that five of the eleven history faculty listed on-line A through C (D. Armitage, 2001; S. Bose, 2003, 2006, 2007; V. Brown, 2008; JH Coatsworth, co-ed., 1999; and N. Cott, 2001) have published books with Harvard University Press. Why should this be a surprise? It's a really good press. I suspect if one checked at Cal, Chicago, Cornell, Penn, or Yale, etc., the same might hold.

Given that KC Johnson has noted connections between faculty pressboard members and publishing on this blog, indeed, in this very posting, do you think it would be a suprise if some recent PhDs published their first books with the presses of the universities where they got their doctorates, where their dissertation directors or committee members might also have published or been on the pressboard? This is not to say that their books weren't good enough to be accepted by other presses, but that perhaps--just perhaps--their manuscripts might have had a better chance of being read at a press where they/their advisor are a known quantity?

Does this information make you think to change anything you've written today, Professor Johnson?

no justice, no peace said...

Steven Horwitz, inre:

"...How hard is it to admit that people you disagree with might be smart and well-intentioned but just wrong?..."

Might the same be said regarding whether or not elite University's, or any University, should provide Departmental status to AAAs and Gender studies?

How about whether those should even been separate areas of study?

Might the premise that they are worthy be wrong?

Anonymous said...

By reading the comments here today, it appears as if Little Sammy Hummel finally escaped the straight jacket. I bet his father spent the first years of his life throwing rocks at the stork - Irming Brecher.
cmf

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson,

I didn't realize that you wanted me to explain where I thought Kaufman had bested you (FYI: to the posters, he's a graduate student in English): For example, I really enjoyed his spirited defense of Joseph Harris. I find you v. snarky about certain fields and this one--writing--is very important.

While I'm at it:I also find you misrepresent: I asked you at one point to provide examples of political historians with good PhDs who didn't get jobs. Most universities have several American political and/or diplomatic historians on their faculty.

To be consistent, I've begun checking Yale history faculty to see how many of them publish with Yale University Press. No surprise--this (elite) faculty, probably the best in the nation, publishes like crazy and some of them publish with (elite) Yale.

Gary Packwood said...

Steven Horwitz said...
...Carolyn wrote:
...1:58: "Psychology is NOT a book-driven field."
...Books count of course, but the core of scientific contribution in the field appears to me to be in the journals. Can you provide us with some reason to think otherwise?
::
I think we are having a little problem today with diversity.

Most adults are not academics (thanks be to God) and they think of books as well, you know... Books. Like at Borders BOOKstore?

If you visit Borders BOOKstore today and look under "P" for psychology you will not only see books about psychology but you will see many shelf feet of ...books about psychology!

So yes, Carolyn there are thousands of books about psychology where the authors have earned a Ph.D. or an MD or both.

Like Edith Ann used to say "And that's the truth!"
::
GP

no justice, no peace said...

2:19 Inre: "...You are proving his point for him. You are lazy."

I'm reminded of the Klan of 88 member or defender who disparaged my blasting their refusal to link to articles and/or post their work.

Predictably I was called lazy. In true marxist fashion up becomes down. Once I pointed out who might actually be lazy I didn't hear anything else.

If a self-described intellectual is intellectually lazy how may one that critiques their work be anti-intellectual.

Of course that assumes that their work is intellectual in the first place, which of course it is not.

Adled-brained drug addicts screaming from a street corner make more sense than some of the double-speak nonsense put forth from these frauds.

They should be very, very concerned about the consumers of education.

no justice, no peace said...

Too damn funny...

Leno Publications

Maybe the Klan of 88 should invite Leno into Durham to learn what it means to be widely published.

By the way I would challenge any who believe there is a more difficult writing task than writing comedy.

Making people laugh is tough business. Being an angry victim is quite easy.

For what it's worth a friend has spent some time with Leno and mentions that he is a great guy and true gentleman. Of course, this would be unlike others who want to send innocent college students to prison.

no justice, no peace said...

2:38 KC, based upon the reaction, it appears you have lanced another boil.

no justice, no peace said...

Interesting...

"To Kill a Mockingbird" is Amazon #92, and "How to Win Friends & Influence People" is #94.

Two books the Klan of 88 should consider putting on their nightstands.

Ralph Phelan said...

"Your control group point is well taken. But, to my knowledge (and I'm happy to be corrected on this point), there's no study that gives stats of at which university presses professors publish."

So pick 20 non-88 Dukies at random and check their publication records. I know it's work, but without this background work I don't know what the publication patterns of the 88ers means, if anything.

"it's not my sense that profs from elite universities are more likely to publish with their university presses than they are with any other elite academic press."

"It's been a little like the Academy-in-Wonderland to read a few of these comments--which have implied (though never come out and said so) that profs from elite universities are more likely to publish with their university presses than they are with any other elite academic press;"

In my experience a study, however crude or cursory, is vastly superior to a "sense."

So I'll start with a sample of 1. From Steven Pinker's CV:
Books
Pinker, S. (1984) Language Learnability and Language Development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press.
Reprinted with new introduction, 1996.
Pinker, S. (Ed.). (1985) Visual Cognition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press/Bradford Books.
Pinker, S. & J. Mehler (Eds.) (1988). Connections and Symbols. Cambridge, MA: MIT
Press
/Bradford Books.
Pinker, S. (1989) Learnability and Cognition: The Acquisition of Argument Structure. Cambridge, MA:
MIT Press/Bradford Books.
Levin, B. & S. Pinker (Eds.) (1992) Lexical and Conceptual Semantics. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
Pinker, S. (1994) The Language Instinct. New York: HarperCollins; London: Penguin. Translations
published in Arabic, Chinese (Taiwan), Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian,
Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish. Translations pending in Basque,
Danish, Hebrew, Chinese (China).
Pinker, S. (1997) How the Mind Works. New York: Norton; London: Penguin. Translations
published in Dutch, German, Portuguese (Brazil), Hebrew, French, Hungarian, Italian,
Japanese, Polish, Spanish. Translations pending in Chinese (Taiwan), Korean.
Pinker, S. (1999) Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language. New York: HarperCollins. London:
Weidenfeld & Nicolson. Translations published in German and Slovak.
Pinker, S. (2002) The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. New York: Viking; London:
Penguin. Translations published in Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean,
Polish, Portuguese, Spanish. Translations pending in Chinese (China and Taiwan), Croatian,
and Swedish.
Pinker, S. (Ed.). (2004) The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2004. Boston: Houghton
Mifflin.
Pinker, S. (2005) Hotheads (Excerpt from How the Mind Works). London: Penguin Books.

Aside from his popular works, 4 out of 5 or 6 (I'm not sure how to count "Words & Rules") are with "home" academic presses.

So it's not unreasonable for a genuine scholar to publish in his home press, because he, his buddies, and his university own the field.

Couldn't Lubiano et. al. plausibly claim that they and Duke own race/class/gender studies the way Pinker, Harvard & MIT own neuroscience.

Anonymous said...

1:27PM
The faculty that signed the "clarifying statement" had this to say about Duke:

"The disaster is the atmosphere that allows sexism, racism, and sexual violence to be so prevalent on campus."

The faculty were talking about Duke students and were calling them sexists, racists, and sexually violent.

As the parent of a Duke student, this broad condemnation of their students sounds like "hate" to me.

Locomotive Breath said...

As a former academician, and an engineer, and the former editor in chief of the top technical journal in my field, I've got to say that I've usually considered the various university presses, when publishing books of faculty at that institution, to be just barely above self-published vanity books. (That's sure to PO some people, sorry.)

If you can't get your work through completely external review then it may not not need to see the light of day. When receiving a journal manuscript, I would NEVER send it to a faculty member at the same university as one of the authors because they have a built-in bias - sometimes for publication and sometimes against - it would depend if the reviewer was getting along with the author.

May I remind everyone that after radicalizing (and I believe wrecking) the English Department at Duke, Stanley Fish moved on to run DUP. If you don't think his former status as a faculty member influenced what got published from Duke faculy then you're kidding yourself. Of course, this is a man who once said "I don't read anything without getting paid". Some academician.

But that being said, KC has committed not one but two cardinal sins against the academy. First he has criticized the academy to outsiders. Second he's written a book that promises to find an popular audience. (Never mind the blog that's found a popular audience.)

Either will get you shunned. Notice the call for him to be removed from Cliopatria.

mb said...

I'm in biomedical science and engineering, and if I were to 'publish' in nothing more than a journal/publisher operated by my institution I would be laughed out of the academy. From what I can tell, the inbred jokers in Angry Studies who publish exclusively in their own university presses and who cite each other over and over in 'journals' where they are each others' editors and referees are accomplished con artists vis-a-vis presenting what they do as 'scholarship.'

What was it ralph phelan called it: Oh yeah, "unaldulterated bullshit."

ralph also makes a good point re. control groups: If all of the Angry Studies crowd across academia produce unaldulterated bullshit of similar quality then that would show that the Klan of 88 aren't unusually awful when compared to their peers. However, it certainly says a lot about how the Angry Studies crowd compare to the rest of the academy vis-a-vis what they pass off as 'scholarship.' I've had reason to look at a bit of material coming from the women's studies crowd and every single article passed on as 'scholarship' qualifies as unaldulterated bullshit. If the rest of Angry Studies produce similar work it would make a great case for eliminating the entire lot of them.

Even if budgets were flush, IMHO there should be no room for trying to pass off unadulterated bullshit as serious scholarship in an academic setting.

Anonymous said...

Heh heh, for a book that hasn't been released yet, it is sure improving in rank.

It just hit 267.

I guess I better order one.

Scott Eric Kaufman said...

I've tried to comment a few times, so I assume Blogger's eating them (too many links, probably). So I posted a version of the latter here, for those interested in the fairness of KC's description of DUP.

Debrah said...

"I'm planning on assigning some of your comments to my students. Assignment: How not to construct an argument. (I'm sure they'll ask: what argument?)"

Would you like an autographed photo to go along with that?

I am not arguing with you. You are arguing with yourself.

LOL!!! Stop tripping and stop using straw arguments to diss someone because you don't like their opinions.

Might I strongly suggest that you also provide your students with the posts you have brought to this forum--anonymously? They need to know how to hide behind the sofa and shoot spitballs.

That way they can get a jump-start on how to grow up to be a respected member of their very own Gang of 88.

I'm not a professor......nor have I ever played one; however, it is unfortunate that people like you--who are obviously NOT one, but wish you were--LOL!!!--actually believe that the academic field is some kind of mystery to others.

Anonymous said...

KC,

Please tell me you are really five people. The revelations just keep coming.

I don't know how you can do it? Do you sleep? A great detective, doing excellent research, uncovering new ground, as you brillantly write about academics, the law and social injustice relating far beyond the Duke Lacrosse case.

Thany you, Thank you, Thank you.

Jack

Debrah said...

To S E Kaufman--

Many thanks for your herculian efforts to see that the David Horowitz comparisons are underscored; however, this gross analogy comes off as opéra-bouffe inside Wonderland.

While it is understandable that KC's detractors need to grasp for a lifeline in hopes of mitigating the effects of his stellar work.....and the sure-to-be-bestselling book.....

.....alas......sometimes perfection is not to be denied.

inman said...

4:22

You make an interesting point.

"Couldn't Lubiano et. al. plausibly claim that they and Duke own race/class/gender studies the way Pinker, Harvard & MIT own neuroscience."

So, let's trade ... Duke will offer race and class for neuroscience and...oh what they heck ... we'll also throw in gender for free. And as an added bonus we'll agree to a five year moratorium on publishing any of Lubiano's forthcoming works. Hecko....we'll even make that moratorium retroactive for five years.

Fair?

Anonymous said...

Ideally, wouldn't all manuscripts be sent in "blind" to various publishing agents? So that there could be no question about influence or impropriety?

Anonymous said...

When I was researching university presses for a recent book, I was told this insider joke about DUP: "Duke? Oh, they do weirdo studies."

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

Scott,

Thank you for pointing out in your post that Wald's book was published by DUP 6 years before being hired by Duke. That certainly calls into question the care with which KC investigates his subjects.

Debrah said...

You know.....while again, contemplating the strange....(after all, the spine of this issue IS the work of the Gang of 88)......

My senses tell me that this enthusiastic performance by KC's detractors of late on his blog is their frantic effort to be a part of it all.

Realistically, they are wholly aware of the impact of his book.....and they know how popular his blog Wonderland is.

If they can scream as loudly as their warped vocal chords allow....they will then feel someone out there will hear them....and all of a sudden forget about the genesis if it all:

KC

And his non-partisan approach to this case.

And the ugly truths his work has revealed.

But they'll never catch The Midnight Rider.

Debrah said...

The Midnight Rider of Wonderland

Anonymous said...

let's just be HONEST here, and though it may painful to some ...

THE G88 HAVE NO CREDENTIALS in academia.

Anonymous said...

to: Scott Eric Kaufman,

Please don't think of us as anti-intellectual, but rather as differently intellectualized.

Using KC Johnson's and Horowitz's names in the same sentence is pretty damn anti-intellectual. It's SMARMY and doesn't hold up EPISTOMOLOGICALLY (means it isn't true and it's a bigger word then anti-intellectual). It's the sort of rhetorical conflation which Horowitz or Limbaugh would use.

OK, OK, maybe sometimes some of us are slightly anti-intellectual. Just a good clean bit of fun.

Anonymous said...

Scott:
You commented at acephalous.typepad.com "With all due apologies to Ralph, Scott, Timothy, Miriam, and the rest of the good folk at Cliopatria, I've got to say: keeping K.C. Johnson on the roster does the rest of the contributors a disservice".

You suggest that Prof. Johnson be removed from Cliopatria. Is your suggestion based upon the quality of his posts at Cliopatria and/or the quality of his scholarship? Or, is your suggestion motivated because you disagree with his commentary on this blog? The remainder of your post indicates the latter. In other words, you are suggesting that Cliopatria remove Prof. Johnson for views that he holds that are unrelated to his quality as a contributor to Cliopatria and/or his scholarship. Pity you can't tolerate the views of a "pro-choice, pro gay marriage, ultra conservative Obama supporter" from Brooklyn. ;)

Gary Packwood said...

Scott Eric Kaufman 6:24 said...
...I've tried to comment a few times, so I assume Blogger's eating them (too many links, probably). So I posted a version of the latter here, for those interested in the fairness of KC's description of DUP.
::
Dude, your dog is not hunting!

What are you trying to say?

I read your blather and then learned that you admit you blather...on another web site.

If we need a decoder ring to read your stuff it might be helpful for you to remember that you skating on thin ice here.

When skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.

Move along now.
::
GP

AF said...

Wahneema's forthcoming publication is finally out-------------------------it's right here on KC's blog. Check out 1:27 and 1:31. Thar she blows!!!!!

Debrah said...

I thought these comments by Steven over on Acephalous were interesting:


"One other point, on the other side:
The degree of hatred and disgust with academia that is on display in KC's comments section is, in my view, not to be totally dismissed. Those of us in academia who view all of it as just the rabble not understanding how academia works and why it works that way (e.g. academic freedom and faculty governance) are making a huge strategic/political mistake. There are smart, reasonable people who think faculty are lower than lawyers on the respect scale. It takes work to get distinguish the real criticisms from the crap, but they're there.
The degree of animosity there has stunned me, even after teaching at the college level for 20 years. We ignore it at our own peril: these folks have money and they vote."

rrhamilton said...

Can I just say one thing, as a lawyer? We attorneys are trained to argue; we like to argue; if we can't argue, we can't make a living. You academicians, whatever other talents you may have, couldn't argue your way into a traffic ticket. This has been like being a pro boxer and having to watch 6-year-olds fight. Stop now, as you only embarrass yourselves.

This posting comments, especially by the nattering nabobs of narratives (on all sides) serves only to remind me why Duke was willing to pay millions (probably tens) to avoid giving a jury a chance to see its professors on the witness stand under oath being questioned by someone who really does know a bit about logic, composition, and rhetoric.

That's all I have to say.

Anonymous said...

8:10--

I actually noted the date of Wald's book (1995) much earlier in the day, ie, 2:15, thus my comment about her having gotten her contract BEFORE she went to Duke. Yes, very messy reporting, because all I did was check her CV. There was a 1995 version and it was reprinted in 1998. I suppose it must have been fairly well-received, because this doesn't happen a lot.

I had hoped KC would correct this error on his blog (1st edition, 1995; 2nd edn., 1998), but he hadn't when I last looked.

KC Johnson said...

To the 12.53:

I'd be happy to correct the error, if you would identify it. Here is the passage from the blog:

"For the most part, however, a disproportionate number of the DUP-published Group members are professors without books published elsewhere. The DUP book thus was or is a critical credential for the candidate’s continued employment or promotion at Duke."

I fail to see anything erroneous in that statement.

Anonymous said...

1:04

Earlier in the day, wasn't Professor Wald's book's publication date listed as 1998, rather than 1995? That's the reference. Of course, my pc screen may be dirty. If I'm incorrect, I'm sorry. Please do make it clear, however, that Wald wasn't at Duke when her book was accepted.

BTW, who did your advisor publish with? I tried to check on the Harvard history department website. Is he retired?

Anonymous said...

Professor

I'm not an academic, but it would seem to me that there is an inherent conflict of interest involved in publishing at your home academic press--Duke's or anyone else's. To me, it's a no-brainer to stop this practice. Even if you have a Stephen Hawking on your faculty, it's best admin tell him to seek an outside publisher.

Isn't "publishing a book" old-fashioned anyway? Very few are sold, so why not "publish" them on the Web?

Good luck with your book.

KC Johnson said...

To the 1.45:

The date of publication of Wald's book was unchanged from the original post.

My advisor was Akira Iriye. He has published books during his career with the following seventeen presses:

Brookings Institution Press
Routledge
Mineruva Shobō
University of California Press
Kodansha America
Tōkyō Daigaku Shuppankai
Bedford/St. Martin’s
Iwanami Shoten
Johns Hopkins University Press
Longman
Cambridge University Press
Harvard University Press
Chūō Kōronsha
Scholarly Resources Books
Columbia University Press
Prentice-Hall
Harcourt, Brace & World

He remains an active scholar, though he retired in 2005.

Anonymous said...

KC at 1:57

You have made the argument that the G88 publish in large numbers at DUP as if that is an exception to the rule, ie, if you're at an elite university with an elite press in your field, you consider sending your manuscript there. Your 8:51 post mentions your lack of awareness of elite faculty publishing with their own elite university presses. Have any of the postings here raised your awareness?

Your advisor published three volumes with HUP (one was edited). One was before he was at Harvard, one after, and I didn't see the date of the third wasn't on the website. Did his connections there--and at Cambridge, where he also published--help you get a foot in the door for publishing? Did he perhaps suggest you go to HUP and/or CUP or did you decide this all on your own. (Fair enough if you don't remember.)

It would suprise me if a professor who cared enough about a student to take him along when he went to another university wasn't also interested in that student's publishing career. Don't dissertation advisors advise?

Anonymous said...

3:20 In the context of KC Johnson's post, not to make clear that Professor P. Wald was not on Duke's faculty when her book was accepted (it isn't rocket science to figure this out) is an error of omission.

That is for example.

KC Johnson said...

To the 2.29:

"Your 8:51 post mentions your lack of awareness of elite faculty publishing with their own elite university presses. Have any of the postings here raised your awareness?"

I urge you to re-read both my post and my comments, to determine where I said that I was unaware "of elite faculty publishing with their own elite university presses."

"Your advisor published three volumes with HUP (one was edited). One was before he was at Harvard, one after, and I didn't see the date of the third wasn't on the website. Did his connections there--and at Cambridge, where he also published--help you get a foot in the door for publishing? Did he perhaps suggest you go to HUP and/or CUP or did you decide this all on your own. (Fair enough if you don't remember.)"

My advisor actually urged me to publish my first book with the University of Chicago Press. Another person who read my dissertation suggested Harvard; I thought Harvard was the better press. I submitted the ms there, and it was accepted. I believed that was the correct decision at the time, and continue to so believe. Once I decided to submit to Harvard, Akira fully supported my decision.

My Congress and the Cold War book was recruited to Cambridge by a senior editor at the press, Lew Bateman. My decision to move from Harvard to Cambridge was made by me, alone, for marketing reasons: Harvard hadn't published my second book in paper, and was unlikely do do so with my fourth book, either. (In the interim, I published a book with a German commercial press.) Cambridge promised to publish in paper, as it did.

Allow me to reiterate, for the sixth or seventh time in this thread: the post in no way discussed Duke Ph.D's publishing with Duke, so I'm not at all clear as to the relevance of my publishing record to the points raised in the post. But I'm happy to discuss anything about any of my five books, or anything about my three edited or co-edited books, or anything about my one ms. under review, my one ms. under contract, or my two forthcoming co-edited books.

To the 2.34:

You're welcome to your opinion, which I do not share.

Anonymous said...

KC, with all of your books and manuscripts why are you stuck at BC? We in the business know that there are books and then there are books. Could it be that none of your books has made a significant scholarly contribution? You and the clowns on this blog love to count lines on CV. Any serious academic knows that this is not how one judges quality.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't the date of Wald's book. KC may have had that correct from the beginning, I don't remember.

The problem is that KC didn't note that she was hired at Duke *six years* after publishing with DUP.
It's an important detail that casts doubt on what KC is trying to suggest.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre 11:38's quote "...The degree of animosity there has stunned me, even after teaching at the college level for 20 years. We ignore it at our own peril: these folks have money and they vote."

Though correct, he remains blinded, and doesn't mention, that this issue cuts across political lines. All sorts, as evidenced by the wide path cut on KC's blog, realize our education system has significant problems.

Besides if consumers of education are the anti-intellectual dopes the "intellectuals" suggest, doesn't that affirm that the intellectuals are failing both individually and institutionally in their mission?

Unless of course the mission is to indoctrinate instead of educate...

Locomotive Breath said...

rrhamilton said...
Can I just say one thing, as a lawyer?


If you did you'd be the first.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steve Horwtiz wrote elsewhere but was quoted here as saying:

"There are smart, reasonable people who think faculty are lower than lawyers on the respect scale."

As the folks at Powerline remarked:
"It is a remarkable fact of the Duke case that the legal profession has acquitted itself with greater honor than the professoriate."

Ralph Phelan said...

sek says:
"Literary theory isn't the equivalent of "astrology," or only is inasmuch as they both deal with fictional constructs which hold claim on the world."

I hold that they are equivalent in that both are worthless wastes of time.

You work with the people who practice "theory." I and others like me pay both their salaries and yours. Whose opinion as to the value of their work should govern funding?

mac said...

Let me take a crack at this:
sometimes an author might actually benefit the university press, should the author decide to publish in-house.

Imagine if the late Lennart Heimer, who taught at UVA, published his "Human Brain and Spinal Cord" at an in-house press!What a bonus for the University!
It's not a slam on the University, however, that he published with Springer-Verlag. The book brings credit upon one of its finest professors/scholars (so I've heard, and would agree based upon this work alone,) and so also brings credit upon his employer!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that in-house publishing might be an author's greatest gift to a University! That's why it could be (potentially) such an insult to a benefactor of this kind to have his work appear with "company-store" types.

Ralph Phelan said...

scott eric kaufman wrote:

"I've tried to comment a few times, so I assume Blogger's eating them (too many links, probably). So I posted a version of the latter here, for those interested in the fairness of KC's description of DUP."

More likely it's because KC, who has been screening posts latley, is alseep (not that he seems to domuch of that... I guess insomnia is an asset for bloggers.)

And since I don't have a Typekey ID, I'll reply here. You wrote in a comment:

"My regular readers berate me for being too charitable with those on the right."

You're having a Pauline Kael moment.

Ralph Phelan said...

scott eric kaufman wrote:

"what reputation I have is as someone who stridently questions the value of the theory-with-a-capital-T."

By engaging with it you give it more respect than it deserves.

I understand that from your point of view this is an extemely radical view, but I genuinely believe that a large fraction of your colleagues could be laid off tomorrow and not replaced and the result would be a net benefit to their employers and customers.

KC Johnson said...

To the 6.23:

In fact, I came to Brooklyn after teaching for four years at Williams College (current US News ranking, #1, liberal arts college). I turned down an offer to be brought up immediately for tenure at Williams if I were to stay; I wanted to live in New York.

So, I suppose, I'm "stuck" where I want to be.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre" Locomtive Breath:

"rrhamilton said...
Can I just say one thing, as a lawyer?

If you did you'd be the first."

Very nice...too damn funny.

AMac said...

I've read the thread and re-read this post, and would offer a comment.

Prof. Johnson, in the post, you wrote:

For the most part, however, a disproportionate number of the DUP-published Group members are professors without books published elsewhere. The DUP book thus was or is a critical credential for the candidate’s continued employment or promotion at Duke. This list includes:

...

* Priscilla Wald (English): 1 book, Constituting Americans: Cultural Anxiety and Narrative Form. Duke University Press, 1995.


That Prof. Wald's sole book was published in 1995 by the DUP is factually correct--but also misleading in the context of your point.

That point is that the DUP book is a credential for a candidate's continued employment or promotion at Duke.

Prof. Wald published in 1995 (republished in 1998), but was recruited to Duke some time around 2001.

You might argue that the DUP pedigree of Wald's book was an important part of the hiring decision (appropriately or not). But that's not what the post suggests.

Instead, the reader who does not wade through the comments is left with the clear impression that Wald's status as a Duke professor could have given her manuscript an inside track at DUP, or could have contributed to her attractiveness as an author to DUP. Both of these readily-made assumptions are flat-out wrong.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steve Horwitz -
Further thoughts on the animosity to professors.

This case has greatly increased the depth of my anger.

I used to consider the description of universities as "islands of tyranny in a sea of freedom" rather hyperbolic, as you could always step off the island. Even when they used academic disciplinary board show-trials, and trumped up charges of sexual harassment, the worst that the PC fascists could do is say "you'll never work in Academia again." Not that dire a threat. Consequently watching David Horowitz fight with leftist professors was primarily amusing in a pro-wrestling sort of way.

But when the campus fascists allied themselves with an obviously corrupt prosecutor trying to put innocent people in prison for 30 years, and a group of violent street thugs who threatened people's lives to the point they had to live in their cars, they chose to seriously raise the stakes of the game. I can no longer laugh at it, nor can I consider it "not my problem".

The islands of tyranny are now trying to extend their influence into the sea of freedom. The sea of freedom has no choice but to respond.

KC Johnson said...

To Amac:

Point taken: I added "recruitment" to avoid any confusion about Wald.

AMac said...

Prof. Johnson,

In this post, you invite the reader to conclude that there is something untoward about the large number of Group of 88 faculty who have published books at DUP. In particular, you cite the facts that 16 of the circa-66 relevant Group members are DUP authors, and that of these, five have published their sole book at DUP. Further, two other Group members claim a book forthcoming from DUP, and one claims a forthcoming monograph.

The post concludes:

"it appears that... the DUP has had an Editorial Advisory Board dominated by Group members or their sympathizers, which in turn has recommended publication of manuscripts produced by . . . Group members or their sympathizers on the faculty. And these manuscripts, in turn, have been vital to the continued employment at Duke of . . . Group members or their sympathizers."

Aside from the circumstance of the publication-light Prof. Lubiano serving on the EAB, this post does not offer enough context for a non-academic reader to form an opinion on the relationship of the DUP to Duke's faculty, particularly to the faculty's G88-style ideologues.

Per Ralph Phelan's comments, what is the "control" situation to which the Duke faculty/DUP relationship should be compared?

I don't know how to answer this question, given that press reputation is so important and, apparently, so field-specific.

The G88's record of publishing books at DUP might have the appearance of impropriety, or it might not. I can't tell.

Whether or not such appearance exists, there might be grounds to suspect actual mutual-backscratching-style relationships that contribute to substandard publications. Again, I can't tell.

Finally, DUP may have established pre-eminence in certain fields of study that are inherently shaky and faddish--the Humanities equivalent to Creation Science (along with other, meritorious ones). Thus, while the forms of Duke faculty/DUP relationships might meet the Academy's standards, the substance of some might be intellectually deficient.

While I harbor pre-existing suspicions that this is the case, nothing in this post (save the discussion of Prof. Lubiano's role at DUP) provides evidence that points in such a direction.

KC Johnson said...

To Amac:

A couple of quick responses:

1.) The Group of 88 is (at most) around 12% of Duke's A&S faculty. They (and allies like Orin Starn) were a much higher percentage of the DUP EAB.

2.) "Finally, DUP may have established pre-eminence in certain fields of study that are inherently shaky and faddish." I think that's absolutely true, and I wouldn't mean to imply otherwise. This is a case, it seems to me, that reinforces Prof. Staddon's point from Monday's post of "redefining excellence." It's scarcely surprising that Group members find the work of other Group members appealing intellectually.

On final point; R.P.'s comment on control groups is well-taken. I'm unaware of a study that details how often profs publish at their university's academic presses, and whether they do so to a much greater extent than they do with any other academic press. I'm looking around for one, however.

Anonymous said...

Bet those egghead blogs mentioned here have never gotten so much traffic before.

Ralph Phelan said...

"while the forms of Duke faculty/DUP relationships might meet the Academy's standards, the substance of some might be intellectually deficient."

The famous anti-intellectual Richard Feynamn described that class of problem 33 years ago. The hard part is figuring out how to apply his insight to the humanities.

Debrah said...

TO 10:07AM--

That was my point last evening. They are showing up here with their arguments because they know that KC is in the spotlight...

....and they want to be on record as defending the academy KC is trying to tarnish.....

...with the truth!

If they can make a big deal about banning him, they think it will whip up some publicity and attention for their little blogs.


LOL!!!

AMac said...

Anon 10:07am --

Scott Kaufman, that "egghead blogger" you mentioned, wrote KC this morning that he's being spammed. This is almost certainly a result of his engaging in dialog on this thread (as "SEK").

Scott, from what I can see, is a wholly credible person. He has guest-blogged for Jeff Goldstein of "Protein Wisdom" fame, which might be a meaningful bona fide for the rightward-leaning folks.

He's not making this up.

I denounce this harassment of a blogger for the thoughtcrime of dissenting from a Durham in Wonderland "consensus." There is no excuse for such anti-social and anti-intellectual behavior. None.

I hope other "regular" commenters will join me in expressing these sentiments.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I spammed sek.

Also, I'm a communist.

Debrah said...

TO Amac--

We already have.

Yet I will not try to deify Kaufman in the process.

He's a little ankle-biter with more than his share of illogical smarm.

Just because there is a creep using his name--which I detest--it doesn't make him any more credible.

Ralph Phelan said...

Amac 10:51

In case my snark at Duke obscured my poin tavoe, I also condemn it.

Ralph Phelan said...

Whoops, said snark was on another thread. Still, sek did not deserve this.

Ralph Phelan said...

re: my own 8:47, and Steve Horwitz' self description as a libertarian who works with 88ish types:

I find it interesting that so far the best defenders of the value "Theory" and race/class/gender studies are from people who regularly criticise them. Where are their actual practitioners already?

rrhamilton said...

Locomotive Breath said...

rrhamilton said...
Can I just say one thing, as a lawyer?

If you did you'd be the first.

8/29/07 7:09 AM


I sure asked for that one, didn't I? :)

Anonymous said...

Is sek a kaufmanist?

craig said...

AMac is right. There is no reason that a blogger should be spammed just because they disagree with KC.

Anonymous said...

To Steven Horwitz:
Thank you for your thoughtful and reasoned posts re. Kaufman.

I've really enjoyed this blog and occasionally post much too long comments, yes anonymously, but I am sometimes put off by the snark and the downright meanness in the comments.

I read Kaufman's posts at his site and they seem well reasoned and thought out (except for his suggestion to have Prof. Johnson removed from Cliapatria). It is really upsetting that because Kaufman disagrees with Prof. Johnson's point of view that Kaufman is vilified and called names (re. "Ankle-Biter" (isn't that a derogatory term for gay men?)). I've posted comments here before questioning the efficacy of the critiques (you even quoted one of my posts re. weight to attribute G88's actions over lifetime), but I think I was always respectful of Prof. Johnson's opinions. I would hope that readers of DIW would have the same respect for others who disagree with Prof. Johnson.

People, Prof. Johnson has done a tremendous service with this blog, but he is not all knowing. It is O.K. to disagree with him and form independent opinions! I think as a scholar he would invite disagreement and discourse as evidenced by the respectful discourse in which he engaged with Kaufman sans name-calling!

Debrah said...

re. "Ankle-Biter" (isn't that a derogatory term for gay men?)).

NO.

And it is my hope that such ignorance can be avoided in the future.

Is this the only debate some have? Invention?

Anonymous said...

(re. "Ankle-Biter" (isn't that a derogatory term for gay men?))

To me, the term is used in two different ways. First, an "ankle-biter" is a little kid, like "rug-rat". Second, it is used to describe lesser men/women who nitpick at the work of their betters. I think that's how Debrah meant it.

RRH

Ralph Phelan said...

And now for some possibly offensive speculation. My even bringing up following hypothesis is bound to offend some, yet it does need to be considered.

Many of the 88 have claimed to have recieved harrassing emails from "bloggers", yet never produced any. There have been cases in recent years of both faculty and students in race/class/gender studies areas caught faking "hate crimes" against themselves.

Is it possible that Kaufman's harrassment claim is also a politically motivated lie? How can we tell? Does anyone know him well enough personally to say one way or the other if this is plausible?

Sorry to have to be so cynical, but this case has taught me to question everything.

Debrah said...

TO 1:10PM--

Exactly.

When I used to participate on the NYTimes political fora that word was used all the time for nitpickers with silly agendas.

Or someone trying to get personal because they dislike someone else.....etc.......

Debrah said...

TO 1:23PM--

The thought crossed my mind as well.

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