Saturday, October 20, 2007

Reflections on the Piot Principles

[A few updates on this post: (1) Piot, who also chairs the AAAS Department, continues to suppress the videotape of the February “Shut Up and Teach” forum upon which his article was based.

(2) The Transforming Anthropology editors admitted to one DIW reader that it was not peer-reviewed before publication, a remarkable policy for a scholarly journal. Even so, there would seem to be no justification for the editors not ensuring that the article was factually accurate.*

(3) Piot has declined to respond to repeated requests as to why he did not reveal that one professor his article defended was, in fact, his partner, Anne Allison. Most people would doubt the objectivity of a figure who, in covertly defending his partner, appeared to allow his emotions to get the best of him: “[Using] a rhetorical strategy characteristic not only of right-wing media in this country (from Limbaugh to O'Reilly) but also of totalitarian thought and authoritarian regimes the world over . . . Johnson's . . . characterizations are not only consistently wide of the mark but deploy surveillance tactics that the right-wing Horowitz machine has canonized and that recall nothing so much as the campus witch hunts of the McCarthy era. ]

“Clarifying” professor Charles Piot has published his attack on the blog—promised in his appearance at the February “Shut Up and Teach” forum, in which he said that critics of the Group of 88 should “shut up and teach”—in the most recent issue of Transforming Anthropology.

In reading this post, keep in mind: above all else, the Piot article gives a sense of what is considered a scholarly publication in his field.

The “Piot Principles,” as laid out in his article:

  1. Ignore contemporaneous documents, if doing so will advance the metanarrative.
  2. Don’t mention conflicts of interest.
  3. Even into spring 2007, at least one Duke professor continued to use class time for questionable non-academic activities.
  4. In a scholarly publication, authors should avoid citations when making their most difficult-to-sustain points.

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1.) Ignore contemporaneous documents, if doing so will advance the metanarrative.

a.) Reflecting the new party line, Piot claimed that the “intent” of Group members “was never to speak to the events at the lacrosse party.” Indeed, he asserted, “the ad in question was never about the lacrosse players nor about the party they hosted in spring 2006.” He cited instead—incredibly—Hurricane Katrina as a possible motivation.

Unfortunately for Piot, Wahneema Lubiano, the author of the ad, said exactly the opposite—in the cover e-mail inviting professors to sign the ad. Wrote she, “African & African-American Studies is placing an ad in The Chronicle about the lacrosse team incident.” There was no mention to broader concerns with racism or sexism, and no mention of Katrina. It’s hard to get much clearer than Lubiano’s statement.

How did Piot—who, as a member of the AAAS and Cultural Anthropology departments, certainly received Lubiano’s mass e-mail—deal with this document, which disproves his thesis?

His article did not mention the Lubiano e-mail.

b.) Piot conceded that the Group of 88 ad did, in fact, say, “To the protesters making collective noise, thank you for not waiting and for making yourselves heard.” According to Piot, however, the 88 signatories (who collectively committed themselves to “turning up the volume”) were under the impression that readers would not believe that the ad thanked the protesters who had received the most media attention—the potbangers and those who blanketed the campus with “wanted” posters:

It is important to note that there were multiple campus protests going on at the time. The ones that the ad referred to . . . were never the “potbanger” protests that Johnson cites over and over again, but rather those taking place at the open mike outside the Allen Building.

Such a claim, of course, strains credulity. It asserts that 88 Duke faculty members—who included more than a dozen professors of English or Literature—were incapable of writing a sentence stating that they only referred to one specific protest; and months later, when many of the same people signed the “clarifying” ad, remained incapable of doing so. It also ignores that at least two Group members (Susan Thorne and Alberto Moreiras) admitted, in writing, that the wording of the ad did thank all of the anti-lacrosse protesters.

Nonetheless, set aside logic and common sense, and accept Piot’s words at face value. Here are some photos of the “open mike” protesters who Piot now claims were the only protesters that the Group was thanking:



And here is Emily Rotberg’s description of the open-mike event from the Chronicle:

“This is a matter of white privilege,” senior Tiana Mack said. “When I read what was going on, it made me think about Jim Crow.... If these three culprits get away with it, it will prove to me that Duke does not honor the black woman’s body.”

Some demonstrators wore T-shirts with slogans such as “Men’s Lacrosse? Not fine by me” and “Men’s Lax, Come Clean.”

Senior Jay McKenna alluded to the widespread belief that the lacrosse players are not fully cooperating with the investigation.

“The fact that this wall of silence has been constructed only adds to the mystery, which adds to the speculation,” he said, noting that he knows members of the team.

To sum up: According to Piot, in writing “to the protesters making collective noise, thank you for not waiting and for making yourselves heard,”:

  • the Group of 88 was not thanking protesters who carried “castrate” banners and blanketed the campus with “wanted” posters.
  • the Group of 88 was thanking protesters who wore T-shirts reading “Men’s Lax Come Clean”; posted writings condemning the players’ presumption of innocence; and asserted, “If these three culprits get away with it, it will prove to me that Duke does not honor the black woman’s body.”

That’s the best after-the-fact rationalization he could offer?

2.) Don’t mention conflicts of interest.

Piot’s discussion of the Campus Culture Initiative provides some insight into the integrity of his approach. Here’s how his article described the blog’s critique of the CCI:

A constant refrain [of the blog] is that the committee recommendations—which were unusually mild—were railroaded by the presence of three faculty members who were ad signatories. In advancing this claim, Johnson bizarrely assumes that three people could influence the opinions of a committee of twenty-four.

Since even President Brodhead—who Piot, in February, described as a supporter of the Group of 88's statement—all but dismissed the CCI’s recommendations, it seems that Piot is in the minority in terming the CCI’s agenda as “unusually mild.”

Piot’s passage also left out two rather important items. First, though he elected, for reasons he failed to explain, to conceal their names, the three professors referenced (Peter Wood, Karla Holloway, and Anne Allison) were not simply members of the CCI—they were chairs or co-chairs of three of the CCI’s four subgroups. They ran the athletics, race, and gender subgroups. (Piot erroneously stated that Peter Wood was a Group of 88 member. Wood was not, and I never made such a claim.)

The blog focused less on the influence of the trio than on what it said about the CCI’s agenda that anti-lacrosse extremists were assigned to chair or co-chair three of its four sub-groups. Indeed, the Chronicle made a similar point, referencing Wood, Allison, and Holloway: “The composition of the CCI's steering committee has hurt its credibility . . . Stacking the CCI with critics of ‘white male privilege’ suggests that the initiative was created to pacify countercultural professors, rather than to shape a new and improved campus culture.” Beyond this point, however, Piot’s insinuation that subcommittee chairs had no more power than any other member of the committee is naïve at best and disingenuous at worst.

Even more striking, however, Piot chose not to mention that one of the three CCI figures whose performance his article defended was his partner, Anne Allison. (Here’s a passage from Allison’s Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan: “It was my partner, Charlie Piot, who first suggested this book, and he has been tireless in offering assistance and encouragement of all kinds throughout its production. It is he who wrapped its everyday labors within joys both profound and mundane. I have no words to express my feelings and thanks.”) DIW posts critiqued not only Anne Allison’s CCI work but also her spring 2007 course, “Group of 88 for Credit.”

Perhaps Piot would have penned the exact same article had he never met Anne Allison. But basic ethics—if not a formal conflict-of-interest policy—require disclosure of such a deeply personal connection, so readers can determine whether the author has an insurmountable bias.

I e-mailed Piot to ask whether he believed an author should disclose when writing about the conduct of his current or former partner. He did not reply. I also e-mailed the journal’s editors to ask about their policy on such matters. They, too, did not reply.

3.) Even into spring 2007, at least one Duke professor continued to use class time for questionable non-academic activities.

The assertion in Piot’s article that the Group’s ad—a statement published in the “most easily seen venue on campus” signed by 88 faculty members and (allegedly, if, as we know now, improperly) endorsed by five academic departments—had no impact reflected another element of the Group defenders’ new party line: It “was a virtual nonevent on campus.”

Piot noted but essentially dismissed the fact that the ad provoked negative commentary, within a week of its appearance, from a Chronicle editorial and op-ed. He didn’t even mention that the lacrosse players noticed the ad immediately and expressed deep dismay about it. From the summer 2006 Chronicle article:

“This is a social disaster.”

That was the tagline of a paid advertisement signed by 88 members of the Duke faculty that appeared in the April 6 issue of The Chronicle.

“I think that all of us kind of checked over our teachers to make sure they weren’t on that list,” [Bo] Carrington said.

Such evidence, obviously, undermines Piot’s preferred storyline. As with the Lubiano e-mail announcing the ad’s existence, Piot simply ignored it.

Piot also—falsely—implied that defense lawyers became concerned about the Group’s ad only after coverage of it appeared on the blog. The reverse, in fact, is true: as revealed in interviews with both several players and nearly every defense attorney involved in the case, the lawyers noticed the ad as soon as it appeared in April 2006, and were horrified that such a statement could have been published by Duke professors. Piot did not contact any defense attorneys to obtain the truth about his theory.

But perhaps most disturbing were the following items from Piot’s article:

No student of the over 100 I polled knew about the existence of the blogs, let alone had heard the name KC Johnson . . . Another colleague asked a 110-person Intro class in spring 2007, a class filled with athletes and lacrosse players, how many had heard of the Group of 88, and only three raised their hands.

Piot did not reveal where he conducted his poll; perhaps he camped out on Buchanan Blvd. and asked student passersby. The unnamed professor’s conduct, on the other hand, raises a host of disturbing questions:

a.) What was the academic rationale for a Duke faculty member using class time to conduct a survey about the Group of 88?

b.) How did the unnamed professor frame the question? Given Carrington’s statement above, did the unnamed professor understand that using class time to ask a question about the Group’s statement could be considered applying inappropriate pressure on the lacrosse players and other athletes in his/her class?

c.) Were the students informed that their responses would be used as data in a scholarly publication? If so, did they sign informed consent forms—as Institutional Review Board guidelines would seem to require?

d.) As early as January 2007—according to Group member Cathy Davidson—the statement’s signatories understood that they might be subject to a civil suit from lacrosse players. (Davidson admitted, “I have had lawyers look at the original [Group] ad and ambiguity of the language could be made, in a court of law, to seem as if we are saying things against the lacrosse team.”) A claim that the ad had no impact might have been one line of defense in such a lawsuit. Did the unnamed professor inform his or her students that their responses might be used as evidence to defend the faculty in a civil suit filed by their fellow students?

I e-mailed Piot to ask him whether he or the unnamed professor had obtained informed consent forms from the 110 students. He did not reply. I also e-mailed the journal’s two editors, to ask if they had ascertained from Piot whether he had complied with IRB policies. They, too, did not reply.

4.) In a scholarly publication, authors should avoid citations when making their most difficult-to-sustain points.

Two Piot assertions were particularly remarkable in this regard.

a.) “To claim that a group of faculty whose intent was never to speak to the events at the lacrosse party [sic] was in some way responsible for a university’s, a town’s, and indeed an entire nation’s ‘rush to judgment’ speaks volumes about Johnson’s own ideological agenda.”

Piot’s citations for this statement: None.

In more than 1,000 posts totaling more than 870,000 words, the blog never made such a claim or even anything resembling such a claim. Indeed, the blog never discussed any linkage of any type between the Group’s activities and “an entire nation’s rush to judgment.”

In interviews (and, occasionally, in the blog) I discussed one possible linkage between the Group’s ad and events in Durham: that in spring 2006, in the crucial weeks before the D.A. primary, an undecided voter of good faith in Durham could easily have taken from their own professors denouncing the players a belief that Mike Nifong’s crusade was justified. But the blog never (in, again, more than 870,000 words) discussed any linkage between the Group’s activities and “a town’s . . . rush to judgment.”

That Piot spent so much effort attempting to disprove points that the blog never made raises questions about whether he even read the posts he cited elsewhere in his article. The blog (as reflected in its subtitle) focused on two interrelated, but distinct, questions:

  • (1) What did it say about Durham’s legal culture that a prosecutor like Mike Nifong could construct a case on a tissue of massive procedural violations, and then sustain the case for months?
  • (2) What did it say about Duke’s academic culture that, ignoring the academy’s traditional role as defenders of due process, dozens of arts and sciences professors instead made statements condemning the victims of Nifong’s procedural abuses—even to the extent of issuing a full-page ad, paid for out of Duke funds, and allegedly (if, it turns out, falsely) endorsed by five academic departments?

Discussions of the Group of 88’s ad, obviously, have appeared in the blog’s attempts to answer the second question. To my knowledge, none of the myriad reviewers of either Until Proven Innocent or the blog—with the sole exception of Piot—have indicated any difficulty in understanding this point. That Piot failed to comprehend a point that every other reviewer easily discerned says considerably more about his competence than about mine.

b.) “The virulence and ad hominem nature of his attacks on Black females far exceeds that reserved for their White male counterparts.”

Piot’s citations for this statement: None.

In more than 1,000 posts totaling more than 870,000 words, the blog never engaged in such behavior. The blog criticized black female professors (Wahneema Lubiano, Karla Holloway). It criticized white male professors (Bill Chafe, Peter Wood, Alex Rosenberg). It criticized white female professors (Anne Allison, Cathy Davidson, Diane Nelson). It criticized black male professors (Mark Anthony Neal, Houston Baker, Maurice Wallace). It criticized Hispanic professors (Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Antonio Viego). It criticized mixed-race professors (Grant Farred). The common element in the critique was the professor’s position on issues relating to the lacrosse case and the race/class/gender trinity upon which the Group’s approach was based.

A follow-up question: Why did the journal’s editors not demand from Piot citations to support his unsubstantiated claims?

These are only the two most flagrant examples of Piot (without citation) inventing items that never appeared in the blog. He did so on more minor matters as well. For instance, the article accused the blog of presuming that [Group members] courses are designed to indoctrinate students with left-wing propaganda.” Piot provided no citation for his claim.

Indoctrination” is a concern of some right-wing academic critics, especially David Horowitz. Yet, since Piot claims to have read the blog closely, he knows that I’m an Obama supporter who backs gay marriage and abortion rights. I’ve also (in, again, more than 870,000 words on the blog) never once expressed a concern with indoctrination. Indeed, Piot could have used the blog’s search engine for indoctrinate or indoctrination to find the one and only entry of the blog’s more than 1,000 entries that use the term. The post, from September 2006, chastised President Brodhead for using language similar to that of Horowitz to justify his handling of the lacrosse case. I considered such language beneath his status as an academic leader.

Why, then, did Piot assert that the blog had accused Duke faculty of attempting to indoctrinate” students, when no evidence existed to substantiate his claim? And why did the Transforming Anthropology editors allow him to print the uncited allegation?

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The remainder of Piot’s article displayed a similarly peculiar approach:

  • As John in Carolina pointed out, Piot demonstrated a Luddite’s understanding of how the comments section at a blog works—particularly a blog like DIW, which had more than 90,000 comments.
  • Having compared me to an (unnamed) African dictator in his February talk, Piot retreated to U.S.-only examples for Transforming Anthropology: he contended that the blog recalls “nothing so much as the campus witch hunts of the McCarthy era.” For good measure, he added comparisons to Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, FOX News, and David Horowitz. What behavior typifies this McCarthyite/O'Reilly/Limbaugh/FOX News/Horowitz attack on the Group of 88? “[Johnson] posts the titles of classes they are teaching and surveils their syllabi.” Astonishing.
  • Piot fantastically asserted that my (a “White critic”) noting Mark Anthony Neal’s description of himself as “thugniggaintellectual”—which the Group member offered (in the University alumni magazine, no less!)—invoked “the aura of a racial epithet.”
  • In a footnote, Piot stated that the official, departmental websites of Duke cannot be trusted on so basic an issue as faculty affiliation with the department. Website information, he suggested, needs to be verified personally with the department chair. This line of argument would be expected from a professor at a third-tier community college, which might lack funds for a complete website. To see it presented by a professor at a top-ten university is almost comical.
  • Piot offered the following item—as another footnoted source: “As a colleague in the English Department commented: ‘If his reading of the ad is representative of his reading practices generally, KC Johnson would have failed Intro to Reading.’” What does it say about the values of Transforming Anthropology that it allows an author to offer anonymous ad hominem attacks as scholarly evidence?
  • Piot suggested that Group members didn’t need the CCI’s proposed Group of 88 Enrollment Initiative because “the classes of professors in the so-called group of 88 were overflowing.” Here are some figures on recent Group members’ enrollments, as opposed to total slots available: 7 of 40; 16 of 40; 9 of 17; 16 of 40; 18 of 30; 18 of 30; 4 of 15; 8 of 16; 9 of 40. Most people, I suspect, would not consider such figures overflowing.
  • According to Piot, “Johnson has also suggested that the quotes in the original [Group of 88] ad were made up by the ad's author, Wahneema Lubiano.” As with so much in his article, Piot provided no citation for his allegationperhaps because a blog search for Lubiano coupled with “made up, “invented, or any synonym of the term reveals, unsurprisingly, no matches. I did take note of the Chronicle of Higher Educations uncontested report that “Wahneema H. Lubiano, an associate professor of literature and African and African-American studies who had been taking notes during the forum, volunteered to write the ad, using those notes and students comments from newspaper articles.
  • Piot complained about how other media (the Chronicle, ESPN) had allegedly misquoted Group members—as if such misquotings, which were not made by the blog, could be used to indict the quality of the blog. Indeed, it sometimes seemed as if Piots beef was as much with the mainstream media (the Chronicle, the Chronicle of Higher Ed, ESPN) as with the blog. In his version of reality, it seems, everyone got the story wrong except for the Group of 88.
  • Piot went to great lengths attacking the blog for not immediately accepting at face value the Group’s claim of vile e-mails—overlooking the fact that Group members waited months before releasing any of these e-mails (a total of two, in his article, plus a phone message transcript), while they had described clearly innocent e-mails as “harassment.”
  • Piot concluded his article by defending the perspective of—remarkably—Shadee Malaklou. He did so, even more oddly, in a passage where he conceded that I did not begin my involvement in this case as a reflexive defender of the lacrosse players or critic of the Brodhead administration. I have followed the evidence as I have learned more about the case; Piot, for reasons he never explained, seemed to view such behavior as a negative.

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It goes without saying that no record exists of either Piot or his partner making any statements or taking any other public act to defend due process for all Duke students during the last 18 months.

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Two items to conclude:

1.) The Piot article is the only evidence offered by Professor Prasad Kasibhatla to justify his recent claim that the “narrative put forward by critics like Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson” represented a “tragic rush to judgment” about the Duke faculty. In addition to being repeatedly contradicted by the documentary evidence, however, the Piot article went to press more than 100 days before UPI even appeared in print.

[Update, 3.25pm: I sent the post to Prof. Kasibhatla. His response: “I do not have any desire to read your blog further.”

Having expressed what some would consider a stunningly closed-minded attitude, he added that he would “continue my efforts to mobilize mainstream voices of reason within the Duke community.”]

2.) This article represents what passes for a scholarly publication in Piot’s field. Indeed, it is listed as a “representative publication” on Professor Piot’s CV.

*--modified for clarity. This statement strikes me as a distancing, but I don't want to distract from the main point, which is that the editors still had an obligation to ensure the factual accuracy of the piece.

361 comments:

1 – 200 of 361   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Snap! KC has eviscerated the phony scholar's ad homeneim attack and nasty unsupported diatribe. What a scummy fraud, teaching , IMO, in a phony fraudulent "discipline".

How anyone with half a brain who spends any time investigating, could think that "cultural anthropology" and several other "fields" with standouts like this nasty clown, is anything other than total BS, is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

You know, you would think that these folks would have the good sense to shut up after getting continually skewered like this every single time they try to spin their mistake.
Their party line all along has been that we mortals can't understand their breathtaking scholarly endeavors. Not publishing at all (e.g. Lubiano) or publishing prose so tortured as to be illegible (e.g. Holloway) effectively prevented any outside investigation of their academic competence.
Now Piot goes and shows us two things:
1) these people can actually write coherent English when they want to, thereby undermining the "you peons misunderstood the ad, can't you read?" defense they've stuck to for a year and a half; and
2) he reveals the lack of any academic rigor in their professional work by writing an article others both CAN and WILL actually read. And THIS is a peer-reviewed journal?

Smart move, dude. Really smart. We're really in awe of your genius now. Show us some more. Please.

-JackWebb

Anonymous said...

Wow, excellent rebuttal. However, I have one question about Professor Johnson's claim that he never insinuated Lubiano made up the anonymous quotes in the ad. In an April 6 posting, he said, "We now know that the anonymous quotes from alleged Duke students actually came from Wahneema Lubiano’s 'notes' of a student gathering."

It's true that this quote is consistent with what Professor Johnson says in the blog post above. But what was the import of that observation made on April 6, and other times, if not to insinuate Lubiano made up the quotes or at least massaged them a little bit?

It seems Piot at least raises the possibility that the Chronicle's editors could shed some light on this issue, if they did indeed fact-check the ad.

I apologize in advance if I'm just confused. Also, I'm not sure the blog should have discussed whether or not the professors have received hateful messages. It's true that they've been less than forthcoming about that issue, but they could always spring a collection of messages on Professor Johnson and accuse him of being insensitive to their situation. One hateful message is too many, but it shouldn't absolve the Group of 88 either.

Anonymous said...

KC - I think you have them on the run. glad to see their class attendence - Duke might look at that. Between, the book, award, teaching in Israel and all round respect for you, these guys and gals must be green with envy and red with anger.

KC Johnson said...

To the 2.47:

I have no doubt that the Group has received vile, hateful e-mails (have mentioned so in the blog several times--people I know and trust saw the e-mails a few months ago). And I agree with you: even one hateful e-mail is one too many.

Piot's article was criticizing me, though, for not accepting the Group's word at face value at the time they first made the charge--when they had already claimed "harassment" for e-mails that clearly weren't harassing. In other words, he was making a bogus charge.

One Spook said...

KC writes @ 7:30 AM (Alpha Time Zone - EDT + 6)

"This article represents what passes for a scholarly publication in Piot’s field. Indeed, it is listed as a “representative publication” on Professor Piot’s CV."

This ranks as one of your best posts, KC ... absolutely outstanding.

Everytime I begin to believe the DIW followers might be a bit harsh or unfair to these Duke professors, I'm treated to yet another display of poor scholarship, this one in Piot's own words, that is absolutely unbelievable.

It is shocking to me how poorly developed, researched, cited, and presented this piece that Piot passes off as "scholarship" actually is. It is almost impossible to describe how bad it is.

Duke students who have commented on the Chronicle pages present far more cogent and well supported arguments than this professor does. It's no wonder those students think these anger studies departments are a total and complete joke.

This is yet another example of the chain of poor scholarship, poor "professional" publications, unsupported assertions and pathetic presentations that you have brought to our attention before.

This is a circle of absolute idiocy that is a cancer on an otherwise excellent university.

I can hardly even be angry anymore; this is just so incredibly sad.

One Spook

One Spook said...

Regarding the Ad, a question that has puzzled me for some time is this.

A small percentage in the Anger Studies areas did not sign the ad.

In the other departments that supposedly made a "formal endorsement" of the ad, a significant majority of those professors did not sign the statement as follows:

"In Art, Art History, and Visual Studies, 10 of the 12 listed faculty did not sign the statement.

In Classical Studies, 10 of the 11 listed faculty did not sign the statement.

In Psychology: Social and Health Sciences, zero of the faculty signed the statement.

Romance Studies, 15 of the 29 listed faculty members did not sign the statement.

In AALL, 8 of the 10 listed faculty did not sign the statement, although one of the 8, Tomiko Yoda, would sign the clarifying statement."

Has any one ever asked these professors why they DID NOT sign the statement?

One Spook

Anonymous said...

KC,

Well written and raises some questions that Piot might have a hard time answering.

Do you think that Coleman and Kasibhatla recent comments have anything to do with Pressler’s lawsuit?

Your main blog entry is at 7:30am yet you have comments written at 2:39am while the answers relates to various time zones it looks strange.

mac said...

So KC "would have failed Intro to Reading?"

Considering that neither the 88 nor its supporters, nor Brodhead nor Burness, neither Piot himself nor Kasibhatla, neither Steele nor ANY OF THE OTHERS have adequately interpreted the scope of the damage the ad caused the accused students, and their hostility toward the students their words and actions incited, I would suggest they all each obtain a copy of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" and have a 7th Grade English Teacher explain it to them.

So far, with regard to the case, I have seen very little from the 88 or their ilk that would suggest any degree of literary competence: their writing - in general - is poor (Baker, Lubiano) and the fact that they cannot see that they are part of a story in which they are clearly in the wrong, demonstrates a level of competence that might only be the envy of a Nail Tech (with apologies to Nail Techs, who might not like the comparison to these folks.)

Compare that to the thorough, extraordinarily comprehensive DIW and UPI, and it's a point of amusement to read Piot's words: it's like hearing a Massage Therapist describing Einstein's theories as ignorant and baseless - (apologies to Massage Therapists, who might not like the comparison to the odious Piot.)

So far, though, as far as interpretive abilities go, reading comprehension and whatnot, Piot and crew have been repeatedly bested by student commentators and posters at DIW and on other Blogs and in other forums. This is the best that Duke has to offer?

Shame, shame.

AF said...

David Brooks said "For many on the tenured left, bashing people like that is all that's left of their once-great activism". This statement was in reference to the LAX case.

Piot continues this line. If you have no facts to support your argument, then go on the offensive. At least then, it gives those without the ability to analyze what is actually said the impression that you have a clue. Piot falls into that category. Boardhead should be proud that he has filled the Duke faculty with a large number of faculty members with little or no reasoning skills--just vitriole and anger. Go Dick! (literally--go to another school--maybe across town, you fit there much better).

Topher said...

I'm laughing out loud. Who does this guy think he's kidding? Are these people devoid of any connection to reality?

I better fulfill Piot's stereotypes of DiW bloggers...consider me synchophantically sucking up to KC while musing about Angry Studies.

mac said...

"So an ad that was not about the lacrosse players..." (Charles Piot)

This has been dissected and dismantled so many times, by KC, by posters, by students. It is a profoundly ignorant statement.

Piot uses the word "excess" in quotes to describe "Johnson's interest in this case," and yet, Piot fails to acknowledge that the defense attorneys for the accused have offered mountains of praise for the work KC has done; one of them said it made their work much easier, in their defense of the students against Nifong's Machiavellian scheme.

Perhaps Professor Piot would also wished to have excluded the three murdered civil rights workers in Mississippi, because they had an "excess of interest?" Perhaps Professor Piot would have been more satisfied to have seen the three accused young men dragged through Durham's court system - (which allowed the New Black Panthers to make verbal threats against the accused) - likely bankrupting their families, only to have a hung jury (which one might expect in a racially charged town like the City of Duhh?)

It is very clear that this is Piot's wish.

He hasn't bothered to comment on the vile racialist rantings of Houston Baker and Grant Farred, nor on the (apparent)misconduct of Ms. Lubiano, whose ad (apparently) used Duke funds to pay for the ad, and who (apparently) signed on entire departments without their approval. He hasn't commented about President Brodhead's refusal to meet with the students and their parents, nor about the school's desire that they not obtain attorneys. Those things are not addressed. (Civil rights for some, but not others, Charlie?)
And what about the privacy issues that violated federal law?

And this attack on KC is what he holds up for display on his CV? How collegial!

It's clear that Piot is speaking for the "88," and that he is likewise a voice for the Duke administration, since they are unable to comment further about the students (lest the students do a Pressler immitation.) No, instead, they must attack one of the chief defenders of the students.

I suspect that Piot's misinformation - (particularly about the ad) - will be useful in the larger suit against Duke by the rest of the players.

One Spook said...

Anon writes @ 5:38 AM

Your main blog entry is at 7:30am yet you have comments written at 2:39am while the answers relates to various time zones it looks strange.

As I prefaced on a comment above, KC is on Alpha Time ... the time of day in Israel. It is Eastern Daylight Time plus six hours, and Greenwich Mean Time ("Zulu Time" and Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), plus 1 hour, or Alpha Time.

Try working in X-ray Time (UTC minus 11 hours) if you want to be totally confused.

Debrah can comment on KC being on Alpha Time, but I digress.

One Spook

Ralph Phelan said...

"Another colleague asked a 110-person Intro class in spring 2007, a class filled with athletes and lacrosse players, how many had heard of the Group of 88, and only three raised their hands."
If I was a Duke student who wanted to receive a decent grade, I'd keep my hand down too.

Ralph Phelan said...

topher said...

"Who does this guy think he's kidding?"
Folks who aren't paying close attention, and his ideological fellow, who want to believe.

"Are these people devoid of any connection to reality?"
Yes.

Austin said...

The appetite of certain Duke faculty members for intellectual embarrassment would seem to be insatiable. The blog “Durham in Wonderland” may have been effective, ineffective, or something in between. The history delineated in “Until Proven Innocent”, as also the cultural arguments derived from it, may be sound, unsound, or something in between. However both the blog and the book are impressive, substantial, indeed monumental products of sustained hard work in research and writing. They take their subject seriously, and demand to be taken seriously themselves. Does Professor Charles Piot actually believe that that his flimsy and mewling essay has sufficient gravity to merit admission to the debate, let alone to refute the work it attacks?

While I can understand Prof. Johnson’s indignation, I find that his responding post is a kind of overkill that “breaks a butterfly upon a wheel”. But then again Prof. Piot would appear to be a kind of intellectual pipsqueak like Lord Hervey, whose memory Alexander Pope immortalized in his lines about “Sporus”:

Let Sporus tremble--"What? that thing of silk,
Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk?
Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel?
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?"
Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
This painted child of dirt that stinks and stings;
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,
Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'r enjoys,
So well-bred spaniels civilly delight
In mumbling of the game they dare not bite.

I am a no transformed anthropologist, Professor Piot, just a mere hooligan blogger. But please, sir, you owe it even to me to come up with something better than your sagging web of fragile platitudes, misstatements, and irrelevancies deployed in a pedestrian and cloying prose. You have not failed totally. You probably made your issue of “Transforming Anthropology” the most widely-read in the journal’s history. But if you want also to do something so transforming as to increase its subscriptions you will have to try even harder. In approaching your topic a second time you will of course be free to employ a myriad of “rhetorical strategies”. You may write metaphorically, metaphysically, allegorically, tropologically, anagogically, anthropologically, metanarritvely, racially, or genderly. I’ll stop there, since I perceive that to write classily is beyond your repertory. But please eschew one strategy: what Shakespeare memorably called “the lie direct”. I refer to your fundamental claim that the “Listening Statement” had nothing to do with the Rape Hoax. That dog won’t hunt. It’s not even a well-bred spaniel. Insult my politics, my race, my religion, my theory of justice, my hopelessly outmoded sense of humanistic study, and my quaint notions concerning the moral and intellectual obligations of college professors. Just don’t insult my intelligence in quite so blatant a fashion.

Anonymous said...

People like Piot are looking for anything to hang their hat on so to speak, and it is in this way that his writing is quite effective. K.C. Johnson is caused to reflect on "one hateful e-mail as too many" weighted as if such an e-mail had the weight of the self-same flyer that was published and placed all over campus in the public arena where it did exactly what many think it did . . . it inflamed the mob locally if not nationally. Piot's missive all reminds of the needed response of President Andrew Jackson to a long multi-paged letter from John C. Calhoun, "It doesn't take 40 (sic) pages to say no." Another quote of sorts runs to "I think Piot (sic) complains too much." Piot and the DukeGroup88 are pretty much guilty as expressed. Piot in his misdirection and lying and obsfucation and poor scholarship and the DukeGroup88 are much alike but they are effective in their racism, and no, they will never admit this or apologize to anyone or be held accountable.

bill anderson said...

Being that I am in possession of a number of emails that were sent around by English faculty members, including Lubiano's emails, I can say most assuredly that Piot's claim is not true, which means he told a falsehood in an academic paper. In most situations, one could be in big trouble for that (called "fraud"), but since the standards of truth at Duke University are based upon "metanarratives" and issues that are larger than anything as trivial than what actually happened, I am sure that Piot will get a free pass.

Furthermore, we forget that the lacrosse players also received death threats. I would ask Piot and the other Duke faculty members (since a number of them read these comments -- while denying they do so) this question: Did any of you have people screaming death threats at you to your face and in a courtroom, as was the case with Reade Seligmann?

What about Chancey Nartey's threat to Mike Pressler? What about threatening emails that bloggers and writers such as K.C. and others received?

Just remember this, Duke faculty members (and especially G88 psuedo-intellectuals), you helped to cause a situation in which the lives of a number of young men were in danger -- all to satisfy your precious little "metannaratives" that turned out to be the Big Lie.

So, please continue to write crap like what Piot did, or "Bodies of Evidence," as well as your Duke University Press "forthcoming" books. You can pat each other on the backs, claim to be "victims" of the "racist bloggers," and the like. You poor, poor, poor people. You just wanted these charges to be true, and when they turned out to be a lie, you just could not take it.

I will throw in some more red meat. K.C. Johnson is a better scholar than all of you combined. And that includes William Chafe, since anyone with half a brain can see that the people who murdered Emmett Till were not even in the same category as the lacrosse players, but Chafe self-righteously said they were one and the same. Any half-decent scholar could figure out the difference.

I will say this outright: While there are many faculty members at Duke who are outstanding scholars, apparently Duke also hires frauds, and Piot is one of them.

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed this blog very much over the months since I discovered it. As I was reading the dissection of Professor Piot's article and marveling at the efficiency and economy of words used by KC to thorougly discredit Piot, the vision of a Great White shark lazily finning through a sea of "fish" and destroying them with great ease kept coming to mind. I think that is my enduring impression of this blog as it winds down:the ease with which the Gang of 88's arguments can usually be destroyed.

The apparent ease belies all the effort put in by KC and he makes it look easy, but it is not. That is how a really competent professional at the top of his game does it.

I am, however, astounded that the Gang of 88 continue to attempt to justify the unjustifiable. The old adage "It is better to be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt" comes to mind.

KC, this may be the best piece you've done. And Professor Piot, if you or one of your minions reads the blog consider what your efforts and those of other 88'ers have done to reduce the public reputation of a great university built over time by those who did wish to be competent, authoritative and scholarly.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre; Austin, "...Insult my politics, my race, my religion, my theory of justice, my hopelessly outmoded sense of humanistic study, and my quaint notions concerning the moral and intellectual obligations of college professors. Just don’t insult my intelligence in quite so blatant a fashion..."

Outstanding.

You did omit the sticky little detail about Duke charging $46,000 per year for the right to learn at the knees from Piot and his contemporaries.

Astonishing.

Teach1975 said...

Well said Bill Anderson. Also, IIRC when the listening statemetn first went up there was a link to a talk about the lacrosse case, even more evidence it was about the lax case! (does anybody remember this?).

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: 7:19 "...the vision of a Great White shark lazily finning through a sea of "fish" and destroying them with great ease kept coming to mind..."

Must you say such disparaging things about fish?

I've yet to see a schools of fraudulent fish, yet I've spent the past year watching fraudulent scholars reveal themselves.

As a consumer of education, I will evaluate schools for my youngest children radically different than I did for my eldest.

xutag77 said...

With scholarship like this, how can we still call Duke an "elite" university?

If the school does not call out this professor and this article as a fraud, the Duke faculty and administration will continue to get the attention it deserves.

Ralph Phelan said...

"While I can understand Prof. Johnson’s indignation, I find that his responding post is a kind of overkill that “breaks a butterfly upon a wheel”."

I would agree save for one galling fact. Piot remains employed at Duke.

Anonymous said...

In answer to One Spook, who wrote from 5 am somewhere:

It might be worth a few moments of consideration to ask how faculty members whose signatures were solicited, were exposed to the listening statement. This was not circulated by the official listserves of the departments (well, at least not in the one with which I am familiar). In other words, the message did not go out to everyone in each department. Instead it appears that it went from WL out to her circle, who then circulated it to others, etc. So the listening statement's signatories consist of a connected social group, a group tied perhaps by common academic approaches and politics, as well as friendship. They were not a random sample of their various departments. Some, as in the writing center cluster described by KC in an earlier profile, may have signed due to peer pressure. Other departments are so small that everyone may have received it. The people who didn't sign may 1)have not received the email; 2) disagreed with it; 3) felt unsure and in the time of thinking it over, missed the deadline; 4) felt no peer pressure to be included.

The sociology of the group that did sign would actually make an interesting study. But it is unlikely to be forthcoming soon.

Shouting Thomas said...

Great post.

Piot is still a professor at Duke, KC, and he's probably drawing a six figure salary.

I'll bet that any number of schools will engage in a bidding war for Piot's services if he decides to leave Duke. Any takers?

Why do you suppose this is the case? How many thoroughly qualified white hetero men are working as adjuncts or have left academia to make a place for people like Piot?

Piot's argument about criticism of blacks is simple: you are a racist, KC, if you dare to disagree with him or his colleagues. After all, they are scholars of racism, sexism and homophobia. By definition, any criticism of them is racism, sexism and homophobia. Your belief to the contrary is an example, in their Marxist lexicon, of "false consciousness."

You are guilty as charged, no matter what you say.

The fight over swag is everything. The racial and sexual quota system bears a strong resemblance to the labor union movement that veered into gangsterism and wild corruption.

Topher said...

Shoddy academics like the Group are bullies - they hide behind tenure and the bully pulpit of the classroom, but when drawn into the open they can be hit from all sides, and forced to abdicate easily.

Anonymous said...

To those who are interested in the time stamps.... I read this blog post at 1:30 a.m. when it popped up in my RSS feed. I suspect KC either erroneously posted it in advance, or that the blogging software has a timer feature that allows authors to release comments at specific times.

Anonymous said...

"Transforming Anthropology" appears to be a journal written by, and for, idiots. The fact that this journal would print Piot's unsourced, and often blatantly false ramblings, and offer it up as some sort of "scholarly" work, tells us everything we need to know about the quality of this publication.

Anonymous said...

KC's response to Piot should be published in the Duke Chronicle.

It is important that Duke alumni understand the gross intellectual vacuity characteristic of Piot and his "fellow travelers" among the Duke faculty.

Professor Kasibhatla should be embarassed.

Ralph Phelan said...

This article raises three questions in my mind:

(1) What useless sons of Saruman are senselessly slaughtering trees to spread such silliness across the land?

The University of California Press. Sad. The next time you see thier imprint on a "scholarly" publication, remember that it tells you nothing about the quality of the contents.

(2) What pack of pathetic poltroons accepted Piot's poisoned puffery for publication?

Editors
Deborah A. Thomas and John L. Jackson, Jr., University of Pennsylvania

Associate Editors
Rachel Watkins, American University
Robert Adams, Jr., De Paul University

Book Review Editor
Drexel G. Woodson, University of Arizona

Contributing Editors
Antwi A. Akom, San Francisco State University
Raymond Codrington, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
Kesha Fikes, University of Chicago
Kevin Michael Foster, University of Texas, Austin
Marla Frederick, Harvard University
Bayo Holsey, Duke University
Fatimah L.C. Jackson, University of Maryland, College Park
Maureen Mahon, University of California, Los Angeles
Jemima Pierre, University of Texas, Austin
Michael Ralph, Cornell University
David Sean Simnons, University of South Carolina
Kimberly Eison Simmons, University of South Carolina
Karla Slocum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Vernon J. Williams, Jr., Indiana University

Editorial Advisory Board
Willie L. Baber, University of Florida
Lee D. Baker, Duke University
Charles Carnegie, Bates College
Faye V. Harrison, University of Florida
Irma McClaurin, Ford Foundation
Sidney Mintz, Johns Hopkins University
Leith Mulilngs, Graduate Center, City University of New York
Richard Price, College of William and Mary
Sally Price, College of William and Mary
Trevor Purcell, University of South Florida
Arthur K. Spears (Founding Editor), City College, City University of New York
Sheila Walker, Spelman College

Let their resumes be forever stained by association.

(3) What the hell has happened to my writing style?
It looks like my alliteration lever is lodged at "eleven." Sorry.

Locomotive Breath said...

It's been bugging me for a long time, but I've finally realized that Piot's presentation at the "Shut Up and Teach?" event reminded me of Apple's famous "1984" ad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

Piot looked just like the guy on the screen. The attendees look just like the drones marching in. The people preventing any video being taken acted just like the police.

Unfortunately, in real life, no one shows up to fling a hammer and smash the dogma.

Teach1975 said...

As someone is academia- placing Piot's work on a list of representative publications or on a CV is a joke- it is no better than an newspaper editorial. Even graduate students (people in need of publications for their CV) would not consider this worthy. It can take a lot of time (years) to get a paper published between writing it and the back and forth between reviewers and editors etc. This is a joke.

scott said...

Some might consider "Reflections on the Piot Principles" to be overkill or to use a phrase that has been bandied about at various times during the lifetime of DIW relating back to his tenure dispute, that it demonstrates KC "lacks collegiality."

Sometimes, however, you're dealing with people like the G88 and their supporters, who are either so deceitful (Piot's and others claims that the Ad was not about the lacrosse incident / party) or so obtuse (Kasibhatla's reference to Piot's piece of fiction as supportive of his position that Johnson and Taylor mischaracterized the Coleman Committee report) or both, that it becomes necessary to pile on to such a degree that there can be no rational comeback that could possibly outweigh the evidence presented.

KC could have used part of his ammunition and still made his point, but that might have invited comebacks in an attempt to refute. Here it is better to just unload all at once and make any such attempt at refutation appear to be so futile as to warrant nothing other than derision.

The G88 and defenders keep telling KC and supporters of the lacrosse team that it's time to "move on." Then they come out with more nonsense like Kasibhatla's reference to Piot, which must be countered if the truth about certain members of the Duke faculty and administration and their attempts to railroad certain students is ever to prevail.

To them, it's still "not about the truth" and never will be.

Anonymous said...

They are mimicking scholars. They dress like scholars, are paid like scholars, go to work with scholars, affect the language of scholars with various degrees of aptitude, and participate in the activities of scholarship, only in entities that are weak copies of real institutions.

Evidently, that builds a false sense of accomplishment. With a bravado that mimicks bravery, one unprepared 98-lb weakling after another marches forth to take on the Charles Atlas of this case. That alone should be enough to demonstrate what the underlying problem is.

Anonymous said...

It is truly amazing these Duke 88 professors keep digging their hole deeper and deeper. They refuse to acknowledge truth of any kind, and make ridiculous justifications for their behavior and their spoken words. They are absolutely without honor, integrity or dignity and their words hold no merit.

Anonymous said...

I think you could view Piot's little paper as primarily a defensive piece; in defense of himself and his Gang of 88, and in particular in defense of his latest squeeze, the lovely Head of the Cultural Anthropology Department at Duke, Ms. Anne Allison (nice catch, Proffessor!)

By the way, have any of your read her signature book ? Its fabulous:

Anne Allison (Ph.D. University of Chicago 1986) researches the ways in which desire seeps into, reconfirms, or reimagines socio-economic relations in various contexts in postwar Japan. Her first book, Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club (University of Chicago Press 1994) is a study of the Japanese corporate practice of entertaining white collar, male workers in the sexualized atmosphere of hostess clubs.


Sounds like great stuff, doesen't it? Anybody who enjoys going to strip clubs would be sure to enjoy it, I bet!

Anonymous said...

Is Piot a Communist?

Kilgore said...

KC - I admire your thorough and persistent response. Outstanding job.

It is a sad fact that Piot continues to play out the theme of the case by making false accusations. Crystal found it to be an effective strategy and Piot seems to concur. False accusations of course force the accused into a defensive position where great gobs of energy must be expended just to keep ones head above water. All the while the false accuser sits without being held accountable. Simply amazing that the journal wouldn't respond. That is a very bad sign.

Is this guys first name Pontius?

AMac said...

On page 169, Prof. Piot wrote:

"As to the charge that Wahneema Lubiano made up the student quotes published in the ad, Johnson has apparently never thought to ask the Chronicle whether they have a policy of publishing such quotes without first checking their sources. In fact they do, and the Chronicle received prior e-mail notification from each student stating that they had been correctly quoted and agreeing to publication (albeit with their names removed)."

This is interesting new information about the Listening Statement. As is often the case with an insightful remark, it raises new questions.


1. Piot accuses Johnson of charging Lubiano with making up student quotes. Here is what Johnson actually wrote:

--- begin excerpt ---

The Bartlett/Lipka article [in The Chronicle of Higher Education] solved one of the many mysteries of the Group of 88’s ad: why the alleged quotes from students were anonymous. I had—quite erroneously—assumed that at least these quotes were legitimate, taken from a transcript of the session.

In fact, these “quotes” came from “notes” of the event taken by Lubiano. It does not appear that she verified their accuracy with the speakers. Indeed, we have no way of knowing whether the speakers were even Duke students, or were potbangers or other habitual protesters who happened to show up for the event.

This revelation yields some intriguing questions:

* What steps, if any, did Group of 88 members other than Holloway or Lubiano take to ensure the accuracy of the student quotes to which faculty allegedly were “listening”?

* Did other Group of 88 members ask Lubiano how she obtained the quotes, and whether she had received students' permission to use their words in such a fashion?

* Did they even read the final text of the ad, with the 11 “quotes” ultimately selected, before signing?

--- end excerpt ---

Questions for Prof. Piot: Is this the missing citation for your implication that Prof. Johnson charged Prof. Lubiano with "[making up] the student quotes published in the [Listening] ad"? Is raising questions about a claim indistinguishable from charging the claimant with fabrication?


2. In discussing the Chronicle's policy on the use of anonymous quotes in ads, Piot carelessly asserts that "[the Chronicle [has] a policy of publishing such quotes without (sic) first checking their sources." He clearly meant the opposite--that the Chronicle's policy requires that such quotes be vetted.

Piot goes on to record that "the Chronicle received prior e-mail notification from each student stating that they had been correctly quoted and agreeing to publication (albeit with their names removed)."

Thus we learn that (1) the quotes were vetted by the Chronicle, and (2) the Chronicle never learned the names of the quoted students.

Questions for Profs. Piot and Lubiano: Were the students quoted in the Listening Statement current students? Were they Duke students? Were they current Duke students?

Question for the editorial staff of the Chronicle: In vetting the Listening Statement ad, were you given to understand that the quotes transcribed by Prof. Lubiano were made by current Duke students?


3. Questions for Prof. Piot, Prof. Lubiano, Prof. Holloway, and the editorial staff of the Chronicle: In order to increase understanding of the contemporaneous perspectives of the authors and signers of the Listening Statement, will you call for those earlier drafts of the Statement that were rejected by the Chronicle to be made public? If not: why not?

Gary Packwood said...

Yesterday, 10/14/07 Debrah 1:38 said...

...Duke is being run by overgrown children...at the same time remaining very much intimidated by them.
::
I thought about what Debrah had to say about the intimidation and the G88 and I think she put her finger on the root source problem if we can look at the age of many of the G88.

Many of the gang who have been profiled by KC including Professor Piot, were around during the first psychological fads of the 1960's and 1970's.

Anyone remember the Erhard Seminars Training, (usually referred to as est, in lower-case letters) of the 1970's where you attended seminars and could not leave the room to pee?

'est' marked the beginning of The Human Potential Movement or the New Age movement which IMO, encourages childish narcissism by reinforcing the behavior of one's problems and expressing how one FEELS, rather than encouraging behaviors to overcome these problems.

This childish narcissism is what Debrah is seeing, I believe.

'est' believers talked about 'getting it' without talking about what 'it' ...was. Have we heard that before?

Then, these older professors experienced 'victim era' characterized by The McMartin Daycare case which is called the America's twentieth-century witch-hunt.

And finally, we are seeing these fads evolving into our current 'recovered memory movement' where people remember being assaulted as a child. Think, Duke Women's Center as a SAFE HAVEN.

This fad talks about 'Listening' and makes such 'Statement'(s) as "We want the absence of terror.... Terror robs you of language and you need language for the healing to begin."

Have these psychological fads moved from seminars at the Holiday Inn into the university classroom at Duke?

So many of these professors are 'so fey' to use 'est' terminology. So Fey? Suggestive of an elf in strangeness and otherworldliness!

Debra locked in on the 'elf and otherworldliness' of these professors and that is the intimidation that we are witnessing by those at Duke who really do 'get it' but can't talk about 'it' because these goofs have been functioning right under the radar of the Duke University Medical Center Behavioral Health Department!

Just how many hundreds of students have been through this New Age indoctrination over the years and ...did the fired lacrosse coach just now figure out that helmeted sports dudes have been presented as the victimizers for nearly a decade?

There is much more than needs to be investigated. I suggest we start with the body casting 'experience' at Duke's Safe Haven?

I get 'it', now.
::
GP

duke09parent said...

Piot's effort was lazy. There were many times I thought KC interpreted events in a way that went too far in his conclusions. Had I the time, energy or inclination, I could have done a better job in criticizing DIW. Piot didn't bother to go through DIW to find the stretches in interpretation. He just picked up on the few time he remembered inaccuracies, like the number of full time faculty members in AA studies, and didn't bother to say that KC readily corrected any factual inaccuracies brought to his attention.

But this is a tactic of ideologues, more engaged in by my former collegues on the left than the right: to put out an attack on a well-regarded critic which can then be cited by others. There will be other G88 folk who will refer to Piot's "takedown", safe in the knowedge that few will actually go read it and even fewer will find KC's excellent rebuttal.

I assume KC will send a form of his rebuttal to the journal. I trust if he does and it is published he will let us know.

Anonymous said...

Normally, there will be a counter-counter comment here in the wee morning hours by a G88 member or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Are they truly speechless? Their ship is all but sunk and now, they have no reason on the horizon. Prof. Johnson, this piece is genius, a masterpiece if you will.

Could this be the G88's coup de grace?

Anonymous said...

Again, this guy's just proving one of the main points that's been raised by this whole lacrosse crisis--Duke's got some incompetent "educators" employed in the search for the holy grail of diversity. As the Chronicle has repeatedly proven, their writers are better than the so-called "educators" getting the big bucks and societal stamp of approval of being on the Duke faculty.

I'm a Duke alum, too.

Ralph Phelan said...

scott said...
Some might consider ... that it demonstrates KC "lacks collegiality."
That KC does not want the likes of Piot as a colleague may seem like a bad thing from Piot's point of view.

It's a good thing from mine.

Ralph Phelan said...

duke09parent, apparently quite the comedian, said...
"I assume KC will send a form of his rebuttal to the journal. I trust if he does and it is published...."
Haa ha ha ha ha!

Anonymous said...

10:05 asks where are our 88 defender trolls.

I think Pressler's new lawsuit might silence some of them....for a while.

Ralph Phelan said...

'est' marked the beginning of The Human Potential Movement or the New Age movement which IMO, encourages childish narcissism

I remember those days. A few people in my circle of acquaintences attended est or similar competing seminars. The consensus of us outside observers was that the purpose of the seminars was (if KC will excuse my language): "To teach wimps how to become assholes."

Due to in-law troubles I'd rather not go into detail about, I've found it necessary to become a bit of an amateur psychiatrist. So nowadays I'd refine that description: "To turn Borderline Personality Disorder into Narcissistic Personality Disorder."

AMac said...

Ralph Phelan 8:54am --

After reading Prof. Piot's Transforming Anthropology article, I was surprised by the claim that it was peer-reviewed. Even from a sympathetic referee's point of view, there's too much wrong. Each significant claim and assertion in a scholarly article is to be documented with a reference, footnote, endnote, or citation. The principle is to offer the reader access to the original source material, so that he or she can evaluate the author's judgment.

Many of Piot's claims lack appropriate supporting information.

Typically, the managing editors at a peer-reviewed Journal (Drs. Thomas and Jackson in this case) will forward an unsolicited manuscript such as KC's World to two or three referees. Often (though not always), referees are chosen from among the Editors. The referees are to read the submission with a critical eye, and report back to the managing editors with a detailed recommendation. Referees often "require" an author to make changes to the draft manuscript (e.g. adding or correcting a reference). The managing editors have the final say. However, in my experience (in the natural sciences), they pay close attention to the referees' comments.

All that said, perhaps "KC's World" wasn't peer reviewed at all. From their website:

"Transforming Anthropology is published semiannually. We invite the submission of research articles for peer review, as well as short commentaries, research reports, review essays, interviews, and other innovative formats."

Maybe Prof. Piot placed his piece into one of the "innovative format" categories for submission, and they are un-reviewed?

If "KC's World" was peer-reviewed: shame on editors Thomas and Jackson and their anonymous referees.

Anonymous said...

Copied from amac above:

"In fact they do, and the Chronicle received prior e-mail notification from each student stating that they had been correctly quoted and agreeing to publication (albeit with their names removed)."


Will the Chronicle go on record saying they received email confirmation from students to use their quotes in the Ad PRIOR to the Ad running on April 6?

Surely Piot wouldn't make such a bold statement if it weren't true.

I haven't heard/read this claim before.

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Gary Packwood,
Great points about the era in which these professors came of age. I have to confess that I "did" est- and even bludgeoned my mother into taking it! I'm horrified at having to admit it!!!!! Thank goodness I figured out that the only person benefitting from "est" was its owner and that my "problems" were of my own making.

In the world of the "educators" who count themselves amongst the most "enlightened," it seems that...
feelings trump facts, victims reap rewards, everyone is special, and self-esteem is unrelated to actions.
Texas Mom

Anonymous said...

Transforming Anthropology

"But AnthroSource is more than a content collection. It is an evolving, interactive repository of research and communications tools designed to bring the most credible and relevant of anthropological scholarship together in one place and to support a strong community of scholars, teachers, and students in the field".

"Transforming Astrology"

But AstroSource is more than a fiction collection. It is an evolving, interactive suppository of gobbledygook and propaganda tools designed to bring the most incredible and malignant of astrological ‘scholarship’ together in one place and to support a phony community of angry studies professors, psychics, fortune tellers, and tarot card readers in the field.

Anonymous said...

Piot is simply outclassed and outgunned in this case.

The learned professor cannot compete in the marketplace of ideas in the "outside world" where there's no bully pulpit to hide behind so expect him to retreat to the sanctity of his classroom where he has total control and can intimidate his young students at will.

For a brief glimpse of the current faculty-student relationship at Duke, take a look at a this sad exchange of thoughts recorded on The Chronicle's comment pages between a Duke Grad Student, Prasad Kasibhatla along with a third poster who felt the need to issue a "Warning."


POSTED BY "Grad Student"

Dr. Kasibhatla, I just went over this thread... read your initial message, a couple of silly responses, a couple of cogent responses, a number of extremely rational rebuttals and questions for you... nothing more from you, though. Perhaps you are in class right now, but I would really appreciate you actually answering to those questions, one way or the other. I will check this board again, later.

kind regards,
one of yr. many faithful students.


POSTED BY "Dr. Kasibhatla"

Hello -

If this is an authentic post from a student - if you are truly interested in discussing, I will be happy to chat face-to-face. If you are interested, please email me off-line - perhaps we can chat over lunch or coffee next week?

Best,
Prasad


POSTED BY "Warning"

I see Prof. Kasibhatia then challenged your authenticity as a student and said that if you asked your questions "face-to-face" then he would give you the secret answers that he won't provide in public.

If Prof. Kasibhatia was REALLY interested in answering the questions you want answered, would he be demanding that you first reveal your identity? If you're white and your GPA is at all important to you, then you'd have to be an idiot to reveal yourself to an 88ist professor at Duke, given the university's quiescence with grade retaliation against white students. (And why not, given its own admissions discrimination against white students?) In the current climate of diversity-racism at Duke, you can't take the chance.


POSTED BY "Grad Student"

Dr. Kasibhatla, of course this was an authentic post from an authentic student, and thank you so much for your response. Unfortunately, I cannot respond to your kind invitation. In the context of fear created by faculty practice of accusing their students of things they have not committed, I would be afraid to even meet you over coffee, and be later falsely accused of being confrontational, or accused of having attempted to sexually or otherwise harass you, with no evidence whatsoever, while your faculty colleagues would gregariously join the lynching attempt, in a show of unconditional "solidarity," beyond good or evil. "My faculty, right or wrong" seems to be the newest embodiment of the old Samuel Johnson saw, about the last refuges...
I was hoping for a real answer from you, as I used to respect you, and I still believe you are a brilliant scientist, regardless of your morals. When I will meet you on the corridors, I will still say "Hi," because I am a well-mannered person, and a respectful student, but I hope you won't mind my intensely despising the core of your ethics, in my heart. Probably it doesn't matter much to you, anyway.

What a sad state affairs for a great university.

Steven Horwitz said...

One other addition to AMAC's analysis at 949: didn't KC recently discuss the fact that some/many of the quotes in the LS did, in fact, come from NCCU students at a gathering on that campus? I know I read that recently and I don't have the inclination to do a search on it at the moment.

If a significant number of the quotes were not from current or very recent Duke students, it certainly works against parts of Piot's argument.

jeyi said...

Piot's screed is wonderfully evocative of "if it weren't for those Yankee outside agitators, we wouldn't be having any of these troubles since we love our nigras and they love us".

Carolyn said...

Piot says the ad was about ---- Katrina?

I laughed hysterically. Until I stopped and thought about it a bit. Hmmm, Katrina. An event in which hot air blew in from the south blowing off the roof of the town to reveal inside utter corruption and racism for which the guilty refused to apologize but instead demanded more government handouts - while the leader defiantly refused any blame but instead demanded everyone have leftist politics - oops, excuse me - have 'chocolate' skin.

Dang! Looks like Piot actually has a point there!

Anonymous said...

What a devastating beat down of Piot's rantings.

I'm not so surprised that Piot could get this published. However, I am stunned that a professor of a true scientific field would point to this as evidence that Johnson's and his work had been successfully "deconstructed." Perhaps, honest scientists don't realize how low standards are in fields like cultural anthropology.

The small circle of people who publish this crap are fools to let outsiders know about it. It shows what a tremendous fraud their field is.

Unfortunately, the person going after them is not Rush Limbaugh or some yayhoo campus conservative, but someone who knows their game and is far more intelligent and honest than they are.

Anonymous said...

One Spook wrote: "Everytime I begin to believe the DIW followers might be a bit harsh or unfair to these Duke professors, I'm treated to yet another display of poor scholarship, this one in Piot's own words, that is absolutely unbelievable."

I suffer from the same doubts, then I read something like Piot's "scholarly" deconstruction of KC Johnson and DIW and realize that there should be no hesitation in criticizing the G88. Piot's piece would be laughable if it did cause such sadness at the thought that this is what can pass as scholarly work.

KC: I'll echo the preceding; this post is one of your best (and given the overall quality of this blog, my compliment is the highest I can give).

I am not an academic, but, upon reviewing this post and reviewing Peter Berkowitz's WJS's editorial Political Ethics 101 (posted on the Duke Students for an Ethical Duke web site), I wondered if there has been any recent scholarly journal articles examining the professional ethics of academics. I know David Horowitz and his supporters are frequently writing about a bill of rights for students and KC has written about the standards set forth in the Duke Handbook, but I'm wondering if a scholarly examination of the ethical duties of the professoriate would be of interest; specifically, the ethical obligations of a professor to a student. I think it would be an interesting topic and one perhaps that you, KC, could tackle along with an ethicist. While Professor Kasibhatla can invite your critics to read Piot's drivel then ignore your response, I suspect that the Duke faculty, administration, Board of Trustees, students and alumni would have a difficult time ignoring a scholarly article in a reputable scholarly journal holding up the Duke Lax Case as an example of a member of the academic profession operating without an ethical compass. (It is clear from your CV that you are a serious scholar and undoubtedly have projected projects well into the future, but I offer my suggestion nevertheless.)

Anonymous said...

42.16%

Give the G88 a rousing applause as their classes are overflowing with what, nobody knows. Out of 268 slots a mere 113 were filled. Duke can surely tout class size as a reason to enroll in their Angry Studies Program.

TruthHurts001 said...

With all respect to my Duke colleagues...

Duke is quickly becoming a laughingstock.

Duke's professors revel in publicly making fools of themselves, and demonstrating their flagrant lack of intellect, while the administration either defends them, or remains silent.

How in the world can Duke sit quietly while these clowns are making the university look foolish?? Does Duke have ANY hiring standards at all? Is it even POSSIBLE that Duke is NOT embarassed at the fact that it mindlessly hires unqualified racist buffoons?

Anonymous said...

Could this be the G88's coup de grace? (10/15 10:05 AM)

In my view, KC's already delivered several ("The Path Not Taken" comes to mind as an example), but chickens with their heads cut off continue to run around flapping.

I was thinking of chickens after reading Gary Packwood's extremely insightful post about the G88 @ 10/15 9:49 AM, which might be folksily summarized as: "the chickens have come home to roost."

And the best they can do is squawk.

Ralph Phelan said...

Anonymous 10/15/07 10:08 AM
said...
"Again, this guy's just proving one of the main points that's been raised by this whole lacrosse crisis--Duke's got some incompetent "educators" employed in the search for the holy grail of diversity."

See my 8:54 am. It's not just Duke.

Ralph Phelan said...

Anonymous 10/15/07 11:09 AM said...
I suspect that the Duke faculty, administration, Board of Trustees, students and alumni would have a difficult time ignoring a scholarly article in a reputable scholarly journal holding up the Duke Lax Case as an example of a member of the academic profession operating without an ethical compass.

I suspect that you are severely underestimating their powers of denial.

Ralph Phelan said...

Here's a question to meditate on if you want to spoil your lunch hour.

How much Federal tax money is spent to support "Transforming Anthropology" and/or the work published in it?

gs said...

Lets face it these people are out of touch with reality. Piot had to know the article would be examined, if by no one else then by KC Johnson (a fellow professor) and the article and the argument is poorly constructed and unsupported by the facts. Ten minutes on Google and you can disprove the non lax connection to the ad.

But, what does this and other remarks by the Duke faculty since Brodhead apology tells us? Not only did these people attack the students, they are poor schoolars who do not seem to have the best interest of the University (or students) at heart.

The BOT needs to bring in a new president and clean out these so call scholars and restore trust in the ability and fairness of the faculty.

traveler said...

KC, What a splendid rebuttal.

Competitive written debate (Sport) (Written combat)

Documentation:
Johnson 10
Piot 2

Writing Skills:
Johnson 10
Piot 5

Knowledge of subject matter
Johnson 10
Piot 5

Withholds biased viewpoints’
Johnson 8
Piot 0

Expresses sincere respect
Johnson 10
Piot 3

Reached a “higher level” of civilized discussion
Johnson 10
Piot 4

Debate scores: Johnson-58 Piot-19

Judge acknowledges bias, and requests information from the poster that is a mom of a fencer. What is it called when you get a direct epee thrust to the face?

W. R. Chambers said...

There is something instrinsically interesting and satisfying about reading a piece that is as well written, argued and documented as Reflections on the Piot Principles. I imagine it took a great deal of work. I admire KC's thoroughness and skill.

I am left wondering why Prof. Pirot did not offer and why the journal Transforming Anthropology did not require evidence in support of his arguments.

In an effort to try to understand Prof. Pirot's approach, I looked up the definition of cultural anthropology on Wikopedia but it didn't shed much light.

Then I googled "cultural anthropology" & Duke, which brought me to the welcome page for Cultural Anthropology at Duke. There I found a picture of Robo Cop. Here's the url:

http://www.culturalanthropology.duke.edu/

I no closer to understanding Prof. Pirot's world view or approach to scholarship.

As for the journal Transforming Cultural Anthropology, the word "transforming" is the key. Taking the name of the journal at face value the scholars who edit and contribute to the journal wish to bring about change, but I don't know what the change is from or what it is to. But I think it is fair to assume that Prof. Pirot's article about DIW is meant to bring about change of some sort using an acceptable - to the journal - approach to transforming cultural anthropology.

None of this - including the picture of Robo Cop - makes any sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Piot in Wonderland

A: the “intent” of Group members “was never to speak to the events at the lacrosse party.”

Non-A: the Group's intent was to support those protests "taking place at the open mike outside the Allen Building" -- which were about "the events at the lacrosse party."

As with justice, so too is the law of noncontradiction trumped by race, gender and class.

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

KC:

Nice job on pulverizing Piot's inane arguments.

Mr. Pepsi

Anonymous said...

FYI:

A mercy rule, also well known by the slightly less polite term slaughter rule (or, less commonly, knockout rule and skunk rule), brings a sports event to an early end when one team has a very large and presumably insurmountable lead over the other team. The mercy rule is most common in games such as baseball or softball, where there is no game clock and play could theoretically continue forever...........

url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercy_rule

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Is Piot a Communist?

10/15/07 9:35 AM
------------------------------------
No. You're thinking of Pol Pot.

Anonymous said...

Piot wrote:

"Another colleague asked a 110-person Intro class in spring 2007, a class filled with athletes and lacrosse players, how many had heard of the Group of 88, and only three raised their hands."

Indeed, I'm surprised there were even three. If, however, that professor had asked the question properly, then I'm sure the number would have been closer to 100.

With the permission of the students, I raised this issue with 40 undergraduates in my spring 2007 course. However, I didn't ask how many had "heard of the Group of 88." I asked how many were aware of the lacrosse case and of the faculty statements in the Chronicle. About 38 raised their hands.

Ralph Phelan said...
"If I was a Duke student who wanted to receive a decent grade, I'd keep my hand down too."

The fear factor among students was and is palpable. When I asked my students if they wanted to comment *in class*, only one or two made even half-hearted comments. In private, however, countless students have told me that they are outraged by the behavior of the Gang of 88+.

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

Is KC in Israel?

Anonymous said...

Representative for whom?

QUOTE
Move along. There is nothing to arouse suspicions or suggest conflict of interest here.

Transforming Anthropology: Published by University of California Press for The Association of Black Anthropologists

Current editors:

John L. Jackson Jr.

2002-2006 Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Duke University

4/21/2006- named the first Penn Integrates Knowledge professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Deborah Thomas (wife of John L. Jackson, Jr.) Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Duke University

Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania

Previous editors:

Editor: Lee D. Baker, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies. Duke University

Associate Editor: John L. Jackson Jr., Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Duke University

Associate Editor: Deborah Thomas (wife of John L. Jackson, Jr.) Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Duke University

END QUOTE

posted from LieStoppers blog and Media roundup 10/15/07
(by KyGeezer)

locomotive breath said...

I am stunned that a professor of a true scientific field would point to this as evidence that Johnson's and his work had been successfully "deconstructed."

The School of the Environment may be just as ideologically based as Cultural Anthropology. If you question the basis for anthropogenic global warming (AGW) or any of a number of other articles of faith, you'll find out just how quickly you're shunned. As an exercise, see if you can find any AGW skeptics on that faculty.

Jim in San Diego said...

Gag me with a spoon.

(Not very articulate, but my first reaction)

Steven Horwitz said...

Stanley Fish has some interesting things to say about political correctness, intellectual diversity, and the various Studies programs/departments in his blog at the NY Times today.

FWIW, I largely agree with him.

Mike Lee said...

I was deeply saddened and disappointed when I came to the realization that the NAACP was willing to tell outright lies about this case in order to further their agenda.

I am not sure what to say about the fact that a Duke University Professor is willing to write (and submit for publication and list on his CV!!!) an article that contains outright lies.

When Piot says the Listening Statement was not about the lacrosse players or the incident on March 13th he is telling an outright lie that is easily disproven. What are we to think of a Duke University Professor who is willing to tell outright lies?

What has become of Duke University that people like Kim Curtis and Piot are employed and seemingly face no consequences for their dishonesty? I have no answers.

W. R. Chambers said...

still trying to understand what the journal title Transforming Cultural Anthropology means......maybe it means "doing" cultural anthropology with the goal of transforming culture....presumably by eliminating racism, sexism and inequality......

and as for Robo Cop on the welcome page of the Duke Cultural Anthropology website, maybe it was put there to so that students will ask why, why is Robo Cop there? Which could begin a discussion about symbols.....what do you see when you look at Robo Cop? Someone might say he's a symbol of oppression - a robotic application of law and order - as I remember the movie, Robo Cop is half man half robot......the man part was a heroic white cop who was all but killed and then somehow made part of a robot to fight powerful bad guys....but who made Robo Cop? Who controls him? does he control himself? Is there tension between what Robo Cop's controller wants him to do and what Robo Cop knows it right? Lots of questions could percolate during a discussion prompted by the picture.....lots of questions about power and control..........

so it's interesting: what do you see when you look at Robo Cop? what is really there? lots of room for interpretation........put that together with the title Transforming Cultural Anthropology and maybe what one gets is interpretation of symbols and data with the goal of transforming the very culture we live in.......maybe it's an approach that is too impatient to use the scientific method or to apply traditional notions of scholarship........if one knows what is right and moral, why plod along analyzing data to see what the data tells you...after all, you already know the answer......maybe traditional scholarship and the scientific method are regarded as tools of oppression.........

just trying understand where Prof Pirot and his colleagues are coming from and the approaches they may use to get there........

Ralph Phelan said...

"I was deeply saddened and disappointed when I came to the realization that the NAACP was willing to tell outright lies about this case in order to further their agenda."

Me not so much - they are after all a political organization. What shocked me was the discovery that in their agenda "fighting police & prosecutorial misconduct" is so astonishingly much less important than "Get Whitey!"

Anonymous said...

All of you -- get a life.

Anonymous said...

12:57 lauds Stanley Fish who asks:

So the question to ask is, does ballot box performance predict and track classroom performance? And the answer is, not necessarily

Oh, is that right? Then why is the Left/Academia so enamored with "diversity"? Why is having a diverse student body and faculty so important, if standards have to be stretched to make that so? Can't smart, well educated, well read white people educate themselves about the importance of not prejudging and to respect other cultures and to elevate other ways of doing things? Can't smart fair white people do that themselves?

Liberal academia would say no way. Yet heres this liberal telling us that of course you don't need teaching faculty to "believe" in more than one philosphical leaning, and that it would be too political to force this kind of diversity on them.

That sounds like a lot of self serving bunk. The universities take boatloads of public monies but want to run a closed shop of left leaning humanities proffessors. Ridiculous and transparent malarkey, IMO.

W. R. Chambers said...

Robo Cop is gone.......tried to download it and print it........apparently the pictures on the Cultural Anthropology Dept. website's welcome page rotate.......still the pictures are interesting...clues to the study of cultural anthropology....

Ralph Phelan said...

Mike Lee said...

"I am not sure what to say about the fact that a Duke University Professor is willing to write (and submit for publication and list on his CV!!!) an article that contains outright lies."

That he's got a future in Duke's administration.

Anonymous said...

All of you -- get a life. --10/15 1:25 PM

Kettle, meet Pot.

Jim in San Diego said...

One thing that Prof Piot's "scholarship" does is to keep us on our toes.

We know we can never, ever compete with Prof Piot and his ilk in spewing ad hominem, conclusionary arguments without verifiable evidence.

Therefore, we must suppress our initial reactions to such academic rot and respond not with emotion ("gag me with a spoon"), but with rational argument based on verifiable facts.

Sort of like KC has done. Actually, exactly like KC has done.

KC may have got his facts wrong. Maybe not. But, we are at least able to verify them. Prof Piot's argument does not suffer from this potential affirmity. Since he presents no verifiable facts, their is no risk of failure in verifiying them. Neat.

Everything I was taught in many years of liberal education begins with the belief that truth comes from rational consideration of true facts. Therefore, truth will ultimately prevail.

It will, won't it? Won't it?

W. R. Chambers said...

lest anyone think Robo Cop was removed, he wasn't.......for anyone more curious than angry, take a look at the Cultural Anthropology welcome page:

http://www.culturalanthropology.duke.edu/

the picture changes every time the page is refreshed

i still don't understand Prof. Pirot's method.....it doesn't stand up very well to the way KC has gone about thiings.......but i'm willling to listen

traveler said...

News Alert! To the Group of 88 You might want to acquaint yourselves with RSS Feeds--No one is moving on--in fact:

The World is Watching!

Global attention for a “contrarian professor”

LawFuel - The Law News-UK and Europe
How did a bow tie-wearing, Harvard- educated professor, a prolific blo...
http://www.lawfuel.com/show-release.asp?ID=11734

KC Johnson does not fit the stereotype of blogger, journalist, legal analyst or lacrosse fan.

Fellow bloggers frequently said if a Pulitzer were awarded for online commentary, the contrarian professor would win. "There is absolutely no doubt that Johnson's blog, Durham-in-Wonderland, was the single best source of information about what happened in that house in March of 2006 and what has happened with the case since," one sports blogger wrote this week,

"[W]hat he's done is the most important work anyone has ever done in blogging about sports."
===================================

D-I-W “Blawg” Results

Europe: ABA Journal Law News Now
This is a blawg on European electronic communications and digital media law.

Durham in Wonderland
28 Results for Durham Wonderland Site Results Blawg Results
Mostly interested in the Nifong aspect
http://www.abajournal.com/search/results/762613b6a1177b6af8ed0372e859355c/

Anonymous said...

Stanley Fish is one of the main reasons why Duke is such a rotten place Look at the hires that he pushed through while he was all-powerful head on the English Dept. Look at what he did to Duke University Press. If you want to understand what true arrogance is, read David Lodges' academic satire novels, and focus on the Zapp character, supposedly based on Fish.

anti-leftist liberal

Anonymous said...

Insofar as anthropology is by definition "the study of human beings and their ancestors through time and space and in relation to physical character, environmental and social relations, and culture," the terms "cultural anthropology" and "physical anthropology" strike me as tautological.

Sort of like Mad Magazine's old "Department of Redundancy Department."

I will await Robo-Cop's explanation. Even settle for Ed Potrezebie's.

Anonymous said...

Kasibhatla has no more interest in reading KC's blog probably because he has grown weary of continually bringing a stick to a gunfight and has grown weary of continually suffering the inevitable consequences of showing up. By citing Piot, he has revealed himself to be completely unarmed.

Gary Packwood said...

Texas Mom 10:44 said...

..In the world of the "educators" who count themselves amongst the most "enlightened," it seems that...

feelings trump facts, victims reap rewards, everyone is special, and self-esteem is unrelated to actions.
::
Great Summary for the components of New Age Education and even a better summary of why some people 'camp out' at their doctor's office.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

1:25 PM --

How about this for a deal?

We'll "get a life" when you and yours get a clue!

Judging from recent activity that won't be anytime soon, so expect us to keep pointing out the character faults of the G88 and their supporters for awhile yet.

The abundance of material they give us to work with is staggering.

Anonymous said...

11:58 AM,

"Debate scores: Johnson-58 Piot-19"

@32%, Piot's debating skill performance doesn't even qualify him to be a half-ass.

Anonymous said...

Ouch. Another phony Duke "intellectual" gets a public bitch-slapping by K.C. Johnson.

Will they ever learn?

Anonymous said...

Prasad Kasibhatla's statement that the “narrative put forward by critics like Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson” represents a “tragic rush to judgment” about the Duke faculty is just too precious. No, we certainly wouldn't want to be rushing to judgment, would we now? Oh, unless it involved some disposable rich white boys that is.

Anonymous said...

Note to Piot:

1. Study "Reflections on the Piot Principles" to learn how to deconstruct.

2. Extra Credit, read the rest of DIW, and learn to use the Search function (upper left hand box)

3. Rewrite your paper.



Note to self: Never pick a fight with an historian.

-RD

Anonymous said...

There has been a great deal of criticism of Duke's apparently variable academic standards but it seems to me that higher education has changed fundamentally, permanently and pervasively, and that Duke is far from alone in accepting one's personal view of life informed only by one's personal experiences (never mind the scientific method or standards of scholarship) to constitute scholarship. Here is an example of what I mean:

HELL EXPLAINED BY CHEMISTRY STUDENT
The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid term.



The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well :




Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?



Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.



One student, however, wrote the following:



First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.



Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.



This gives two possibilities:



1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.



2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell,then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.



So which is it?



If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, "It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct......leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."



THIS STUDENT RECEIVED AN A+.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Piot claims the listening ad was never about the Duke lacrosse team or the March 13 party (despite Lubiano's cover e-mail for the ad saying that it was about exactly that), but was instead motivated by Hurricane Katrina.

Uh, help me out here, Prof. Piot. If the ad was about Hurricane Katrina, then why does the ad state that "the social disaster didn't begin on March 13th and won't end with what the police say or the court decides"? Hurricane Katrina happened on August 29, 2005, not March 13, 2006, right? I don't recall any significant Katrina-related event that occurred on March 13th, so please refresh my memory and tell me what this date refers to, if not the LAX party. And what about the reference to "what the police say or the court decides"? What the police say about what? What the court decides about what? I know there were a lot of disputed police actions in the post-Katrina aftermath, and I also know there were some court cases (like the one in which the doctor and nurses at a N.O. hospital were acquitted of deliberately killing some patients) -- but I don't recall any that specifically relate to a Katrina-related incident that occurred on March 13, 2006.

Also, I'm having some trouble understanding the meaning of some of the anonymous student quotes used in the ad. For example: "I can't help but think about the different attention given to what happened from what it would have been if the guys had been not just black people but participating in a different sport like football, something that's not so upscale." Okay, we know that the reference to "what happened" is a reference to Hurricane Katrina, but who are "the guys" that this student is referring to? George W. Bush and Mike Brown, perhaps? No wait, that can't be right. They weren't participating in an "upscale" sport, were they?

Gee, help me out here Professor Piot. Since you're such an underdog in this fight, I really want to support you. But I'm having a hard time following your argument. It doesn't appear to make any sense. Please provide some clarification for those of us who want to understand.

Anonymous said...

2:41 & all of the other bottom feeders, it's a good thing you've got each other to yap at here to spare the rest of us the bother of listening to you. If we give you clue phones, will you pick them up?

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 10/15 at 3:26 p.m. Thank you. That was really fun!

Anonymous said...

Nice work, KC. You have very neatly sliced and diced M. Piot in the best academic tradition. These mutts can't hold a candle to you professionally. You have shone a light on his lack of expertise, not to mention the obvious animus toward the Duke Laxers displayed by Piot and his clique.

colagirl said...

I refer to your fundamental claim that the “Listening Statement” had nothing to do with the Rape Hoax. That dog won’t hunt. It’s not even a well-bred spaniel. Insult my politics, my race, my religion, my theory of justice, my hopelessly outmoded sense of humanistic study, and my quaint notions concerning the moral and intellectual obligations of college professors. Just don’t insult my intelligence in quite so blatant a fashion.

Well said, Austin. Well said.

FWIW, I'm a grad student in anthropology and I've never heard of Transforming Anthropology. It isn't one of the bigger journals like Current Anthropology or the Journal of American Anthropology. Based on the fact that they were willing to publish what was basically a personal and ad-hominem attack on KC, let alone such a poorly researched one, it raises questions in my mind about the legitimacy of this journal. (To be fair, if this *had* showed up in, say, Current Anthropology, I would be appalled at this use of space.)

Anonymous said...

Since we have some fencing afficionados here, how would you judge 10/15 3:40 PM's (1:25's) riposte of 2:41, 1:54 and "all of the other bottom feeders"?

I didn't even see a parry, myself. More like a passé. I mean, whom are you not bothering to listen to who somehow elicits replies from you anyway, 3:40?

And when was the last time, in the Cellular Age, that anyone "picked up a phone," nevermind a "clue phone"? How quaint. Better sharpen up your wit and update your insults before bandying words with this crowd, 3:40.

Anonymous said...

When I got to the manifestly absurd claim that the "listening" ad was never about the lacrosse players' spring 2006 party, I was going to stop reading - but then I would have missed someone defending the perspective of Shadee Malaklou. Holy Guacamole..now there's a feat!

Yes, the 88 and their apologists are pathetic, but they're so entertaining it's almost worth it.

Anonymous said...

One Spook said...

Everytime I begin to believe the DIW followers might be a bit harsh or unfair to these Duke professors, I'm treated to yet another display of poor scholarship, this one in Piot's own words, that is absolutely unbelievable.


It sort of bolsters Ralph Phelan's thesis, "No matter how cynical I get, I can't keep up", doesn't it?

RRH

One Spook said...

RRH at 4:28 quotes me, writing:

"Everytime I begin to believe the DIW followers might be a bit harsh or unfair to these Duke professors, I'm treated to yet another display of poor scholarship, this one in Piot's own words, that is absolutely unbelievable.

... and then RRH offers this question ...

It sort of bolsters Ralph Phelan's thesis, "No matter how cynical I get, I can't keep up", doesn't it?

HAHAHAHAHA!! Absolutely!!!

One Spook

Anonymous said...

Steven Horowitz--

Thanks for the link to Prof. Fish's blog at the NY Times. (I'm not sure what the world's coming to with the info that Stanley Fish has a blog, but that's another issue.) This piece is clear and well-argued without being combative, and I hope that it produces some useful discussion both in- and outside of the academy.

To the "anti-leftist liberal" who at 2:04 wanted to blame Prof. Fish for all that is wrong with Duke today, seemingly up to and including the Lacrosse fiasco, this assertion is quite simply wrong. Prof. Fish left Duke and his tenure as the chair of the English Department some ten years before the Lacrosse team party, after having almost single-handedly turned the department into a national powerhouse. After the department so infamously imploded after his departure, most of the people that he hired left for various other places around the nation. Since then it has been re-organized and a huge number of new professors have been hired.

Say what you will about Stanley Fish's impact on Duke University at large and the English department in specific (and many people will say quite a bit), but to give him sole credit or blame for the character of the institution a decade after he left is laughable.

Thanks, --ss

Anonymous said...

Old Spook further says...

Duke students who have commented on
The Chronicle pages present far more cogent and well supported arguments than this professor does. It's no wonder those students think these anger studies departments are a total and complete joke.

This gave me an idea: Someone should take the qualifications of some of these professors -- their test scores, writing samples, etc. -- and create an application for admission to Duke as a white male.

RRH

Anonymous said...

To 4:21
I'm just a fencing mom, but I'd red card most of the bottom feeders and black card some of them. Get them off strip, they don't have the skill to be there.
TexasMom

no justice, no peace said...

One thing that bothers me. The Klan of 88 always fall back that they've been receiving hateful emails.

One would just love to go through e-Discovery and see what kind of loving emails were exchanged among them regarding the young men during the spring of '06.

Anonymous said...

Wow – Are how many people named Anne Allison teach at Duke? I guess time wounds all heals.

Compare:
http://fds.duke.edu/db/aas/CA/anne.allison
and
http://www.duke.edu/inauguration/gculture_0904.html

Julian said...

After reading Lubiano's email and the group of 88 statement, Piot comes off looking like either a liar or an idiot.
After reading Piot's statement, that Nifong bungled the lax case, not that the Duke 3 were declared innocent, I think the term idiot would be more appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
Have you ever read Dinesh D'Souza's "Illiberal Education"?. Check out the chapter on "Subverting Standards at Duke"...chapter 8, I think...been awhile since I read it. Please take a peek and let me know if you really think that Fish created a "national powerhouse" English Dept. ILMAO!

no justice, no peace said...

Inre 12:17: "Mercy Rule...brings a sports event to an early end when one team has a very large and presumably insurmountable lead over the other team."

This really explains the problem with affirmative action. Professors are put in bull shit departments and yet they are still in over their head.

Many affirmative action student admits get slaughtered after they get into law or graduate school, if they make it that far.

I recall an interesting recent study out of the UCLA law school demonstrating how lowering performing students who are admitted are indeed slaughtered.

Unfortunately there is no mercy rule.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said...

They are mimicking scholars. They dress like scholars, are paid like scholars, go to work with scholars, affect the language of scholars with various degrees of aptitude, and participate in the activities of scholarship, only in entities that are weak copies of real institutions.

Evidently, that builds a false sense of accomplishment. With a bravado that mimicks bravery, one unprepared 98-lb weakling after another marches forth to take on the Charles Atlas of this case. That alone should be enough to demonstrate what the underlying problem is.

10/15/07 9:26 AM


Neither Duke University nor American higher education as a whole can long endure half by the principles of scholastic merit and half by the principles of diversity-racism. A house divided against itself cannot stand. It must in the end become wholly one thing or wholly the other.

RRH

Anonymous said...

I sincerely appreciate that Professor Kasibhatla 'exposed' Professor Piot's work to a much broader audience.

AF said...

Ah yes, it's deja moo all over again. Every time one of these intellectual wannabees opens their mouth or their Bic, they keep spouting forth the same old same old. Get a new story line. The "it's not about" line is getting worn to a frazzle, especially since you dumb Doras can't get a story and stick to it. You can keep piling on the deja moo.

BTW, for those who don't know: deja moo is the sensation that you've heard all this bullshit before!

traveler said...

To Stephen Horwitz - Re: Academics & Publishing
I see Piot was not a fan of David Horowitz. I was searching for information about his Academic Bill of Rights, when I came across an odd opinion piece, “Professors on the Take.“ A young man asserts that books chosen for class studies, may have payments for the professor attached. I don’t accept isolated articles like this as having any real validity, but I am wondering if professors are offered $4000 to review a text? I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. He indicates sometimes, there is also pressure to actually adopt the book for class. I am guessing there are some strict professional rules about these things. Am I correct?

Professors on the Take
http://atheism.about.com/od/aboutethics/a/ProfessorsBribe.htm

SEK said...

This article represents what passes for a scholarly publication in Piot’s field. Indeed, it is listed as a “representative publication” on Professor Piot’s CV.

Unless the field in question is "Charles Piot Studies," the previous sentence is a wee misleading. Also, as a graduate student in cultural anthropology notes above, it's not one of the field's flagship journals. It'd be the equivalent of reading an article in The Henry James Review and blasting English departments for their myopia.

Anonymous said...

KC,
Dr. Piot reminds me of Rosie Ruiz,the celebrated fake marathoner.You may recall,after being bounced as the Boston winner ,she subseqquently entered another marathon to showshe was legit.She only succeeded in utterly exposing her fraudulence.
Similarly Dr.Piot's work which seems to have been in obscurity now gets read by lots of people who know what research is and looks foolish.Boy,this was a waste of my time reading this.If I get tired of watching paint dsry,I may try to read his dissertation.
SIncerely,Dr.Corwin

Anonymous said...

TruthHurts001 said...

With all respect to my Duke colleagues...

Duke is quickly becoming a laughingstock.

Duke's professors revel in publicly making fools of themselves, and demonstrating their flagrant lack of intellect, while the administration either defends them, or remains silent.

How in the world can Duke sit quietly while these clowns are making the university look foolish?? Does Duke have ANY hiring standards at all? Is it even POSSIBLE that Duke is NOT embarassed at the fact that it mindlessly hires unqualified racist buffoons?

10/15/07 11:21 AM


You make it sound as though Duke is somehow unique here. Believe me, a hundred KC Johnsons would have no problem finding a hundred universities identical to Duke in all respects you highlight.

don t. said...

I do not really care what the 88 mental midgets meant or said or did not say, etc, etc, Whatever they did...or said....or meant was bad enough. ALL of these clowns need to GO... along with brodhead, steel, alleva, john whoever, etc. (I love "etc." because it drives these pseudointellectual supercilious nutcases up the wall).

trinity60

Anonymous said...

This horse is really dead....To say that the listening statement had nothing to do with the Lacrosse incident is simply a lie. Any reasonably informed person knows that the cover letter stated that purpose clearly in an attempt to solicit signatures.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous at 3:26 PM:

Bwahahahaha! Thanks for the laugh.

no justice, no peace said...

27-0 at Iowa...Diversity is for Democrats

A fine and tragic read by Mark Moyar.

They have control of the television dials and academic reform is overdue. It is much, much worse than most think.

Free speech and diversity mean nothing.

Anonymous said...

P O S T O F T H E D A Y

Anonymous said...

Ouch. Another phony Duke "intellectual" gets a public bitch-slapping by K.C. Johnson.

Will they ever learn?

10/15/07 2:52 PM


submitted by RRH

Anonymous said...

Is the "Anthropology" in Transforming Anthropology the object of a present participle (as in, "Political Correctness is transforming anthropology into another Angry Study") or a participial modifier of the subject (as in, "Transforming Anthropology™ can change your life, too! Send now for Professor Piot's exciting new book, Piot's Power Principles Made Easy For You--forthcoming!")?

It could mean both. Probably does, those are some clever people on the editorial board.

But if the purpose of Transforming Anthropology is to transform a serious academic discipline (leaving aside, for the moment, the dicey methodologies pioneered by the discipline's founding matriarch), one questions whether its "scholarly" content-- editorial screeds such as Piot's, rather than serious academic research, factually based, logically expounded-- is up to the task. And one is certainly entitled to ask, "transform anthropology into what?"

On the other hand if Transforming Anthropology is the field's equivalent of, say, "Emergent Theology," again, the journal's content-- editorial screeds such as Piot's, rather than serious academic research, factually-based, logically expounded-- indicate that this particular branch of the discipline is about as valuable as a pile of rubbish.

Really, the editorial board should look into this.

Anonymous said...

I smell another book in the making

Anonymous said...

This was an extraordinary bit of scholarship and evisceration. It took Piot months to attack K.C. Johnson. It took Professor Johnson a weekend to rout Piot. NOT a fair fight.
_____________

"3. As a colleague in the English Department commented: 'If his reading of the ad is representative of his reading practices generally, KC Johnson would have failed Intro to Reading.' The ad was reprinted and is available on page A10 of the February 16, 2007, issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education."

This apparently passes as a footnote in today's academia. As Bill Murray would say, "I have to laugh, hahahahaaaaaaaaaa."

NOTE: Piot did not include an actual copy of the "Listening ad" or a verbatim transcript in his paper. Why? Because it would prove him wrong. There was no question about including Lubiano's cover e-mail. So, what to do? Get an unnamed source (probably an 88er) to provide self-serving testimony.
_________________

In one of his other footnotes, Professor Piot included the following:

"16. Johnson: 'It’s just a coincidence, of course, that
the vast majority of these offerings are taught by . . . the
Group of 88. The CCI, in effect, is a glorified Group of 88 Enrollment Initiative, with the Group seeking to use the lacrosse case to force ALL Duke students to take their classes' (DIW, February 26, 2007). 'The most chilling
provision of the CCI report is the Group of 88 Enrollment Initiative, with the Group seeking to use the
lacrosse case to force all Duke students to take their classes. The report urges a requirement that all Duke students take a class that engages ‘the reality of difference in American society and culture.’ The vast majority of these offerings are taught by . . . the Group of 88' (DIW, February 28, 2007)."

I had to go back and re-read those posts by K.C. The use of the phrase "Group of 88 Enrollment Initiative" for the CCI was classic. It is true that the Gang of 88 tried to USE the fake rape, even after the 88 were discredited, to force every freshman to take one of their Angry Studies classes. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

This was never about Lacross...

bill anderson said...

My, my, my. I read Piot's CV and was stunned; at least in some disciplines, it does not take much to become tenured at Duke. When I went for early promotion two years ago, it was imperative that I have a decent publishing record.

After seeing Piot's CV, I cannot help but wonder if I went into the wrong line of work. In economics, we are required to have refereed publications that clearly are of higher standards than this screed on DIW in Piot's name. I guess it does not matter at Duke, at least in some departments.

If nothing else, DIW has opened my eyes to the out-and-out sloppy and third-rate "scholarship" that accompanies the "angry studies." One would think that people who teach at an elite university would have some pride, but I guess not.

By the way, our FSU publications list came out today, and I can assure you that our "inferior" college of business with "third-rate" scholars outperforms the G88 by a landslide. I told our dean today about the cushy relationship that the "angry studies" faculty has with Duke University Press, and he could not believe it.

So, for all of you Duke faculty members who posted the "don't you wish you were good enough to teach at Duke" messages to me, the answer is this: I would like to be good enough to teach in Duke's economics department, which is outstanding.

But for the other "angry studies" faculty positions, I am quite glad to be where I am, working with intelligent -- and decent -- people. At least they do not falsely accuse people of rape, and then throw temper tantrums when the charges are shown to be bogus.

Anonymous said...

From Gary Packwood at 9:49 a.m.:

"'est' believers talked about 'getting it' without talking about what 'it' ...was. Have we heard that before?"

I think Grandpa Simpson mentioned "it":

Grandpa: "I used to be with it, but then they changed what 'it' was. Now, what I'm with isn't it, and what's 'it' seems weird and scary to me. It'll happen to you."

Anonymous said...

KC:
An absolutely devastating critique of Piot's essay. This is the reason I've lost sleep over the past year reading posts in the middle of the night. Incredible comments (with rare exception) by a group of intelligent, insightful and often amusing individuals. A classic thread.

Anonymous said...

3:26 PM: Please tell me you were only kidding when you posted this *actual* exam question. The standard internet version of the joke is about 10 years old and its earlier origin is well explained by my other favorite hoax debunker, snopes.com.

http://www.snopes.com/college/exam/hell.asp

Nonetheless, I have no doubt that you're correct in your assertion that there is much questionable taking place in universities today.

Mudcat Mike

Anonymous said...

What is a "CV"? All you academic folks make a big deal, but for the rest of us, I'm curious what the initials stand for. My best guess based on context is along the lines of "Cited Volumes", but I give that no more than a 10% chance of being right. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

EMERGENCY MEETING OF THE GANG OF 88 (and friends)

[September 15, 2007]


ALL: "Rabble, rabble, Johnson, rabble...."

CHAFE: "Come to ORDER!!!!"

HOLLOWAY: "First order of business, what to do about this K.C. Johnson?"

ALLISON: "Can we try to lynch him, too?"

WEIGMAN: "We can put a passive-aggresive advertisement in the Chronicle, deny the ad's very existence and still demand a new building?"

CURTIS: "Can we change his book reviews from 'Excellent' to 'Bad'?

NEAL: "He seems impervious to the 'R' word, and that has always worked for us in the past. We need to think outside the box, people. Let's beat him up academic-style! Go Plato on his ***!"

PIOT: "I've just written an article called 'K.C.'s World' that calls him names, big, mean academic-sounding names."

KASIBHATLA: "I can cite to it in my Chronicle attack! I needed something to cite to! Goody!"

LUBIANO: "Brilliant!"

....


[Three weeks later]

CHAFE: "Come to ORDER!!!!"

HOLLOWAY: "O.K., what was plan 'B'?"

THE END?

____________

It appears that "Transforming Anthropology" is an incest fest or, at best, a citation circle. That explains a lot. MOO! Gregory

rrhamilton said...

For ss at 4:44 PM,

If you were impressed by Stanley Fish's NYT's article, then you need to re-read it. He writes no better than Piot and lies just as much.

I have to be honest. I'm an attorney and I'm amused when academics try to make an argument. It's like being a professional boxer and watching a "Toughman" competition when they're really good, or like watching kids fight when they're not.

Let me give you an example. When Prof. Fish said, "This is one of the few arguably dishonest moments in the documentary", did you think that he was saying there were few dishonest moments in the documentary? Yes, you did. The trained verbal pugilist sees that Fish was really saying that "this" was "one of the few ARGUABLY dishonest moments", and that most of the rest of it was INarguably dishonest.

This is why we attorneys would LOVE to get these chowder-heads on the witness stand -- and why Duke will pay nearly ANY amount of money to avoid that happening.

Here, I'll give you one more and then I'll trust that self-education is the best education of all.

Fish says that the dominance of leftwing faculty does not mean "in principle" that their scholarship "must begin or end in accusations against capitalism, the white male Protestant establishment and the United States government." (I'm not finished, but if I had this learned academic on the witness stand, I'd ask him for some examples of leftwing scholarship that SUPPORTS "capitalism, the white male Protestant establishment, and the United States government". I imagine there would be a long silence before I asked the judge to instruct the witness to answer. We would then go through his scholastic record very thoroughly while we explored why he would make such a statement and also be unable to give a single example to support it.)

Fish poo-poos the demonstrable ideological imbalance in college faculty because, he says, the important one is the pedagogical: The REAL split is the "split right down the middle between partisans of quantitative methods (techniques like statistical modeling) and partisans of qualitative methods (inquiries rooted in philosophy and theory). But, as the statistics Maloney cites show, 90 percent of those on either side of this divide will be registered Democrats. What this means is that academic politics and “real world” politics are independent variables. Knowing the political registration of a faculty member tells you nothing necessarily about the way in which he or she teaches." There you have it: The IMPORTANT diversity among college faculty -- and where all questions of "intellectual balance" should be confined -- is NOT whether they denounce "capitalism, the white Protestant establishment, and the U.S. government", but whether they denounce them using statistical modeling or (the real difference!) using philosophy and theory!

ss, good luck to you in the future.

Anonymous said...

I have been through the "K.C's World" piece a couple of times, and I have used the search or find function looking at all derivations of the word "sign" to see if Piot admitted that he was a Gang of 88 memeber. Am I missing it?

Isn't that a credibility issue? Doesn't Piot have a self-serving motivation to attack Professor K.C. Johnson because of Piot's unfortunate alliance with the 88?

This is especially curious since I would think that one of his better arguments could have been, "Well, I signed the 'Listening ad,' and I can tell you that it was not about the gang rape allegations."

_____________

Piot includes a picture of Duke Chapel in the article, but no picture of the "Listening ad." WTF! Again, if the ad was pictured, readers would be able to see that it dealt with the fake rape, and it was a rush to prejudgment. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

Trinity College should be renamed Karl Marx College. Cut through all the BS & "scholarly" debates, it is Marxism.

If KC won't call it indoctrination I will.

Anonymous said...

I read Piot's essay. If the character and intelligence we observed in Duke's men's and women's lacrosse teams, and in the Chronical's student reporting is an indication of the quality of the students at Duke (and I think it is), then Piot is pissing in the wind. Duke students will see through this twaddle in a New York minute.

I recall a post early on that wisely observed that the players had to be innocent because there is no way an entire group of 40+ students would cover up such heinous acts.

Well, Piot's claim that "no student of the over 100 I polled in February 2007 even knew about the existence of the blogs" is clearly a lie. Does anybody believe you could poll 100 Duke students, and none of them would know about DIW? BS, Mr. Piot.
(However amusing it is to think Piot directed over 100 new readers to DIW.)

The ironic flip-side to this is that only one of the G88 has offered even a tepid apology for the ad. This fact alone proves the "homogenizing/totalizing qualities: 'groupthink,' a singular 'mind-set'" of the G88 that Piot denies.

He childishly blames KC for the repercussions of the G88's own actions. Its like being in third grade a again. He blames KC for calling them a group, when they self-assigned themselves group status by signing the published statement.

He blames KC for the vile e-mails, when these e-mails, (as evil as they are) were responses to the G88's actions.

He claims that KC "proceeds to caricature and demonize" the G88. You can't caricature these folks. They are self-caricatures.

-RD

Stu Daddy said...

Reading Dinesh D'Souza's Illiberal Education was a memorable stop on my self taught journey from youthful idealism to a more conservative realism. (Not to mention that I grew older and graduated from the School of Hard Knocks.) Who was this Stanley Fish and what in the world happened to the English Department at my beloved Duke?

As a beer and pot fraternity lax jock at Duke ca. 1975, my fellow hooligans and I coined the terms "social awareness" or "socially aware", assigning it to all people and things not like us. We were, of course, the center of the universe. Little did we know that we had identified what later became known as PC, or Moo Gregory's Correctology.

A generation later, D'Souza and others proved true what we had felt in our gut about liberalism gone haywire around us. Now, truth seekers like Sowell, Horowitz, Taylor and Johnson have cornered the terminally "socially aware" Piot, Starn, the Gang of 88 and their ilk at colleges everywhere. They can run like Fared and Baker, but they cannot hide.

And thanks to George Will for revealing the political correctness and "social awareness" run amok in our schools of Social Work across the country. When and where will this culture war end?

mac said...

Piot is likely rehashing some coffee-room or tea room conversations, dressing it up with fluffery. It's no more consequential than that, and no more originial. You just have to wonder what was in the tea.

The ideas - bad as they are - seem as plagiarized as the national student writing award that was published when I was in 9th grade, many, many years ago. I immediately recognized the work as an old Mad Magazine reprint, and told my teacher, who had held it up as a model of student writing. I learned then that acedemic writing judges were hopelessly inept, and that teachers usually don't read Mad Magazine.

Awards and lauds being what they are...

Piot ought to get the Chauncey Nartey Award.

mac said...

I might've missed any comments on the subject, but KC's name for this thread could just as well have been the "Peter Principle," (a worker or employee rising to the level of heirarchical incompetence,) or in Duke's case, the Dilbert Principle (placing employees in a high enough position that they can't really cause any harm.)

Only in the case of Angry and Silly Studies etc., the principal actors did actually manage to cause a great deal of harm.

Thus a new creature is born: the "Piot Principle." That is, the dressing up and promotion of demonstrably false ideas in the face of reality.

Anonymous said...

CV is for curriculum vitae, it is similar to a resume, usually longer, lists articles or studies they have written or participated in.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: "...finding a hundred universities identical to Duke in all respects you highlight...."

Yes but...

Duke puts themselve forward as being unique and elite. And...they charge $46,000 per year tuition.

Where is the truth in advertising?

Where is the transparnecy?

Where is the accountability?

Duke has fewer controls than Enron or Worldcom before they were exposed as frauds.

no justice, no peace said...

On the one hand Piot is to be commended for linking an article.

One finds it most difficult to find linked work of his contemporaries. It appears they do not desire others to read their work.

On the other hand one wonders if he received permission to use a picture of the Duke Chapel. Doesn't it have a trademark?

Binding on of the Duke trademarks to poor and fraudulent academic work seems problematic, but that is just me.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: "...Duke has fewer controls than Enron or Worldcom before they were exposed as frauds..."

"They" refers to Duke, but one could make the case that Enron and Worldcom were frauds as well...

Steven Horwitz said...

Traveler:

If a faculty member took "kickbacks" from a publisher for assigning his/her books to his/her own class, that would indeed be ethically questionable.

I've reviewed a number of scholarly books for university presses and places like Routledge. I've reviewed a few textbooks too. I've never been paid more than a few hundred bucks for any of those. In fact, sometimes I'm given the choice between cash or a higher dollar amount of "store credit" at the publisher, which I usually take.

The bigger problem in the world of academic publishing is sorting out which journals really are engaging in solid double-blind peer reviewing and which are accepting anything that comes through door, or perfunctorily passing on papers to the "inner circle" of the journal. Tenure and promotion committees should be doing serious work to determine just how rigorous the standards are for the journals candidates are publishing in.

And CVs should clearly delineate peer-reviewed publications from others as well as indicating if the paper was an invited submission of some sort. A paper can be invited but still double-blind peer reviewed of course, but being invited certainly suggests a level of prior interest by the editor or that it was contribution to a special volume or the like. Those are the kinds of factors one should consider when weighing the value of any given publication.

Certainly Piot's paper under discussion appears to be, as others have noted, not the more highly-valued double-blind peer reviewed piece. He likely knew he could get it published there, given the connections, and they probably chose to take it as one of the "other" kinds of things they publish. That's all fine in and of itself, as long as it's clear on a CV that this was not the same kind of publication as a true DBPR piece.

mac said...

Piot Envy, anyone?

Well, it's true: we had Grant Farred with his "Prowess Envy." We should now expect a slew of secondary articles and whatnot, following Piot's evil little piece, semi-original pieces of pustulent prose.

Ah, the pretenders will follow Piot's mighty pen, each hoping to bubble up in the frothy mix of an intellectual's paradise; the Coffeehouse sycophants, mimicking their master Piot, hoping for elevation to elegiac PC sainthood, now exposed like an unearthed grave.
The me-toos will follow, sure as the flies, reminding the sane world of Swift's "Satirical Elegy: On the Death of a Late Famous General:"

"Come hither, al ye empty things!
Ye bubbles rais'd by breath of kings."

Piot Envy, indeed; a suitable bookend for Farred's Envy. Arise, ye sycophants, arise! Let your master inflate your bubble!

Anonymous said...

I already commented on this post once, but in thinking about it overnight I have formed a new perspective. Perhaps Professor Piot’s essay, so widely distributed through this blog, will turn out to have a useful purpose. The implicit, indeed sometimes explicit claim of the Duke faculty involved (88ers, for short-hand purposes) is that they possess a detailed, nuanced, sophisticated, expert understanding of complex matters grossly traduced by the crude bloggers who read and participate in “Durham in Wonderland”. It is indeed quite true that many of us were incapable of understanding the citations from their published work that were a feature of the “Group Profiles”. For most of us, after all, English is our mother tongue; we may lack fluency in the academic Mandarin in which they write. But Prof. Piot’s essay, though pedestrian in its style, is quite comprehensible. There is no doubt that it is written in English. Any intelligent, literate person who reads it ought to be able to follow and judge the argument. To do so does not require a Ph.D. in anthropology or any other specialized discipline. And since Prof. Piot himself leads us to believe that this is a “representative” piece of his work, reading the article should provide some legitimate basis for coming to general conclusions concerning his work and that of his colleagues.

According to what I have read, Prof. Piot is also the one who claimed that the Group of 88 really ought now to be the Group of 89, since President Brodhead had “signed on” to their published manifesto. We cannot hold President Brodhead responsible for what others say he has done or said, especially when that other is Professor Piot, who is very feeble when it comes to reporting accurately what others have said and done. Nonetheless the professor’s claim raises an interesting question. Would President Brodhead now be inclined to “sign on” to Professor Piot’ article? I presume that President Brodhead has followed the Rape Hoax with at least as much attention as the average reader of “Durham in Wonderland”. He himself is a competent scholar who knows the conventions of academic research, fair and adequate use of sources, deployment of evidence, and the construction of probable argument. My own view of Professor Piot’s essay recently published in “Transforming Anthropology” is that it is woefully sloppy in its use of easily accessible primary materials, inadequate in its citation of sources, biased and unscholarly in its deployment of evidence, and fatally wanting in the demands of probable argument, which is another way of saying linking evidence adduced to conclusions drawn. Does the President think otherwise? Does he take pride in this example of scholarship from the Duke faculty? Does he take pride in the fact that Prof. Kasibhatla can cite such an article as though it had authority? Does the President even have the slightest idea who Professors Piot and Kasibhatla are?

Anonymous said...

I think you should put your "Update" of 3:25 at the top of the page where all can see it.

Ralph Phelan said...

"Prof. Fish left Duke and his tenure as the chair of the English Department some ten years before the Lacrosse team party, after having almost single-handedly turned the department into a national powerhouse."

A national powerhouse of postmodern cant.

Each generation of faculty choose the next ... so Fish helped choose the people who chose the 88.

Anonymous said...

Stanley Fish is a known liar. I don't remember the details, but it should be possible to find them.

Fish wrote some kind of memo to other faculty saying that members of the National Association of Scholars should be barred from University committees (or something similar) on the grounds that the NAS is racist, sexist, and homophobic (a wholly false accusation, with about the same intellectual integrity and purpose as Piot's article). He then publicly denied having written the memo, a lie that was exposed when the student paper got a copy of it and published it.

Fish seems to be popular at the New York Times. Given its coverage the the lacrosse hoax, one can see why.

Ralph Phelan said...

rrhamilton said...
"[Stanley Fish] writes no better than Piot and lies just as much."

I have to disagree with the first part of your statement. He writes much, much better, which is why he's famous. The pathetic wannabe-sophists we've been playing whack-a-mole with here are but pale reflections of Fish. Stanley Fish is the master sophist of our age.

Which is why exposing his lies takes actual work and detailed knowledge of the field in question.

Ralph Phelan said...

no justice, no peace said...
Inre: "...finding a hundred universities identical to Duke in all respects you highlight...."

Yes but...

Duke puts themselve forward as being unique and elite. And...they charge $46,000 per year tuition.

Where is the truth in advertising?

Where is the transparnecy?

Where is the accountability?

Duke has fewer controls than Enron or Worldcom before they were exposed as frauds.

You think Harvard's any better or cheaper?

This is an industry wide problem in higher education.

traveler said...

Pittsburgh: Carbolic Smoke Ball
Tuesday, September 04, 2007

This site is adtvertised as: The very funny local "fake" news blog.

The authors "combine goofy photos, false headlines and a witty take on news copy to find irony in local and international issues.


They have a spoof on the Group of 88.

This is "NOT" my kind of humor, but it does speak to the very real damage, the Group of 88 has done to the reputation of Duke. People in Pittsburgh are laughing at the expense of the Duke University faculty. Small world!

I am assuming the target group of this kind of off-brand humor is young people. To see the Duke faculty lampooned in this manner, is in truth very sad.
http://carbolicsmokeblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/duke.html

Ralph Phelan said...

"The bigger problem in the world of academic publishing is sorting out which journals really are engaging in solid double-blind peer reviewing and which are accepting anything that comes through door, or perfunctorily passing on papers to the "inner circle" of the journal. Tenure and promotion committees should be doing serious work to determine just how rigorous the standards are for the journals candidates are publishing in."

But part of the problem at Duke and presumably elsewhere is that the tenure and promotion committees are participants in the circle-jerk journal.

What's needed is much more supervision from outside departments and fields of study, so that you don't get bullshit self-certifying itself.

Anonymous said...

Followup on Stanley Fish:

See

http://www.thefire.org/index.php/article/5636.html?PHPSESSID=

for the correct version of Fish caught lying. Also see his advocacy of "stamp[ing] out" what he calls "hate speech" and "racist speech"; of course, given his record, what he means by these has little to do with the real thing.

Steven Horwitz said...

T&P committees can be part of the problem Ralph, it depends.

I think it's valuable to have university-level committees that move such discussions outside the department or division. It's good to have a chemist, a painter, and a specialist in Spanish literature (for example) looking at the materials submitted by someone in political science. I'm not suggesting such committees necessarily have the final say, but I do think they can be a check on incestuousness - unless you really believe whole universities are corrupt.

Even then, almost all tenure processes at research schools (and even a place like mine) require reports from scholars outside the institution. At highly competitive places, it is usually members of the department or the school who choose the outside evaluators, with the candidate having little say. Again, this is something of a check on the sort of incestuousness you are rightly concerned about.

It's also important to note that university-wide committees, IMO, should be asking the kinds of questions I raised above: what sorts of outlets was the candidate's material published in? How rigorous was the review process? What is their acceptance rate? Are the editors in the candidate's professional circle? All of that should be weighed.

What such a committee should NOT be doing is passing judgment on the content. I might think work in, say, post-colonial studies, is all wrong about the relationship between the West and the developing world, but if a colleague of mine has been able to publish consistently in that area in journals that are rigorous according to the criteria above, that colleague should get tenure or promoted.

Orson Buggeigh said...

Have we heard any more pronouncements from our chemical engineer about the quality of Johnson and Taylor's work? Or is he aware that he may be a finalist for this year's Lysenko Award for Inventive Academic Writing?

Piot's work is rubbish, but SEK and the others miss an important point when they try to make light of the journal Transforming Anthropology. It may not be mainstream, but has the mainstream of anthropology debunked it? I doubt it. What should be mainstream academic journals and professional organizations have long given this kind of fashionable nonsense a pass. the American Historical
Association cheerfully requires a diversity component to any panel at its meetings - no gender mix, no approval. The Journal of American History has never admitted that Michael Bellesiles' article was trash, they have never revoked the award it received, or printed a retraction. the book Bellesiles made by expanding the article won the Bancroft Award, and Columbia's History Department has never repudiated it. The trustees did withdraw the award, but the History Department remains mum. 'Nothing to see, let's just move along, shall we?'

William Anderson is correct, this is a serious problem in identity studies fields. Badly written nonsense like Piot's article, that should not have gotten a passing grade is given high honors, and people nod sagely and tell each other how good it is. Look at all the crap Ward Churchill wrote - not in peer reviewed journals or for academic presses, but garage publishers specializing in fringe political tracts. And where were the big names in Indian Studies? Silent - no one wanted to blow the whistle on the shortage of scholarship in their programs, especially when ideological invective seemed to be working so well. Only a few relatively unknown academic folks like Brown and LaVelle, and a lot of ordinary folks on the Rez, who knew that Chief Lies-A-Lot was a phony. But who was listening to them? No one. LaVelle's work was ignored, until Churchill made the mistake of getting too much publicity - and then the University of Colorado HAD to start taking the complaints about plagiarism and academic misconduct seriously. It is time for Duke to do the same thing. And a lot of other colleges and universities. Giving bad scholarship a passing grade because it supports a desired political goal is ultimately destructive of both politics and education. we need more William Andersons and K.C. Johnsons, and a lot less of the Ward Churchills, William Chafes, and Charles Piots. I would gladly send my child to Frostburg State U. I would not pay one cent to send a child to Duke, Harvard, or similar academic disaster areas. The crime was the effort to railroad innocent Duke students into prison. The academic disaster is the sorry state of what passes for higher education in much of the US. Duke is only one of many places with a group of faculty who engage in intellectual practices like those described in D-I-W.

traveler said...

To anon 12:14
EMERGENCY MEETING OF THE GANG OF 88 (and friends)

Too good! Why don’t you get yourself a blog name so I can find you again?

Ralph Phelan said...

"What's needed is much more supervision from outside departments and fields of study, so that you don't get bullshit self-certifying itself."

To clarify:

I obviously don't trust Duke's department Cultural Anthropology to give an honest rating of a opaper in "Transforming Anthropolgy." The obvious thing is to ask some randomly selected anthropologists for their rating - but as a total outsider (one of the total outsider's funding all this, remember) I don't even know if I can trust anthropologists in general. So I want some economists or physicists or urban planners or music theorists or historians on there too.

While I'd love to see such a system of oversight I don't think it's likely to happen, as it runs the risk of producing politically unpopular results. A real academic audit of the Angry Studies departments would produce widespread embassassment and charges of racism, sexism, etc. from the frauds exposed.

So long as the primary job of a university president is avoiding charges of racism and sexism (If you think this claim is over the top, explain why Richard Brodhead still has his job and Larry Summers doesn't), the above will never happen. Changing the incentive structure for university administrations will require changing the way the government makes funding decisions.

Steven Horwitz said...

It's interesting to note that almost none of the folks criticizing Stanley Fish have actually responded to the argument he raised in the blog post I linked to. Instead, we've been treated to a laundry list of his past sins, real or imagined.

Gee, what does that sound like? Uh, the way that some Duke faculty have treated KC and other critics. People rightly complain when commenters here engage in "drive-by" criticisms and ad hominems, or change the subject rather than addressing the argument on the table. Seems like there's a lot of that going on with Fish.

I never said the guy was a saint, only that I found much (but not all!) of that specific argument to be good.

Is it possible that a person who has done some bad things and been wrong in the past can still make a good argument in a different context?

Ralph Phelan said...

"I'm not suggesting such committees necessarily have the final say, but I do think they can be a check on incestuousness - unless you really believe whole universities are corrupt."

I do not believe that whole universities are corrupt (except maybe Antioch, which got "corrected" by market forces.)

I do believe that whole fields of study are. Obviously "creation science" was born corrupt, so it's an existence proof. On the grounds that Duke is widely considered a reputable school and no clamor was raised prior to the Duke Lacrosse Burning, I hypothesize that [H1:] African American Studies, Womens Studies and Cultural Anthropolgy are more than 90% corrupt. I further believe that [H2] those fields survive partly because they are parasitic on the earned respect of real scholarly disciplines at the universities where they have departments.

"What such a committee should NOT be doing is passing judgment on the content. I might think work in, say, post-colonial studies, is all wrong about the relationship between the West and the developing world, but if a colleague of mine has been able to publish consistently in that area in journals that are rigorous according to the criteria above, that colleague should get tenure or promoted."

Why?
Why are you unwilling to exercise your judgement about the quality of an entire field? I'm not saying it should be up to you personally, but if a consensus of everyone not in Post Colonial Studies is that Post Colonial Studies has a fundamental assumption wrong, why shouldn't they require that new hires not have that fundamental assumption wrong?

What mechanism do you propose for testing my H1 above? If the departments of Astrology and Creation Science can build a set of journals that follow the mechanics of peer review and careful detailed study of total bullshit, do you believe you should treat them as equals? Remeber, doing so doesn't just raise their standing - it symmetrically lowers yours.


I guess the thing to do is for the electorate to ask "Who's funding Cultural Anthropolgy?" and get them to stop.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson's rebutal to Prof. Piot's criticism was forceful, effective and civil.

Much of what followed has not been.

Using profane language to criticize Duke, Prof. Piot and others is offensive and draws attention away from the point the writer seeks to make. It also forecloses any possibility of a constructive exchange of views between those with different points of view.

Ironicaly, there is a similarity between some of the posts on this blog and the media coverage of the lacrosse case in the beginning: loud, exaggerated, too certain and offered with a tone that is anything but objective.

None of that should be attributed to Prof Johnson, although undoubtedly it will be.

Although people are fee to express their opinions, a measure of self-restraint and respect for others in doing so would increase the likelihood (which now stands at zero) of there being a useful exchange of ideas rather than epithets.

Just one blogger's view.

Anonymous said...

to rrhamilton: Nice analysis of Stanley Fish's op-ed. But are you aware that Fish taught classes at Duke's law school, and that he had some kind of joint appointment there? Why was that? Was he qualified? Of course not. The reason was simply that Fish was immensely powerful at Duke, and pretty much got what he wanted. He molded much of the faculty and the general campus culture (and no, Steven Horwitz, by "much" I do not mean "all").

Anti-Leftist Liberal

Gary Packwood said...

Rapid Personality Change

Stu Daddy 4:58 said...

...And thanks to George Will for revealing the political correctness and "social awareness" run amok in our schools of Social Work across the country. When and where will this culture war end?
::
Good Question.

Perhaps when parents of Duke students wake up and understand that these people on campus are trying to teach rapid personality change which was so popular in the 1970's.

Many MANY people on and off campus were harmed by such nonsense in the 70's and it is time again to clean out the academic mold in the basement.

We need to ask the physicians at Duke to investigate these frauds so that young students at Duke will not be harmed.

Physicians in Behavioral Medicine understand fraud and they need our permission to go after these professor who pretend they have ALL the answers.

Rapid Personality Change just does not work.
::
GP

Florida Gator said...

Anonymous at 10/15/07 @ 11:28 P.M. said: What is a "CV"?
CV stands for curriculum vitae, from the Latin curriculum (course) of one's vitae (life). It is similar to a résumé, but more detailed, including such things as one's published works, grants, awards, licensure, etc. It is mainly used for academic or research positions, as opposed to a résumé, which is usually preferred by businesses and industry. A CV may be several pages where a résumé should be one page.

Anonymous said...

While it is not a waste of time to post on this blog, it is a waste of time to expect or think that the DukeGroup88 or the Duke administration or the Board of Trustees will act in any manner other than the manner in which they have. Their racist and sexist behavior is part and parcel of the new reality of academia, and, in effect, these groups have won control of the narrative. It is the narrative of this group that is pandered to and accepted by most of the main stream media and Nifong and many others. This group has established and set its agenda in stone if not in stonewalling. They narrate the reality of any spoken or printed media, and the fact that they had nothing in the lacrosse case to support any supposition or agenda on their part meant nothing to their behavior or their interpretation of events or to any other reality that this group of racist saw or interpreted. In the events that roiled Duke and Durham nothing salved them except reward for their horrid behavior. In a word, they are unconvinced and dogmatic racist, but that is the purpose of these people . . . to be and remain unconvinced . . . to be rewarded or bought off . . . to intimidate if not to intimidate each other or other members of the academy or the Board or the president of Duke or the administration, but the public at large or their own students . . . much like the questions concerning whether or not students in the class of a certain teacher had heard of this or that in reference to the lacrosse case . . . of course few would admit to knowing anything . . . can a reason be thought for not knowing . . . on this campus as on many other campuses "not knowing" is a needed defense mechanism . . . the tampering with grades as has been admitted by Duke is not singular in effort or effect to the Duke lacrosse case. To understate the entire circumstance it is less than nice what Duke and many others academics have done or become . . . the change of grades and attitudes of this campus is so offensive as to not allow the interpretion of reality in such a way as to fix a problem that still roils the campus almost two years later. Duke's is an attitude that will allow no one protection of the law or escape from the lack of character in its insitutions.

Anonymous said...

Angry Studies
Correctology
The Piot Principle
Prowess Envy


I laugh out loud every time I run across these vividly expressive, devastatingly accurate coinages. I'm sure there are more.

The technical terminology emerging on this site should be disseminated throughout the land for general merriment and use by academic fraud busters everywhere.

Is there a Dr. Johnson in the house?

haskell said...

A sad irony is that systematic political correctness has failed its disciples. Many are intelligent, most are well-meaning. But almost none have been trained in logic, careful scholarship, professional writing, unexpurgated history, or dispassionate discourse. They are increasingly in over their heads, with no tools to help them float much less get out of the pool. If I were one of these folks, I would be angry at the system that failed me, instead of pointing fingers at those who unearth their deficiencies. A few days ago, Savant mentioned the site mindingthecampus.com -- a most useful resource. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

ralph phelan@10/16 9:39 AM re universities like Duke:

You think Harvard's any better or cheaper?

It was, 30 years ago. I had Harvey Mansfield (Poli Sci), Rudolph Arnheim (Visual Studies), Steven Jay Gould (Geology/Paleontology), Walter Jackson Bate (English), Elizabeth Bishop (poet, expository writing), and sat in on Daniel Patrick Moynihan-- and that was my freshman year!

Mansfield's still around, but today's Correctology curriculum and professoriate are no more distinguished than any place else's. It's the Universal Leveler. And the President Summers embarrassment showed that Harvard's Angry Studies gang behaves no more responsibly than Duke's 88. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the Summers precedent is a key reason that Broadhead has never uttered one. single. word. against any of the G88's excesses.

I'm afraid Ralph is right. It's a universal problem.

Anonymous said...

I heard Harvey Mansfield speak one time and he told an interesting story. He had been considering leaving Harvard and another faculty member said to please not leave, Harvey Mansfield gave the department balance.......He laughed because there were over twenty faculty members in the department. One conservative to over twenty liberal and at Harvard this is considered balance.

Steven Horwitz said...

Ralph asks:

Why?
Why are you unwilling to exercise your judgement about the quality of an entire field? I'm not saying it should be up to you personally, but if a consensus of everyone not in Post Colonial Studies is that Post Colonial Studies has a fundamental assumption wrong, why shouldn't they require that new hires not have that fundamental assumption wrong?


Your argument rises or falls on the premise that "a consensus of everyone not in PCS" thinks it has something wrong.

I purposely picked that case because such a consensus does NOT exist and for me and others to base a judgment of a colleague's qualifications for tenure on our own political/economic beliefs, no matter how sure WE are of them, would simply be to replicate the behavior of some faculty that you rightly object to.

The short answer is: because I/we may be wrong and PCS may be right. That's why we have academic freedom in the first place - because the generation of knowledge is a discovery process and, with only a few exceptions, can ideas be ruled out of court from the start.

Such a consensus does exist about astrology and creation science, hence they can be ruled out. If a similar consensus did exist about PCS, the same would go.

It does not, therefore judging the quality of a colleague's work based on whether he or she agrees with my own take on the contested substantive issues would be, well... political correctness, wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...


Steven Horwitz said...

It's interesting to note that almost none of the folks criticizing Stanley Fish have actually responded to the argument he raised in the blog post I linked to. Instead, we've been treated to a laundry list of his past sins, real or imagined.

You must've missed my 12:48 AM, a lengthy comment which mentioned none of his past sins.

RRH

Ralph Phelan said...

Steven Horwitz said...
"It's interesting to note that almost none of the folks criticizing Stanley Fish have actually responded to the argument he raised in the blog post I linked to. Instead, we've been treated to a laundry list of his past sins, real or imagined.

Gee, what does that sound like? Uh, the way that some Duke faculty have treated KC and other critics."

Except for the one critical difference - the difference between imagined sins and real ones. Real things should count for more than imaginary ones, shouldn't they?

"Is it possible that a person who has done some bad things and been wrong in the past can still make a good argument in a different context?"

Yes.

Is it as likely as it is for a person who hasn't ever been caught lying? I claim common sense says "no."

Does the world contain a large number of people with a large variety of informed opinions about academia? Yes

I have a choice:
A. I could read something by Fish, knowing that I'll have to put in a lot of effort to check its validtity, because he's not just a liar but a skillful one.

B. I could read something by someone else who, whatever his assumptions and biases, is known to be be honest in his methods, and spend a lot less time checking it for flaws.


Steve - put on your economist hat for a second and regard me as a consumer of information who considers his time valuable: which is the rational choice - A or B?

Anonymous said...

Steven Horwitz said...

Is it possible that a person who has done some bad things and been wrong in the past can still make a good argument in a different context?

10/16/07 10:44 AM

The answer to your question is yes, but what does it have to do with Prof. Fish?

He may have done some bad in the past -- I don't know his history -- but where has he made a good argument?

Anonymous said...

Ralph Phelan said...

rrhamilton said...
"[Stanley Fish] writes no better than Piot and lies just as much."

I have to disagree with the first part of your statement. He writes much, much better


I was feeling sorry for Piot and wanted to give him a boost. And I'll agree that Fish is a sophist, but not a master one.

RRH

Anonymous said...

Steven Horwitz

Fish is fishy to me. An undistinguished scholar, lousy writer, and champion of Angry Studies.

He a punk.

Carlito Brigante

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

to rrhamilton: Nice analysis of Stanley Fish's op-ed. But are you aware that Fish taught classes at Duke's law school, and that he had some kind of joint appointment there? Why was that? Was he qualified? Of course not. The reason was simply that Fish was immensely powerful at Duke, and pretty much got what he wanted. He molded much of the faculty and the general campus culture (and no, Steven Horwitz, by "much" I do not mean "all").

Anti-Leftist Liberal

10/16/07 11:20 AM

Thanks ALL, and be gentle with Prof. Horwitz; he sort of skims comments and then his mind fills in the blanks.

RRH

Anonymous said...

I just said that I don't know Stanley Fish's history, but I hope he isn't related to the great Hamilton Fishes. That would be a shame, and for me on more than one level.

RRH.

Jim in San Diego said...

I have a question about promotions and accountability of faculty.

Is there any oversight within a University, of Department hires? Does someone above a department head have any authority to monitor or challenge the quality of department hires?

Assume, to give an extreme example, that it was discovered over time that a Department at a respected university was heavily populated with lightly credentialed, racial/sexual/class bigots who have demonstrated they are not capable of arguing rationally from verifiable facts.

Assume further that the head of that department, also lightly credentialed, has recently made hateful and absurd public statements such as, "white innocence is black guilt". As extreme as this example is, assume it to be true....

Is there any mechanism within the University to fix the problem? Is there anyone who has the responsibiltiy even to determine if there is a problem?

If this example is too extreme, lets take a less extreme example. Assume that a biology department is found to be heavily populated with lightly credentialed Creationists. For years the department head, a creationist, has made it a policy to hire only other creationists - that is, scholars who are just like her.

In this less extreme example, is there any oversight of department hires within the university?

This is actually a serious question, as I am not in academics, and do not know the answer.

Anonymous said...

Decades ago I witnessed a recurrent pattern of banter between the ivy league and southern university freshmen debate teams. Invariably the Emory/Vanderbilt/Duke debater would allude facetiously to his alma mater as the "Harvard/Yale/Princeton of the South," to which the ivy leaguer would respond, with equally facetious noblesse oblige, that hisuniversity liked to think of itself as the "Emory/Vanderbilt/Duke of the North." While the exchanges could be chalked up to freshman braggadocio, I felt then that they also revealed a certain sense of smug superiority on the part of the ivy leaguers and defensiveness, coupled with the aspirational ethos of their universities at the time, on the part of the southerners.

Now, thanks to the leveling influences of political correctness, which permeates all universities alike, there really is little difference in their academic quality, and the "major" universities are distinguished only by size of their endowments and number of research contracts with the federal government.

Which, reflecting back on the freshman debate team exchanges, reminds me of a Joan Rivers joke:

"Remember when every woman in America wanted to look like Elizabeth Taylor?
"Now she does."

Ralph PHelan said...

Steven Horwitz said...
"It's interesting to note that almost none of the folks criticizing Stanley Fish have actually responded to the argument he raised..."
Despite my analysis above, I'll waste some time doing so, just out of respect for you:


Balance (and I will return to this point) is a political, not an academic requirement. Balance requires that you ask the question, “Did every constituency get its turn or its share?” But to ask that question is to replace judgment with the criterion of proportional representation, and in the academy that is almost always a bad idea.
Or it is to claim that views you know are worth hearing are not being heard because of the political bias of decision makers who pretend (and possibly sincerely but wrongly believe) that they are making decisions based on academic merit.

Students who want to hear different speakers should get themselves elected to the committee.
Risking grade retaliation and other pressures for being publicly conservative.
Faculty members who feel that speakers of interest to them never get invited should go get a grant or pony up their own research funds (if they have any)
which they probably don't, since the funding is controled by leftists
or think about going to another department.
"If you think the humanities are dominated by leftists, leave." Sure, that'll bring balance.

Of course, once a speaker is invited, he or she should be protected from harassment...
They should be, but they aren't. The Minuteman Project can't speak at Columbia for fear of physical disruption by those who dislike their politics.

As for the clannishness of students who hang out only with those of their own race and ethnicity, that is certainly worrisome, and it is likely that the strong marking of identity in admissions policies, course descriptions and race- or gender-based centers contributes to it. But to call it segregation is to fudge the distinction between forced separation and a separation voluntarily chosen (even if it is a separation you lament).
Maybe so. But it is still a real effect, contrary to the stated goal of these programs and departments, that their proponents never admit to.

Maloney does exactly this when he reports on racially skewed admissions practices while his screen shows grainy-imaged footage of the pre-Brown v. Board of Education days. They’re the same, he’s saying. No they’re not. This is one of the few arguably dishonest moments in the documentary.
This is one of the most obviouly dishonest moments in this essay. Universities lowering the SAT cutoff by two standard deviations as a matter of race is totally analogous to the old "Jewish Quotas" at the Ivies, and different from Jim Crow only in that the government's hand is a bit less obvious, acting through funding agencies and veiled threat of lawsuits that would be costly even if won, rather than explicit legislation.

Then there’s the matter of speech codes. This is a fake issue. Every speech code that has been tested in the courts has been struck down...
That's great if you've got money & time for a lawsuit. Of far more practical importance to most students are all the speech codes that haven't been tested in court and struck down yet.

There are more than enough legitimate academic topics to keep an ethnic or gender studies department going for decades — the recovery of lost texts, the history of economic struggle and success, the relationship of race, ethnicity and gender to medical research. And there is no reason in principle that such investigations must begin or end in accusations against capitalism, the white male Protestant establishment and the United States government.
But some of them do.

Lie. Almost all of them do (see KC's G88 profiles.)

But this requirement of proportional political representation makes sense only if you can predict what and how a professor teaches from his or her partisan identification: absent such a correlation, the political makeup of the faculty is not a legitimate pedagogical concern.
As mentioned above, we sure see such a correlation in some of Duke's faculty.

Book lists take their shape from the instructor’s judgment that a particular text is important to the area of inquiry. There is no reason – at least no pedagogical reason – to demand that a book list contain representatives of every approach out there. The judgment that a list is “one sided” is a political not an academic judgment (and the fact that students are making it makes it even more suspect [they don't have Ph.D.s yet, hence are peons.]), and enforcing it, as some state legislatures now want to do, would be a blatantly political act.
The list maker's judgement that the list isn't one sided is equally a political judgement. Fish is implicitly claiming that the current list was created by a disinterested "expert" with no political bias. If you don't accept that assumption, he has said nothing of substance.

I was starting to write an analysis of the common themes and tactics in Fish's bullshit, but I think I've wasted too many minutes of my life on him already.

The next time you refer to Fish and people start dismissing him unread, please be aware that I, at least, have made a carefully calculated decision that that is both the rational and the intellectually honest thing to do.

Steven Horwitz said...

Hey RRH - my original post said "almost all" not "all." The exception of yours is duly noted.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steve Horwitz said:

"Your argument rises or falls on the premise that "a consensus of everyone not in PCS" thinks it has something wrong."
No, my argument is that if such a consensus existed it would be meaningful, and therefore the question of what outsiders' consensus view of a field is should at least be asked.

"Such a consensus does exist about astrology and creation science, hence they can be ruled out. If a similar consensus did exist about PCS, the same would go."
Here my ignorance of the details of academic governance kicks in. By what mechanism has it been determined that such a consensus exists? How would that mechanism function in the case that a formerly respectable field somehow went off the rails or failed to adapt to new information and became equally useless?

Duke currently has a department of Cultural Anthropology but not of Astrology. What current mechanism, other than intertia, decides that the former deserves to remain?

I guess I'm looking to apply "zero-based budgeting" principles - yes these departments exist, but should they?

To the extent certain departments exist because they get funding from some federal grant or another, then this question is and always has been political.

Ralph Phelan said...

"I was feeling sorry for Piot and wanted to give him a boost. And I'll agree that Fish is a sophist, but not a master one.

RRH"

It took me two minutes to catch Piot in what I knew was a bald-faced lie, another two to find the link on KC's site, and maybe five more to write it all up coherently.

It took me almost half an hour to do far less damage to Fish.

If you don't think he's a master sophist, who do you know who's better at making total rank bullshit seem plausible?

Anonymous said...

per Shouting Thomas...

"The fight over swag is everything. The racial and sexual quota system bears a strong resemblance to the labor union movement that veered into gangsterism and wild corruption."

Well SHOUTED, Thomas!

For my personal experiences in race and gender atrocities, I invite you to read my 10/16/07 1:03PM post to you in KC's 10/12/07 "Update" blog epilogue, just below this one.

Ol' Man Joe

Anonymous said...

fyi -

There is a new thread entitled Update: The Group.

Clicking on it leads to "Page Not Found."

Clicking on the + takes one to the initial post, which is about a new - not sure what to call it - "academic initiative" involving members of the Gang of 88.

To make sense of it, I had to look up the meaning of "imaginaries." Apparently it is a term of art. This is what I found:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imaginary_(sociology)

I don't know why,but after reading the description of the new program, I felt a bit like I was coming down with the flu - a bit of a headache, vague nausea and a bit of a temperature. My symptoms are most likely unrelated to reading about the new program, but I know that the language in the program description seemed academic, pretentious and highly ideological, reminding me not so much of education as indoctrination. What standards of scholarship apply to the study of race, gender and inequality? Is there any accountability inside the academy for what is presented as an academic subject or for adhering to generally accepted standards of scholarship?

I'm going to get an aspirin.

mac said...

11:05
Which profane language do you refer? This blog's been pretty clean since a banned poster has been absent - (perhaps you refer to someone's satirical reference to "bitch slapping?") Maybe you don't have the stomach for satire, but it's had a great deal of it from the beginning - (MOO Gregory being the satirist-in-chief, IMO.)

If Piot can't be convinced by KC's reasoned arguments, what makes you think any "dialogue" with Piot's type is possible? They've shown no evidence of reasonable discourse, frankly.

Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Not off topic. Article addresses the relationship between "diversity" and socialism, the Real Piot Principle.

INVISIBLE VICTIMS: White Males and the Crisis of Affirmative Action Revisited
Peter Brimelow writes: We just found my November 1992 American Spectator review of Invisible Victims, Frederick R. Lynch’s seminal study of the impact of affirmative action (a.k.a.) quotas on white males. Quotas are a zero-sum game, so somebody has to suffer. But at that point, as Lynch noted, the double-think about affirmative action was so extreme that its very existence was denied. Similarly, the systematic repression of news and analysis about mass immigration meant that the subject was effectively excised from the public consciousness until well into the 1990s.

At one time, I regarded affirmative action as the key wedge issue in American politics. When I worked for Senator Orrin Hatch in 1979-1980, I put enough stuff into the Congressional Record under his name to ensure (probably) that he could never be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. (Hatch subsequently abandoned the issue). I think my intuition was confirmed by Stanley Greenberg’s finding (see below) that quotas were a major factor costing the Democrats blue-collar support in the 1984 election—particularly remarkable because the subject had remained completely below the Mainstream Media radar. But, of course, the great Blight of Bush (I and II) meant that the wedge issue was never used to build a patriotic majority—in fact, in the disastrous 2003 University of Michigan cases, Bush II came down on the wrong side. Plus now we have the much bigger wedge issue of immigration.

Fred Lynch, who subsequently wrote The Diversity Machine: The Drive to Change the "White Male Workplace" , is now a tenured professor of government at California’s Claremont McKenna College. He is surprisingly cheerful. He writes:

“I've watched the ‘diversity machine’ roll through one institution after another largely because business-oriented conservatives and moderate: (1) didn't understand sociology's basic insight that systems, structures, and social movements obtain a life of their own, (2) thought they could eventually curb quotas and quota-thought through court challenges and changes in administrative law, (3) became obsessed with the ‘anti-victim’ mentality that suppressed complaints of working-class white males [Lynch says this macho attitude particularly inhibited talk radio, the white male’s natural champion] ; (4) failed to connect demographic change with sociological and cultural change. Ultimately, perhaps too late, they came to their senses on the political changes of immigration and globalization. You, your writers and readers have known all this for some time.”

Lynch tells me he is particularly heartened by anti-diversity humor on satirical shows like South Park.

The collapse of socialism, in both its Communist and social-democratic variants, appears to be the central event of our times. Conservatives are hurt and puzzled that they haven't received more credit for being so right about it. One reason can be found in Frederick Lynch's pathbreaking Invisible Victims: Socialism has actually just mutated. The lust to "put politics in command", in Chairman Mao's phrase, has adroitly redefined itself in terms of equity rather than economic efficiency. While conservatives have been congratulating themselves about events overseas, the U.S. has been silently and steadily transformed by a race- and gender-based socialism.

Quotas were explicitly banned in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but have nonetheless been spreading ever since. They have received extraordinarily little attention in the media and even less in academe. Of some 1,300 papers given at a recent American Sociological Association conference on "Race & Ethnic Relations," only one addressed the topic. Lynch, a sociologist at Claremont McKenna College, has written the first major study of what affirmative action actually does to its main victims, white men.

The scale of the quota revolution has been far greater than conservatives—with the notable exception of Norman Podhoretz's Commentary—have yet realized, and merit-based hiring has been widely subverted. Take, for example, "race-norming"—fiddling test scores to produce racially proportionate results. Many state and local governments race-norm their General Aptitude Test Battery, taken by job-seekers and supplied to potential employers. Private testing agencies race-norm results to "EEOC-proof" their clients. (The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regularly sues to force private business into quotas.)

"Affirmative action has been an administrative revolution imposed by judges and bureaucrats," Lynch writes. Thus it was not easily opposed, particularly because much of it is implemented informally and orally. The secretiveness has only increased with the Reagan-Bush judicial appointments, whose growing influence has threatened the stability of the liberal judicial establishment. But affirmative action personnel openly say they intend to get around any law.

A few of Lynch's male victims were political liberals who felt obliged to rationalize their fate. But most acquiesced with varying degrees of anger. Some changed jobs. Usually totally isolated, these men felt that no one would help them.

They were right. The older generation of white male managers has in effect compromised with quotas, Lynch argues, because they think the impact will fall only on the younger, baby-boom generation. And the EEOC flatly refuses to accept white male discrimination complaints about corporations with approved—i.e., anti-white male—affirmative action plans. Litigation, for those who have tried it, proved expensive, exhausting, chancy, and immensely time-consuming—one case remains unsettled after more than six years. A further factor in the paralysis: the peculiar male personality itself. These victims seem really to have believed that grown men don't cry. A considerable number did not even mention their disappointment to friends, relatives, or fellow-workers.

Their wives almost never felt such inhibitions. "My wife is mad as hell; she's angrier than I am," said one man. Some wives absolutely insisted on being interviewed for Lynch's study. One woman pointed out that discrimination against white males injures not only the men themselves, but their wives and families. "This 'hidden' or latent conflict generated by affirmative action between career women and homemaker wives has gone virtually unnoticed in the affirmative action literature," Lynch notes.

He adds, "Karl Marx insisted that for any sort of class consciousness to arise, there must be communication of a common sense of oppression. With the mass media and the social sciences rarely recognizing the phenomenon, much less portraying it sympathetically, white males have been easily and silently victimized one by one."

The media have been able to ignore anti-white discrimination partly because neither conservatives nor liberals raised the issue. For example, the likelihood that Robert Bork would find quotas unconstitutional spurred the civil rights establishment's fanatical resistance to his Supreme Court nomination. But White House lobbyists said nothing. The media elite's motives are also partly ideological. From J. Anthony Lukas's best-seller Common Ground —which dealt with an earlier symptom of race-based socialism, busing—Lynch quotes a Boston Globe reporter: "If they [the Boston Irish] don't like integration, we'll shove it down their throats." And Lynch was unable to find one television show portraying a white male being damaged by affirmative action.

Lynch cites a typical result of this systematic denial of reality: California Democratic Congressman Don Edwards, a mouthpiece of the civil rights establishment, was able to get away with claiming on the New York Times op-ed page that quotas did not exist—within weeks of three Supreme Court decisions about them. [More Racism From the G.O.P. June 4, 1991] And supporters insisted that the (Bush-backed) 1991 Civil Rights Act did not impose quotas, although its key point was to override Supreme Court decisions that rejected the notion of racial imbalance as prima facie evidence of employer discrimination.

The result is a "spiral of silence," whereby people assume their doubts are not shared and suppress them, thus mutually intimidating each other. But opinion polls show quotas are overwhelmingly unpopular, even with the "protected classes" themselves. And when the Democratic party asked pollster Stanley Greenberg to investigate blue-collar defection from the party in 1984, quotas emerged as the crucial factor.[See DEMOCRATIC DEFECTION REVISITED, Stanley B. Greenberg April 1, 1987, PDF] The party promptly tried to suppress Greenberg's report.

Meanwhile, the quota revolution rolls on. Its latest ramification is "diversity management"—permanent quotas, with no pretense that they are remedial or temporary, both for minorities and women, and increasingly for the ongoing wave of non-white immigrants to the U.S.

Quotas are inherently unstable. They inexorably create turf disputes between the various "protected classes." And they inevitably exacerbate racial polarization, particularly as the articulate white middle classes begin to be hit. Which is why Lynch thinks affirmative action is headed for "crisis." This vulnerability accounts for quota supporters' mounting fervor—above all their increasingly wild accusations of "racism." There can be no doubt that, until conservatives break the extraordinary power of this taboo in American debate, they will never get control of the culture.

Getting control of the quota debate itself will be comparatively easy. Recently I wrote an article on Lynch's work in Forbes magazine —one of the very rare occasions when I've been allowed to address this topic. The first reactions, from victims, were pathetically grateful.

The later reactions—probably the result of Xeroxed copies reaching affirmative action enforcers who don't normally bother to read the business press [PB in 2007: This was before the internet!] —expressed outrage that the article had appeared at all. And there was none of this elaborate flimflam about the equal opportunity meaning equal outcomes or remediality or transitional periods with which liberal judges have cloaked their corruption of the law. These letters rashly echoed the response of the California prisons official quoted by Lynch. Asked about reverse discrimination against white officers, "He simply smirked and stated, 'It's your turn now.' "

This is an argument that even George Bush [Senior] could have won.

RRHamilton said...

Steven Horwitz said...

Hey RRH - my original post said "almost all" not "all." The exception of yours is duly noted.

10/16/07 2:14 PM


You're right, it did, and so I am guilty of the very thing of which I charged you: skimming comments and filling in the blanks with my own prejudices. I realized it too late, after having read back through all the comments. My apologies.

Ralph Phelan said...

If you don't think [Fish is] a master sophist, who do you know who's better at making total rank bullshit seem plausible?

10/16/07 2:30 PM


I think I can do it better than Fish, but neither of us is fit to shine the shoes of a former law professor named William Clinton.

Steven Horwitz said...

Jim at 159:

Whether hiring decisions are subject to oversight from higher up depends on the institution and the nature of the hire. In smaller schools, it's much more likely that a Dean/VP will be involved in the process and will have to sign off on any tenure-track hire. I can think of instances where a dean has pushed back at departmental choices (though not for the kinds of reasons you are talking about).

At a larger, research school like Duke, departments are likely to have more autonomy, especially if they are hiring "big names" rather than entry level folks. But I say that tentatively. Our friend "Duke Prof" would be better able to speak to matters there.

Ralph asks:

Here my ignorance of the details of academic governance kicks in. By what mechanism has it been determined that such a consensus exists? How would that mechanism function in the case that a formerly respectable field somehow went off the rails or failed to adapt to new information and became equally useless?

A good question that goes to the heart of whether scientific/intellectual processes are self-correcting.

There is no formal mechanism that confirms a consensus. Certainly the creation of professional organizations with all the parallel institutional developments: journals, graduate programs, etc, are signs of a progressive (not in the political sense) research program (do you find any of these in astrology, alchemy, or creation science?).

It is one of the problems of the humanities that there is no "wrecking ball" test to show that an area's ideas have gone off the rails (by wrecking ball I mean that we can always prove the laws of physics by swinging one - there are no such unambiguous tests in the humanities and social sciences). The social sciences are better, as witnessed by the fact that Marxism is much less of a presence than it used to be. Of course it's taken up refuge in the humanities in many ways.

At some level, the ultimate judge is the public's willingness to continue to support universities and other institutions who teach whatever the current ideas are. From the start of these discussions here, I've argued that parents, students, and citizens should spend their money as informed as they can be when they deal with higher education.

Academic freedom is not the same as a right to keep people ignorant of what students are being asked to learn.

Anonymous said...

SEK (quoting KC):

"This article represents what passes for a scholarly publication in Piot’s field. Indeed, it is listed as a 'representative publication' on Professor Piot’s CV."

SEK (quoting SEK):

"Unless the field in question is 'Charles Piot Studies,' the previous sentence is a wee misleading. Also, as a graduate student in cultural anthropology notes above, it's not one of the field's flagship journals. It'd be the equivalent of reading an article in The Henry James Review and blasting English departments for their myopia."

I agree. Professor Piot was a wee misleading in stating that this "scholarship" was a "representative publication." This piece has to be at least a smidge worse than his average publication, so Piot should not have called it "representative" right?

How misrepresentative do you think Professor Piot was in claiming that the Listening Statement was not related to the Duke rape allegations? How misrepresentative do you think it was for Professor Piot not to acknowledge his connections to the Editorial Board of the publication, or for the Professor to fail to acknowledge his connection to the Gang of 88? (If that was the case).

How misrepresentative do you think Professor Piot was in his other allegations, roundly rebutted by K.C. Johnson with actual proof? Do you think Professor Piot misrepresented it enough that Professor Kashibhatla should not have reasonably relied upon it, as described in situ on Piot's CV, as being a scholarly publication? I would think that Professor Kahibhatla would not have too much knowledge of the status within the Anthropology community of "Transforming Anthropology."

If Professor Kahibhatla relied upon it, why would other professors at Duke not rely upon it (at least as it is described by Profesor Piot on his CV)? Perhaps Anthropologists would know better than to rely upon it, but it fooled at least one smart scientist. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

To mac and his ilk who whine about injustice against straight, white males - boo hoo! Create your own blog.

The Group of 88 will never ever concede that their ad was a violation of the Faculty Handbook, much less that their ad gave the impression that their lacrosse student-athletes were guilty. The fact that the majority of them work in highly subjective fields probably contributed to their haste. If this had happened to the football team or the basketball team, would they have jumped at the opportunity with the same vigor?

Anonymous said...

In Tuesday's Raleigh News & Observer, we learn that Nifong is asking the state of NC for legal aid. This of course means he wants the State to cover his legal bills.

Such...nice irony...and hypocracy.

This is coming from the man who boasts of his legal prowess! The State of NC should remind him of his own words (paraphrased) "I wouldn't want to try a case against me". And let him defend himself. After all, he is retired on full NC pension and has nothing better to do, it won't cost him a cent other than time and a few bucks of gas money. Okay, in the spirit of fairness, perhaps the State should give him a ticket on the TTA bus line and let him catch TTA bus to trial. It's not like he'd be taking anyone's seat, for most of the time there are more empty seats than occupied.

Judge Rufus Peckham said...

Notice they start sniping at you only when you're winding down your blog! If these folks had spent more time defending the innocent white boys as they spend defending themselves, maybe the boys wouldn't have been put through hell!

mac said...

3:09

With regard to quotas and the mess that college educators find themselves in:

Always remember: "the predator improves the prey." (Frank Herbert)

Successful people tend to bypass the muck that sticks to well-worn shoes. (You notice that people who have style and class usually don't argue in the street with their neighbors?) One of the reasons college educators sometimes don't fight back against the PC creeps is...they've never had to fight against the odds.

You might recall that KC developed his arsenal in the trials he faced? Would he be as good as he is, without having been trained like a Jujitsu fighter is trained for battle? Maybe, but I doubt it: the predator (his "colleagues") improved the prey.

In my profession, I'm outnumbered about 10-1, yet I make a credible living and have earned a degree of respect. Figuring that I have built-in disadvantages, I decided many years ago that I would have to work harder, be smarter, educate myself relentlessly and to avoid contact with the many people in my profession who are lazy and are prone to new-age nonsense. Those people with built-in advantages might be better at their work if they had a few more disadvantages, frankly.

IMO, affirmative action gives people who depend upon it a false sense of accomplishment, and no incentive to rise above the muck, except "give me, give me, give me..." Have you seen any really good responses to KC - (or even to DIW posters?)

I'll take my disadvantages to the bank, thank you.

Anonymous said...

In my previous post, I erroneously referred to "mac and his ilk" re their whining on white males. I should have referred to anon at 10/16/07 3:09PM instead. Apologies.

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