Monday, August 06, 2007

Group Profile: miriam cooke

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

Group of 88 member miriam cooke (she capitalizes neither her first nor her last name) is a professor of Arabic in the African & Asian Languages & Literature Department, in which she has served two terms as chairperson. She received her Ph.D. from Oxford in 1980.

cooke’s research focuses on gender in the Middle East. She has published widely, with books that include War’s Other Voices: Women Writers on the Lebanese Civil War; Women and the War Story; and Women Claim Islam: Creating Islamic Feminism through Literature.

Several themes permeate cooke’s scholarship:

1.) The legacy of sexism, not her subjects’ insignificance, explains the lack of attention devoted to the female activists who have interested cooke.

Her 1988 book on women writers in the Lebanese civil war theorized,

As the war dragged on, the middle and upper class Beiruti women found themselves increasingly alone, and they began to write about their experiences as women, and to recognize through articulation their previous oppression and marginalization. As negative awareness of otherness crystallized, the selfness of the “center” came into question. Intensified, this questioning became the first step in the deconstruction of a dominant discourse. The Beirut Decentrists came to realize that discourse, the conduit of power, could also become the locus of its ultimate threat.

In writing about these marginal but ideologically appealing figures, cooke claimed that she challenged “the notion that only men write about war. [This revelation doubtless would surprise Barbara Tuchman.] Although of differing political and religious beliefs, it is these Decentrists—women bound by common exclusion from both the literary canon and social discourse—whose vision will rebuild shattered Lebanon.”

As anyone who has followed contemporary events in Lebanon would understand, the women of cooke’s study appear to have exercised little, if any, influence in “rebuild[ing] shattered Lebanon.” Perhaps the world would be a better place if cooke’s Decentrists had influence over Lebanon’s civic culture. But basing arguments on what an author wished had happened does not constitute good scholarship.

2.) Islam is a female-friendly religion; to the extent that Muslim males have engaged in sexist behavior, Europe, the United States, or Israel are to blame.

cooke has stated that she wants to highlight “what some Muslim women have named Islamic feminism. Over the world there are Muslim women who are going back to the Koran, to Islamic law, to the Sunna of the Prophet, and saying, ‘We have a religion whose texts can be read in a very woman-friendly way. The problem is, that for centuries men’s interpretations focused on pushing women out of public space. Today Muslim women are themselves interpreting these Islamic texts. They claim the right to do so because every Muslim has the right to interpret the foundational texts since there is no priesthood in Islam, there are no intermediaries between God and the individual.’”

cooke has gone to great lengths to rationalize behavior in some Middle Eastern societies that most people would consider anti-feminist. She told City Journal’s Kay Hymowitz that “polygamy can be liberating and empowering. Our norm is the Western, heterosexual, single couple. If we can imagine different forms that would allow us to be something other than a heterosexual couple, we might imagine polygamy working.”

As Hymowitz further noted,

Some women, [cooke] continued, are relieved when their husbands take a new wife: they won’t have to service him so often. Or they might find they now have the freedom to take a lover. But, I ask, wouldn’t that be dangerous in places where adulteresses can be stoned to death? At any rate, how common is that? “I don’t know,” cooke answers, “I’m interested in discourse.” The irony couldn’t be darker: the very people protesting the imperialist exploitation of the “Other” endorse that Other’s repressive customs as a means of promoting their own uniquely Western agenda—subverting the heterosexual patriarchy.

Even cooke doesn’t claim, however, that Middle Eastern societies always have good records in their treatment of women. But this development, she contended, is the fault of the West. “The colonial experience,” wrote the Group of 88 member, “complicated relations between men and women, so that it is only in the desert beyond the reach of the colonial arm that fear does not predominate and Islam can operate as it was originally intended for the benefit of women.”

In a winter 2003 interview, cooke asserted, “When men are traumatized [by colonial rule], they tend to traumatize their own women . . . Now there,” she added, “is a return of colonialism that we saw in the nineteenth century in the context of globalization. What is driving Islamist men is globalization.” How her thesis would describe the experience of India—the “jewel of the crown” in the imperialist era but a major beneficiary of globalization—cooke didn’t reveal.

cooke’s tendency to exclusively blame the West (and Israel) for the problems of the Middle East accounted for her unusual interpretation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks—which she traced back “to the establishment of Israel in 1948.” Indeed, her celebration of the “agency” of Muslim women has come close to rationalizing the acts of Palestinian women who engaged in suicide-murder attacks against Israel. After one such murder, she remarked, “For those of us who really are concerned with women’s role in the Arab public square, in the way in which women have been trying to empower themselves vis-à-vis the U.S., vis-à-vis old colonial powers, vis-à-vis their own men, the situation has become so desperate that now women’s participation in war is a mark of absolute hopelessness.”

Turning her attention to the United States, cooke argued with the 9-11 attacks, “American citizens felt for the first time how the apparently innocent business of moneymaking in New York City and of policymaking in Washington DC are seen as criminal elsewhere. The daily deals struck in the financial and military-political capitals of the U.S. have direct and mostly negative consequences for most of the rest of the world. These consequences are invisible to Joe-6-pack, they are searingly obvious elsewhere.”

Imagine cooke’s (appropriate) outrage if one of her scholarly critics had used a phrase like “Jane-3-pradas” as part of a claim that educated women are clueless.

3.) Disagreeing with cooke threatens the principles of the academy.

A few years ago, a significant debate occurred over reauthorizing Title VI, a government program that funds area studies (Middle East, Africa, Latin America, East Asia). The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) has a well-deserved reputation for ideological one-sidedness; many in Congress argued that the government needed improved oversight to ensure that federal dollars went to increase knowledge about other regions, rather than simply funding the latest academic fads. In cooke’s mind, this proposal was not only unacceptable but a grave threat to academic freedom: Middle East Studies professors—apparently alone among recipients of government funds—should be free from oversight on how they spend the public’s money. As she wrote,

What is at stake here is academic freedom and the contradictory claim that it must be protected by surveillance, control and ignorance. When the nation is in extreme distress, educational institutions must devote themselves to the national project. There is an historical precedent for this rhetorical linking of academic freedom and its suspension as though they were the same thing. In her brilliant account of the roles of various institutions and individuals in shaping the Nazi conscience, [fellow Group of 88 member] Claudia Koonz has revealed how dangerous was the tailoring of education for specifically national purposes.

To compare legislative oversight of a government-funded program in which universities voluntarily participate to the Nazis’ education program is a breathtaking assertion.

cooke likewise has lashed out against Campus Watch, an organization concerned about the anti-Israel bias that too often permeates Middle East Studies classes. The group has a website that does nothing more than publicize the writings and remarks of Middle East Studies professors. To cooke, however, “Campus Watch is the Trojan horse whose warriors are already changing the rules of the game not only in Middle East Studies but also in the US University as a whole. They threaten to undermine the very foundations of American education.”

Apparently Justice Brandeis’ dictum—“sunlight is the best disinfectant”—has no place in miriam cooke’s academy.

In a comment thread a few days ago, several Group sympathizers implied that only specialists in the relevant field could even describe the academic work of Group members. cooke has taken this approach one step further, implying that only specialists in the relevant field who agree with the Group’s approach can review Group members’ work. In 1990, the International Journal of Middle East Studies reviewed cooke’s study of Lebanese women writers as well as her translation of stories by Egyptian writer Yahya Haqqi. Magda Nowaihi observed that cooke had made “numerous mistakes in translation, as well as deletions that detract from the meaning of the original text.” The reviewer offered two full paragraphs of examples of cooke’s incorrect translations. She added that while cooke’s deletions were deliberate, they too frequently distorted the meaning of Haqqi’s text.

Sabah Ghandour, meanwhile, noted that the Group of 88 member’s study of Lebanese women writers “definitely expands our information about literature written by and for women,” but lamented that “cooke seems to be ideologically motivated when analyzing the work of some important literary figures.”

Ghandour laid out how cooke treated males and females differently throughout the book. Males were “writers,” women were “authors”; men’s writings were “nationalistic,” while women’s were “patriotic”; and cooke equated the “perspective of the narrator/character with that of the author when discussing literature by male writers . . . while she distinguishes quite clearly between author in narrator in women’s writings.” In the end, it appeared that cooke was so intent on using gender as a “rigid theoretical framework” that she threatened to drown “out other crucial variables in the literature written on the Lebanese civil war.”

The reviews strongly displeased cooke. She claimed that Nowaihi viewed translation as a “pedestrian operation” that required word-for-word recapitulation. (Nowaihi had said nothing of the sort.) The reviewer, claimed cooke, failed to understand that, as Derrida, one of her intellectual mentors, contended, “translation is Umdichtung (poetic transposition).” Meanwhile, after noting that “it would be otiose to repeat the argument of War’s Other Voices,” cooke nonetheless did so, rather than responding to the specific criticisms that Ghandour made. Both reviewers, cooke claimed, were motivated by “outrage” at her “philological choices and theoretical decisions,” with the reviewers attempting to silence her voice in academic debate.

cooke’s response was so over-the-top that the journal took the unusual step of giving both Ghandour and Haiwairi an opportunity to reply. Ghandour lamented that since cooke apparently could not accept “a reading of the text that differs from [her] own,” she instead resorted to personal attacks. Nowaihi likewise regretted cooke’s eagerness to claim that ideological bias explained the reviewer’s motive, noting “the vast majority of my differences with her go well beyond differing theoretical approaches.” Nowaihi added that good-faith disagreement among academic specialists did not constitute a “refusal to acknowledge” cooke’s views.

Responding to criticism by instead lashing out at the critics, suggesting an attempt to silence dissenting voices in the academy . . . Where have we recently seen that strategy by cooke and her colleagues in the Group of 88?


cooke already had a reputation as a professorial protester before she joined the Group of 88. She’s one of the two dozen professors who form DukeDivest, an organization demanding that Duke divest from all companies with military ties to Israel, citing allegations of human rights abuses. (The divestors did not call for Duke to divest from companies with military ties to any other nation, including those with acknowledged human rights abuses in the Arab world; Israel, in their mind, deserved unique treatment.) She also was one of the more than three dozen Duke professors who signed onto a 2003 Chronicle ad denouncing George Bush’s foreign policy—an ad that violated Duke rules, since it was paid for by department funds.

It’s not hard to imagine someone with such a profile signing onto the Group of 88 statement. cooke, indeed, appears to affiliate with just about every politically correct initiative that comes along. In late March, even before AG Roy Cooper had declared the three players innocent, she had moved on to her latest cause, joining with members of a group called Fight Imperialism Stand Together, holding a sign reading, No More Persecution. Their agenda? Rallying on behalf of Sami al-Arian, a former University of South Florida professor who pled guilty to conspiring to aid Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization. A few weeks later, the group called for a march on Durham to protest Cooper’s exoneration of the three players.

In spring 2007, cooke taught “Arabic Culture & 9/11”; this fall, she’s offering “Topics in Arabic.”

[Update, 6.30pm: Debrah uncovered this video of cooke with her husband, Duke professor Bruce Lawrence.]


Anonymous said...


I am going to assume that the essence of KC's review is correct.

But, if correct, I have but two words:

treason and sedition

Well not just two, but those two sum up my view.

Am I to understand that public funds, even in part, fund this person's studies?

A Charlie Brown "Good Grief!" ----

Anonymous said...

Sorry KC - Can't read another profile. They all sound alike.

Anonymous said...

So, here's another one! So many superb study specimens from just one university. Imagine how rich the pickings in the whole American academy.

Or maybe the entire anglophone academy. It seems that Oxford's reputation may have taken a hit here tonight. What would Sir Humphrey Appleby say.

Anonymous said...

And people wonder why there is a perception that some professors at Duke are biased against their own students? cooke freely admits this is a fact.

Anonymous said...

Wow! How much more embarrassing can it get for Duke?

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I get this straight. If someone cooke agrees with pleads guilty to a crime, then she protests. If someone she dislikes is found innocent of a crime based on the available evidence, she also protests.

So in 88-Land they conveniently dispense with evidence and admissions of guilt, as they determine guilt or innocence strictly on the basis of politics (which is also reflected in one's class, gender, etc).

Is it me, or would these people have fit in perfectly in Stalinist Russia?

GaryB said...

These ultra left gender/race/class world view types become such a mockery of themselves in respect to Islam. I mean, you can barely imagine an ideology that belittles woman more and yet they are forced to defend it since the anti-free thinking aspects of that that same ideology had impoverished so many. Yet to the Cooke's of the world, that poverty makes such people pure and true rather than just poor and ignorant.

In any case, the more radical political Islam, although certainly very anti-West/anti-Israel, is little more than fascism in it's latest guise. More mud in Miriam's face for not seeing that this is so.

Anonymous said...

how elevating it must be for mushead students to sit at cookes feet and never hear her praise the unites states...while she ardently applauds the retributions against israel and the colonial powers

nowhere does she posit that modern society would be capable in any islamic country on its own merits

whatever one sees in modern islam was stolen or purchaed from the west...

she is truly a revolutionary not unlike chavez...she is anti american and anti anything that works except the fumblings of her useless brain

Anonymous said...

As I read these vignettes its obvious (and Im sure this is nothing new) this would be worth a s separate book and web site.

In my college (a large state U 30 yrs ago) there was a sociology professor who would stand in front of the class and just talk about whatever came to his mind (usually Marxist drivel)--> his tests were based on a standard textbook (the word was he got a cut of the sales). I also had a Physics prof who was perhaps the most useless teacher in history.

A website to highlite these characters would be valuable.

Anonymous said...

How sad for modern academia: a system that facilitates the art of denial with no apparent consequences.

Anonymous said...

Would it be "otiose to repeat" that the 88 seem to be little more than a bunch of fascist blockheads? "What is driving Islamist men is globalization"! - Lunacy...a thesis so strained it belongs right down there with Farred's immortal "Yao Ming is the most profound threat to American empire”.

Anonymous said...

Your profiles show common characteristics among the Group of 88. They do seem to glory in the rejection of reason and a love of all things politically correct.

The fact they are prepared to praise things in other cultures that they deride in our own gives a clue to the nature of the impulse that guides them.

The motivation that gives rise to this impulse is more elusive. Ultimately it must be to do with what makes them feel good about themselves. They are not happy unless they are taking a position against the West.

Anonymous said...


'Jane-3-Pradas'-- classic.

Anonymous said...

This creature's victim-pimping of genocidal anti-Israel terrorists makes Nifong look like a dilettante.

Anonymous said...

Dear K.C. Johnson,

Previously, your weekly profiles made me laugh. Those were some good times! I especially enjoyed "Johnny Floating Penis" and Kathy "The Wicker Man" Rudy. But, now, you have presented someone who is as mind-creepy as Buffalo Bill and apparently as vicious as Hannibal Lecter.

Seriously, the FBI should finish up investigating Nifong and his cronies then immediately turn their attention to this Mrs. Farraklone, Raleigh F.I.S.T. and AfroLez Productions, LLC.

Whatever happened to the slightly eccentric and confused Don who walked around an English prep school with blue socks and black shoes? When did it become cool to be so angry AND weird?


Creeped Out in Illinois

ME: "If a camel farts in Riyadh ...."

COOKE: "It's because of those jerks on Wall Street!"

It appears that cooke's translation scholarship shares similar qualities with the Gang of 88's Duke Lacrosse research and metanarrative - It is what they say it is, truth be damned.

"With his invention of the fishstick, fish bone-related deaths decreased by 99%. New England cemeteries were no longer overflowing with grieving 'Fish Bone Widows.'" K.C. & MRS. PAUL, (Corporate Video). My opinions only! Gregory

Anonymous said...

The quaint e.e. cummings diminution of her name belies what a big bad flaming psuedo-radical she is. No one has informed miriam that the 60's are over. Oxford's gift to Duke. Who enrolls in her classes, and why?

Anonymous said...

My goodness and good grief. The template for these people is to go in the opposite direction of anything they conseider to represent the "patriarchy" no matter how oppressive their own ideas of the other might be. They put down anything that resembles tradition without thought. It can all be summed up in a "woman good, man bad" world view. What a fraud . . . it helps no one in a broad constructive way. It is as if society having "failed" to protect them or to meet their (woman's) needs they will blame everyone (male) but themselves. Who would have guessed?

Anonymous said...

Was't Islam a colonizing force, or was it? Were missionary sacrifices of individuals its propelling factor? Was the colonial experience of the Arabs one of merely Western influence? Does invasion by others' cultural influences, not the least is this woman's "ideas" about Islam represent "colonial" opression? Does this person's views help understand anything going on in the Islamic world . . . perhaps.

Anonymous said...

to creeped out in illinois:

come on man, he's still being hilarioius. Jane-3-pradas? that's some funny, funny stuff.

Anonymous said...

As we saw from the G88 actively attempting to aid Nifong in framing innocent people for a rape that never occurred, these professors are not simply people with opinions. They are people who would turn our society into a dictatorship that is much worse than anything the Bush Administration currently is doing.

Elite U.S. higher education no longer is an entity through which people learn. It is little more than a mechanism by which students are force-fed crude propaganda that would have made Stalin and Mao proud.

Keep in mind that Brodhead and probably most of his "elite" counterparts everywhere also endorse this "propaganda as education" nonsense. I must admit to being extremely discouraged about it all.

Last year, some posters on this blog used to tell me that since I was not "elite" enough to be hired at Duke, then I obviously must be envious of the "greatness" that Duke professors represent. Over the past 16 months, we have seen how Duke's most "celebrated" scholars behave.

Believe me, I am not envious is this kind of nonsense. True, my students as a whole are not as elite as the students who attend Duke, and my colleagues and I are not as academically accomplished, but I can tell you that we would not have had this kind of outright deceit and harassment of students as what has happened at Duke. No, I may not be a "star" like Cooke and Karla Holloway and Houston "I Can't Spell Anything" Baker, but at the same time, I am not a fraud, either.

Duke was not always this way, but given that many of the G88 were the "celebrated hires" at Duke for the past decade, I think we can see where this place is headed. They wanted to be the "voice" of Duke, and no doubt Brodhead is in their camp. Well, we have heard that voice loud and clear.

Anonymous said...

Thank you KC for continuing to expose the bigotry and twisted thinking of the 88. I don't know how you do it. Many thanks to you. We need to understand that this is a problem with much greater scope than just the Lax case. These folks are in the drinking water.

Again we see that ideology trumps evidence. Reading about cooke reminded me of someone taking scissors to a picture and cutting it up into small pieces and making a jig-saw puzzle. Their version of this picture becomes the law and no variation is acceptable.

Jig-saw bigots. I'm beginning to think that the term "Angry Studies" might be more accurately termed "Bigot Studies" or BS for short.

Anonymous said...

Just the fact that she does not uses capital letters in her name shows how desparate she is to be different. It is like the bratty little kid who keeps using his elbow to make farting noices to constantly get attention. Amazing how shallow these so called intellectuals are. In her case, it is actually kind of funny.

mac said...

She should be very comfortable in the presence of Goebbels,
should he make a return trip from hell.

A feminist version of Amin al-Husseini comes to mind, also, as does Ward Churchill. Gosh, she's channelling so many people, her head is likely to spin off - (which would be a good thing, if it really happened: maybe if she spent time among the Taliban or one of the Wahhabi/Salafi satellites, and she insisted upon seeing the sun without an escort, they would give her the opportunbity to see the world a la Ichabod Crane, from a basket?)

It's hard to find a place to begin with cooke.

I disagree with the poster at 12:09 who says the profiles all sound alike: this one is the most frightening; I agree with Gregory 2:29: she is in a different category altogether.

Anonymous said...

Cheney is giving license to non-academics to monitor professors in their classrooms and the content of their courses.

So cooke thinks only academics should monitor the classrooms and the course content. Does that mean those marginal academics at Duke? Who should monitor? The Taliban? Al-Qaeda? the Rainbow Coalition? The fox has always been pretty vigilant about securing the henhouse too!

Even Harry Potter knows that freedom, human rights and democracy can only survive if there is debate about their meaning, their viability and their application within and beyond the US University.

Anonymous said...

Both reviewers, cooke claimed, were motivated by “outrage” at her “philological choices and theoretical decisions,” with the reviewers attempting to silence her voice in academic debate.

philological or illogical?

Her stand on al-Arian says all I need to know. As long as she supports a "professor" who seeks to finance terrorism, she is of his ilk.

Another great profile. The vermin keep coming out of the rathole that is the Duke faculty. The BOT needs to cut on a light. They have been in the dark far too long. And if they haven't been, heaven help them!

Anonymous said...

I understand profiling is not PC, but if you follow the bouncing ball with the G88 profiles, these individuals are not what one would consider likely to be voluntary U.S. taxpayers. After all, most of what is wrong with the world is traceable to the Ugly American according to their theology. If the IRS were looking for a group that has a higher probabllity of shortchanging the U.S. Treasury, this would be a good group to audit. North Carolina auditors might find some good shortchanging too....if these people even bother to file tax returns. They spend so much time protesting all that is wrong with the world and putting forth what is right about their agenda, it is doubtful they have time to pay attention to such mundane things as filing tax returns accurately.

Anonymous said...

"a 2003 Chronicle ad denouncing George Bush’s foreign policy—an ad that violated Duke rules, since it was paid for by department funds."

Hmm, another one.
Is this rule ever enforced?

Anonymous said...

Her inability to translate properly in her own field of studies underscores her lack of education. I wonder if this explains why the gang of 88 is so very arrogant and pompous - because deep down they know they are not well educated. They are hiding the fact they are living the fraud of the "Professor". Up is down in Durham and I am certain in many of the rest of our colleges and universities.

Tim Murray said...

Prof. cooke and her band of self-righteous cohorts believe it is their primary mission to disabuse American teenagers of their middle-class Western mores. Are Duke parents aware of this? It scarcely requires noting that cooke's blather, as is the case with everyone else Prof. Johnson has profiled, is not taken seriously outside the cloistered halls of academia, where misguided dreamers can rape impressionable young minds. Cooke (note I have capitalized "cooke" since it starts a sentence, as is the custom in the United States) and her ilk somehow believe their every outlandish assertion is deserving of respect, regardless of the absence of any supporting evidence for it, simply because they have aserted it. Serious people have no time for these frauds.

Anonymous said...

"But, I ask, wouldn’t that be dangerous in places where adulteresses can be stoned to death? At any rate, how common is that? “I don’t know,” cooke answers, “I’m interested in discourse."

Translation: I can't be bothered researching any actual facts. My scholarly theories and opinions are based on my own fantasies of how the world operates. That's what I want to talk about, and I want all of the rest of you to act as if my fantasies are the truth . . . because in my world, the truth is whatever I say it is. And anyone who dares to criticize or question my work is a racist, sexist, neo-Con moron who is obviously intent on eliminating academic freedom.

Anonymous said...

The woman is a Ward Churchill clone. A complete loon.

I am beginning to doubt KC's assertions that these loons are just embarassing exceptions in otherwise sane humanities departments.

Anonymous said...

I'm not too smart, so somebody please help me to understand this: the United States, which didn't exist until 1776, and Israel, which didn't exist until 1948, are somehow responsible for causing Islam's oppression of women, which had been going on for centuries before either the U.S. or Israel existed?

I always thought that if A caused B, that meant that A had to happen first. Did I miss something in logic class? But hey, I guess if miriam is willing to believe that 3 LAX players raped and beat Crystal Mangum while she was suspended in air in the bathroom at 610 Buchanan (and while the three LAX players were miles away), then a little timing issue on a thing like Islam's oppression of women can easily be explained away.

Must be nice to live in a world where rules of logic and physics can so easily be done away with.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Brodhead HATES this profile series. How much more embarrassing is it going to get? The sunshine is searing.

I suppose according to this person it is my fault when her people engage in the beastial practice of beheading unarmed prisoners? Out of curiousity, once their behavior becomes my fault, does it then also cross the threshold into "torture"? Heretofore, torture was not arabs sawing off innocents heads with butter knives, but was exclusively defined as when Americans ask captured terrorists questions in a loud tone of voice, after giving them three meals a day, defense lawyers, and religious accomodation?

The left in this country is becoming a parody of itself. It is kind of like the SNL skit of (dis)Grace; when does their reality stop and when does my comedy begin?

How little value does modern American place on undergraduate education that this blame-American first subculture not only exists, but thrives at the highest levels of academia? Would the last relevant scholar to leave an American campus please turn out the light?

K.C.: you are the man, uh, sorry, The Man. It may not rise to the level of watermelons, but it takes some guts to just gut your contemporaries (somehow the term "peers" didn't seem to fit) in public. I hope you can retire on this book; I'll be doing my part.

Anonymous said...

Is Cooke a Communist?

Anonymous said...

miriam cooke rates somewhere at the top of the list of Duke's Gritty Gang of 88 nuttiness.

As we've seen, Duke's Gang majors in affectation galore; however, the dear miriam elevates this trait into the stratosphere by channeling e. e. cummings.

Although, unlike cummings, who could take or leave the capitalization of the letters of his name, miriam thrashes about with abandon as the militant scholarly Imagist.

Oh, miriam! I'm sure there is a poem somewhere out there....written just for you.


Steven Horwitz said...

No way I'm even gonna try to make a case for Professor cooke.

Anonymous said...

KC's provided a vivid photo. I always like to see the subjects we discuss.

Not so surprisingly, cooke has nested in Hillsborough......along with so many other enlightened scholars and writers who've been covered in Wonderland.



Anonymous said...

9:05. There you go again with your time-space continuim. As a threshold matter, the U.S. led invasion of Iraq in March of 2003 was the sole cause of the attacks on innocent civilian airline passengers in New York, Virginia and the skies over Pennsylvania in September 2001.

On that note, how is it even possible to be an Islamic Feminist when you oppose the dethoning of a dictator who is the world-wide leader in rape room administration? I guess I am not a scholar in that field, so I should ask such questions...

This lady is a joke. She needs to go back to her beloved rathole so a female American pilot can practice some applied feminisim and put a precision guided warhead on this joke's misguided forehead.

Anonymous said...

Beware, cooke! Ward Churchill might sue you for plagiarizing HIS 'little Eichmanns' smear of 9/11 victims! After all, he needs the money. He just got fired and he's finding out real quick there's no way you can earn a professor's salary with a job that begins with 'you want fries with that?'.

But don't worry, cooke. If Ward bankrupts you, feminism-friendly Islam can give you gainful employment. Of course, it doesn't offer health insurance or a retirement account but who needs either when you're strapping explosives to your chest? Of course, if you find that too 'otiose', you could always opt for the job of holding down screaming girls as their fathers castrate them.

Anonymous said...

How can one even comment about someone who views the would in such a negative way. Maybe someone should analyze what the world would be like today if the west had not been the dominant social influence over the last 1000 years of existence. Maybe someone can point out the evolution of fairness toward people during that time. That evolution required both men and women demanding what the world has to offer them today. That social evolution continues to this day.

The 2 major reasons people like this instructor at Duke are even here is they make lots of money and they can say whatever they like with no one telling them not to. That is why they dont go somewhere else in the world to practice what they think they need preach.

Anonymous said...

Duke, and other not-for-profits, cannot "lobby." Including paying for political activity, like ads.

To allow university funds to pay for a political ad should get the attention of the "exempt" division at IRS.

I have never understood why academics think that tax payer funds, like Title VI funds, are their right and any oversight or questions is met with hysterics about "silencing us." I say ZERO money to Title VI. If the work is important the universities will fund it.

Anonymous said...

TO 9:46AM--

Very funny.....but so true.


Anonymous said...

When I think Islam, I only think of feminism and peace.

mac said...

Her crap reminds me of Ahmadinejad's insistance that "European guilt" was the cause for the creation (or re-creation) of Israel, and that anti-Semitism didn't exist until then. He was almost right in one way: Feisal (according to Lawrence) was sympathetic to "Zionist ambitions" (according to a biography of T.E. Lawrence) and there was a relatively harmonious relationship between Jews and Muslims up until...

...a certain "Grand Mufti of Jerusalem" started trouble all over the place, in Jerusalem, in Iraq and in Iran. This "Mufti" became a valuable ally of Hitler, and was even referred to as the "Fuehrer of Iran." He spend a lot of time in exile, from Iraq to Iran to Nazi Germany, where he stridently advocated the extermination of all Jews everywhere. (Look up Amin al-Husseini.)

Might want to also look up the Wahhabi/Salafi, which is a virulent sect that's been around for quite some time, and is the progenitor of the Taliban and in Pakistan. It is in direct competition with the other ultra- fundamentalist sect, the Shiites.
Historically, these fundamentalist sects just happened, mysteriously, to merge with the ambitions of the Nazis, sort of like turds in a toilet.

Many of the 88 are sympathetic to the aims of the Jihadists, and by extension, the Nazis.

Radical Chic, all over again!

Anonymous said...

These people are "nuckin' futs." Their alleged "scholarship" is biased, racist and sexist. MORE IMPORTANTLY though, it is totally irrelevant. Equally as important, it represents absolutely no truth. It is nothing more than a bunch of blathering about crap that is not real, is not important, and makes absolutely no sense. Those who criticize and tell KC or anyone else that they "don't understand" should increase their meds.

Anonymous said...

To 9:55

Since Duke is a not for profit entity, are there not state rules or regulations governing its conduct and the conduct of its officers?

A few years ago the Attorney General of Massachusetts investigated financial irregularities and charges of conflict of interest at Boston University.

Anyone know if the North Carolina AG is able to do the same? Not that he'd be willing, but...

Anonymous said...

cooke needs to listen to what Dr. Wafa Sultan, a Syrian who now lives in California has to say about muslim feminism. She's got it right and says what she thinks. No fear.

Anonymous said...

Prof cooke and her work calls to mind the scholarly effort by Prof . Michael Bellesiles ( maybe Bellsiles) who reseached and wrote about data that did not exist in a book entitled Arming America . For a substantial portion of today's intelligentsia the message is more important than the truth . That is why the 88 will never apologize and why in the "minds" of many , it will always be that something happened .
Perhaps it is healthy for an institution such as Duke to have a few kooks as an example of silliness . I'm about to send tuition payment number 1 as a parent of a university freshman ( not Duke). I hope I'm not funding too many silly professors .

Michael said...

You must have spent a lot of time writing up this profile. Apparently your background on the Middle East is pretty sharp too which makes sense given that you're headed over there.

The profile is interesting in that the anti-Israel is a bit of a different twist. I guess if you look long enough, you'll run into every oddball thing that these guys do.

mac said...

Maryam Muhammed is the new name of Tawana Brawley.

I suppose there is no connection between miriam and Maryam,
except that the words "hoax" is scrawled into their collective psyches.

Anonymous said...

So, she teaches Arabic culture and 9/11. Clearly she advaces the notion that those who perished (my friends among them!) in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania were somehow responsible for their own fates.

What a disgrace.

mac said...

10:51 am
Thanks for the youtube website on Dr. Sultan.
I hope someone will post a link.
Really worth watching. Really, really, really.

I fear for this woman, Dr. Wafa Sultan, featured on the site you posted:
she is brave, and she is brave in the face of cowards and barbarians.
Brave, brave woman!

Anonymous said...

miriam cooke comes off as a caricature, to be sure; however, we must not discount the dangerous ramifications of having people like her in places of higher learning.

As students, we all had professors along the way like those of the Gang of 88. As you get older and get out into the world, these warped notions planted by such professors usually fall by the wayside.

However, there are many students who probably never shed these indoctrination procedures and remain tainted by these warped views for a lifetime.

cooke's assertion, nah attempted indoctrination, that Islam is female-friendly is just plain wrong. And since I believe that cooke knows this assertion is wrong, she is lying every time she promotes such an airbrushed fantasy.

Let me say upfront that I am pro-Israel and always will be; however, I am not capsulized inside one culture and have never been encumbered by an aversion or turned off in any way by any other race or ethnicity....on its face.

People like cooke engender those kinds of negative feelings, however, by their own bigotry.

In the past, I have been fascinated with Middle Eastern culture...and have always wanted take a trip to the Barbary Coast....probably because it sounds so exotic and dangerous.

()))))) I'm frightened by the devil, but I'm drawn to those who aren't afraid... (((((()


Most Americans, IMO, would like to enjoy all cultures of the planet; however, no matter how Islamofascist apologists try to dress it up.....many--not just a small fringe group--will settle for nothing less than the annihilation of not only Israel, but of the United States and Western culture, itself.

Mentioning some personal experiences is necessary in order to pre-empt inevitable accusations of holding anti-Muslim views, automatically. What needs to be driven home repeatedly is that those negative views are justified as a result of the actions of many Muslims, themselves.

Yes! It is perfectly normal for the rest of us to want to stay alive!

(Back to me for a second: (Enough about me. What about you? What do you think of me?) LOL!!!

The personal experiences I have had with Muslim culture do not bode well for women. On the surface, a well-educated, Westernized (outwardly) Middle Eastern man can be as charming, considerate, romantic, and as dashing as the cover of GQ....however.....

....once you are around that man for a long period of time and see him with his guard down, you will see how he truly views women.

And the picture isn't remotely close to the one enlightened feminist scholar Gang of 88 cooke wishes to present.

Just ask American-born Lisa Halaby (Queen Noor), who was married to the late King Hussein of Jordan for decades just what it was like being the wife of a Muslim man.

And Jordan's beloved king was one of the most Westernized men in the Middle East....and a great friend to the United States.

I'm frankly tired of being expected to gloss over the openly archaic ways of much of the African continent--from the Barbary Coast to sub-Sahara--as they wish to be looked upon as civilized.

Get on the bus! Enough already.


Anonymous said...



Gary Packwood said...

A rather sad posting from KC this time, I believe.

ms. cooke comes across as an orphan all grown up looking for but rejecting a potential family unit.

For me, she could slip effortlessly into a Harry Potter book as teaching the late afternoon course on errant spirits of long ago.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"Steven Horwitz said...
No way I'm even gonna try to make a case for Professor cooke."

Wow. She's *really* bad.

BTW, for consistency's sake, shouldn't that be "professor cooke?"

Anonymous said...

I think miriam cooke chooses not to capitalize her name because she realizes how insignificant she is in the world of academia. Her only claim to fame is as a marginal academic.
Do I understand the culture? No. I will probably never understand how a mother can strap a bomb to their own flesh and blood and detonate. If this is a culture, it should be listed as number 666 in the list of world's religions.

I like the point about having the IRS investigate the use of tax-exempt funding. She is no different than her buddy in Florida.

Okay KC, twelve down and 77 to go. I do hope you will culminate this series with the biggest nutcase of all---Tricky Dicky Broadhead!

mac said...

Cooke is right that America and the West abandoned Afghanistan after the Soviets were driven out, but she's wrong that it was Afghanis who did the deed in 9-11: it was the Salafi/Wahhabi extremists, most of whom were from Saudi Arabia.

She's dead-wrong on another front: on post-colonialism and the alleged link to mistreatment of Muslim women. It doesn't wash: in Afghanistan, the population was subjected to another kind of colonialism: Arab colonialism. It is from that Arab colonialism that the female doctors, teachers and homemakers were sent packing, or captured, prisoners in mud huts without the light of day and without medical attention or even the right to learn to read.

And this is the fault of the west?

Meanwhile, 88er-types thought that the liberation of Afghanistan should include abortion-on-demand, as if that was the most important right a woman could hope for: forget the right to be a human being, to be educated, the right to medical care, the right to walk openly without fear of being murdered or being subjected ot "honor-killing" when someone accused them of anything literally under-the-sun.

While ms. cooke can hope for a "Muslim feminism,"
it is a hope that is futile and it is an oxymoron.
I don't like the word, but "stupid" comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

miriam made the list of the 101 most dangerous academics in America, a book by David Horowitz.

kcjohnson9 said...

I should note, as an aside, that I deliberately didn't cite the Horowitz book in the post. It seems to have been together very quickly, and has too many errors of fact. I haven't seen its entry on cooke, so am not sure on that matter.

mac said...

I guess the Sudan is a good place to start, ms. cooke? Oh, but why stop there?
As a poster has already mentioned, how about ritual female genital mutilation,
practiced mainly by Muslims in Africa? Must be Christians and Jews who are at fault
for those, too!

Maybe we EVEN caused the tsunami, using global underwater magnets
from well-placed supercolliders to destabilize the tectonic plates,
hoping to drown a large portion of the Muslim population in the vicinity!

Paranoia is not a good substitute for scholarship.

Anonymous said...

This G88 series should be required reading for 1) alumni considering a donation to Duke and 2) hapless parents considering sending their offspring to this looney bin university.
Congratulations to KC. The academy usually draws the wagons into a circle and protects these misfits, but KC has the courage to let in some sunshine.

Anonymous said...

TO 6:11AM--

I wanted to mention that one.




Anonymous said...

I appreciate that K.C. has linked to some "scholarship" from cooke. The reason I'm so creeped out by cooke is along the lines of what inman posted: Treason and sedition. I picture Kathy Rudy embroidering sweaters with the phrase "Girls Rule, Boys Drool" while sipping iced tea in her Lesbian commune. I picture cooke actually giving aid and comfort to the enemy. And that aid and comfort is based on false and twisted logic, without the constraints of a whit of common sense or scientifically-based scholarship.

In her 9/11 piece, she seems to be making the assertion that America gave the Afghans guns and the hope of self-government against their Soviet oppressors, which equated to "the poisonous entanglement of American lives with those of others throughout the world." And this, of course, inevitably led to the bombings of 9/11.

If that was true, Mrs. churchill, why didn't 9/11 happen in Moscow? America provided some advisors, money and weapons, the Soviets INVADED the country. I think I know why cooke believes the Soviet/Afghanistan war led to 9/11: Because she is not a self-hating Russian.

As K.C. Johnson points out, cooke's fantasy is that the "Decenterist" women have put Lebanon back together. She also posits a crazy thesis regarding the solution to problems in Afghanistan - Stand back and let the Afghani women solve it! "The purity of the culture, its authenticity and separation from contamination are embodied in its women." Now, if they can only keep their heads attached long enough to take off their burqas.

I can see how cooke would disregard logic or due process and run to the streets to "castrate" the Duke students. She was playing the role of her romanticized Lebanese, Afghani and Argentinian pot-banging sisters.

Professor Horwitz @ 9:34: LOL!

"It was K.C. who taught Chuck Norris how to divide by zero, and it was he who first touched M.C. Hammer." Chuck Norris, An Autobiography, at p. 234. My opinions ONLY! Gregory (cheerfully stolen from the Chuck Norris library of quips).

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to concede the grain of truth to the idea that the Middle East's encounter with modernity has contributed to the backlash of Islamic fundamentalism. The status of women in many Muslim countries has gone backward in the last 20 years--they are more oppressed today than then in places like Egypt.

BUT, and this is a big BUT, modernity and colonialism are not the same thing. It is a key tactic of leftist intellectuals to conflate modernity and colonialism, to assume that the decision of someone in Cairo to use an iMac or watch CNN is an act of colonial subjugation rather than an expression of individual free will.

I do think that fear of modernity drives the anti-rationality that is sweeping the world. That anti-rationality expresses itself in both Islamic fundamentalism and also in new-age leftist academic drivel. But it's a big leap to assign moral responsibility for Islam's oppression of woment to the West because the West invented modernity.

Anonymous said...

She should learn that the reason Islamic men blow everything up is they do not get sex. When they come to the US they learn to like the titty bars and would rather hang there than be incinierated.

All the drivel this gal espouses ignores that fundamental issue.

If the Arab world had titty bars it would be more peaceful.

Anonymous said...

What size burka should cooke order?

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

12:36 wrote
She should learn that the reason Islamic men blow everything up is they do not get sex. When they come to the US they learn to like the titty bars and would rather hang there than be incinierated.

All the drivel this gal espouses ignores that fundamental issue.

If the Arab world had titty bars it would be more peaceful.


As you indirectly point out, Arabs not only are sexually repressed (fantasizing about all those virgins in the afterlife), they also consume no alcohol. If tight-*ss fundie Christians want to know the result of total abstinence on society, they need only look at the Arab/Islamofascist countries. This is what they want us to become?

I know you're somewhat joshing, but there is much truth in what you say -- there's not much wrong with those homicidal Arab morons that cannot be fixed with a good, healthy dose of titties and beer.

M. Simon said...

The University of Chicago Magazine "uchicago-magazine - at", has a supplement to their regular magazine called CORE.

It is about their core curriculum. It is part of the May/June 2007 University of Chicago Magazine.

I thought it might be a nice break from the Gang of 88. A place with some standards left.

M. Simon said...


Actually the rise of cell phone pornography is corrupting the Middle East.

I blogged it a while back. Defeated By Pornography

Anonymous said...

I think the affectation with her name is less e.e. cummings than bell hooks.


Anonymous said...

you know, Duke could hire 88 homeless bums and winos strait out of the gutter and they would still provide a more enriching and rewarding experience for any of their students than these clowns do!

Anonymous said...

anon @ 12:58

I wonder if cooke gets to be one of the 72 virgins in the afterlife?

By the way, I think the 72 virgins are recycled for each Islamic martyr's death. It's a definitional construct of the word "virgin" consistent with the reality of the '88. It's also a joke being played on Islam by a God with a sense of humor...after would you like sloppy billionths.

Anonymous said...

A goofy rap video (about meat) done in Arabic.

Seems that thug-intellectual Mark Anthony Neal has collaborated with miriam cooke on this one.




Anonymous said...

The translation got it wrong. Not virgins, cookies. 72 cookies and a glass of milk.

Stuart McGeady said...

To Bill Anderson 7:03...

No need to be modest about Frostburg State University, where the summers are cool and the winters so cold that politically correct and postmodern scholarship cannot possibly take root. (On the other hand, may Austrian School economics thrive!) I think Frostburg and the University of Maryland System holds it own compared to academia generally.

However, I do take exception to your comment that implies that Bush is currently turning society into a dictatorship. Well, if he is, he only has 15 months as a lame duck to finish the job. (And may the good Lord deliver us if the Clintons and Democrat Party take the White House and keep control of the Congress. Katie, bar the door!)

Stuart McGeady
Duke Lax 1974-1976
Severna Park, Maryland

Anonymous said...

A view of cooke ostensibly at 2002:



Anonymous said...

I'm reading some of cooke's work on her website. I haven't reached any conclusions regarding the quality of her thought process. But I did run across a quote that I find very disturbing and symptomatic of a truly seditious mind set. To wit:

"Islamic feminists are not afraid to take on the challenges to their right to seek their own well being...Islamic feminists are declaring that, yes, Islam is the ideal just society ..."

The appearance of the words "ideal just society" in the context of seeking one's own well being is unnerving (at best) and, given the state of current jihad, somewhat frightening. The notion of Islam being juxtaposed with the words "ideal just society" is fraught with problems. Can that phrasing support anything other than the notion that Catholicism or Judaism or Christianity are less than ideal just societies (by defintion only one could be the "ideal just society") or that these other religions shouldn't even try to become more ideal and more just? Even more problematic is the notion that there is or ever will be an "ideal just society." Yes, it's a grand utopian concept, but to posit that Islam has achieved that status is a logically-flawed non sequitor.

I'm sorry, but to believe that Islam is the "ideal just society" belies the notion that Al-Qaeda and Hamas are evil personified. In fact, they are a testament to a problem of Islam. Sure, calm proponents of Islam marginalize them as being 'radical Islamists,' but in all my years, I have never heard of a worldwide, radical and violent Baptist sect or worldwide, radical and violent Catholic sect** or a worldwide, radical and violent Jewish sect.

Sure, there are probably "radicals" in most if not all identified religions. But those other radical are not forming groups in the name of their religious beliefs to foment their own brand of world-wide truth. They aren't firing AK 47's or planting roadside bombs or drilling into their enemy's head with Black and Decker cordless electric power tools.

Question: As Islam globalizes, is it possible that my children or my children's children will be required to wear a yellow cross stitched to their shirt or jacket? Will our social security numbers become tattoos betraying our past adherence to principles of justice and liberty and equality. Yes, the American experiment has produced a society that can certainly do much to become more ideal and just. And my sense is, we are trying.

**Yes, I acknowledge that there have been organizations such as the IRA that were of a particular religion, but I don't recall their struggle being anything but localized with religion being an issue, but not the issue.

Michael said...

re: 9:05 Cooke will have to invent something like circular history. All she needs is a physicist to back her up.

Anonymous said...

More than 20 years ago, I took an undergraduate course in Arab culture at a large state university in Virginia. The professor was a Pakistani man, and a Muslim. I don't recall the fellow's name now, but I remember that he had published several books on Arab history and culture. In class, this professor insisted that every significant invention of the past 2000 years (including the printing press, the telephone, the automobile, etc.) had actually been invented by Arabs, but Westerners had stolen the credit. He told us that the only real evil in the world was Jews, and the Americans who protected and defended them. At the beginning of each week, he insisted that every student in the class recite a certain phrase three times (I don't remember the words, but it was something that is supposed to be said by Muslim converts to demonstate their adherence to the faith). Since I was not Muslim and had no desire to pretend that I was, I refused to say the words. The professor warned me that if I continued to refuse, it would be reflected in my grade for the course. (I had an A average and was on my way to a top ten law school). I told him that if he engaged in grade retaliation, I would take my tape-recordings of class lectures and play them for the dean. He turned away, muttering some insult under his breath about "uppity American women," but he never followed through on his threat.

These crazies have been on the faculties of major universities for a long, long time. Most students have enough sense to ignore them, but the fact that they've been getting away with their nonsense for so long says something very disturbing about the state of America's higher education system.

Anonymous said...

No wonder the 88 complained that they were having their syllabi being scrutinized.

It sure seems to me that these folk have for years been playing at pretend scholarship within some small closed group, protected against accountability by the absolute power of political correctness and victimhood. In their little private place, they have egged each other along in some sort of incestuous feeding frenzy of conspiracy theories.


Thank you KC!

Anonymous said...

If Islam is a female friendly religion then Hitler must of really loved Jews and it was the fault of the west that he had to kill them. This woman and others like her are truly a cancer on society. She and others that espouse this garbage should, at the very least, be removed from positions of influence and power.
Until we face the problem of allowing the inmates to run the asylum we will continue spiralling out of control.

Anonymous said...

At least this one's a little different than the profs that have been written about so far. I was beginning to think that no member of the 88 could write a paragraph without the word "penis" in it.
Honestly. It's as if all angry studies profs hit puberty, discovered their own genitals, cried "Eureka!" and decided the mysteries of the universe were to be interpreted through the lens of their genitals!

mac said...

Thanks for posting the link!

Mackie the Flying Monkey

Anonymous said...

cooke's fall course - Topics in Arabic will probably cost 5 to 7 thousand dollars depending on the tuition figure and the student course load . I'm making very rough estimates . In any event , how could "Topics . . " be worth this amount without regard to the "opportunity" cost. What value will the course add to any student's education ? "Topics . . is probably neither more valuable nor more enriching than placing some bum straight from the gutter in front of a group of students (per a comment by someone earlier today ).

Anonymous said...

Ms. cooke's husband, Duke Prof. Bruce Lawrence, has a fancy website which includes videos of 'conversations' between cooke and him.

Anonymous said...

Debrah - re: 2:48


Anonymous said...

Sounds like cooke is a kindred spirit of some of the Japanese historical revisionists such as Tanaka Masaaki and the Japanese Society For Textbook Reform.

Some of the stuff they espouse in their "histories" of Japan read almost like a bad parody of the actual history of Japan, East Asia, and WWII. To them, Japan was the good guy against Western Imperialism and ingrate colonized Asian countries.

Like Cooke, Tanaka was caught attempting to alter several passages in a Japanese General's diary to aid his revisionist agenda by a Japanese newspaper in the 1980s. Despite being publicly discredited within Japan, he still continues to publish his screed painting Japan as the good guy and the Western Allies, including Americans as Western imperialists.

Anonymous said...

4:04 anon,

You've got the timing wrong. The rest of us discovered our genitals at puberty and said "Eureka". These folk must not have discovered them until sometime between finishing their graduate school classes and writing their dissertations. Most of us outgrew that focus and went on to other things (in addition to, not instead of).

One of the things that amazes me about some of the folks KC is exposing is how meager their writing output is. I always thought there was a glut of PhD's in the humanities and that faculty positions were highly competitive. Even if a lot of would consider their writings drivel, I'm surprised there is more of it.

Anonymous said...

Instead of the affected lower case, perhaps she should sign her name in no case at all.

Anonymous said...

I noticed a typo in the introduction to cooke's book on War on her website. It is on page 5, and it reads: "... will be seem to be ...." I'm sure she meant either "will seem to be" or "will be." The book is already in print, but she could inform the 6 or 7 owners of the book about the problem so they can correct it in their copies. [Public Service Announcement concludes]

Cooke also used the word "herstories" without quotations around it in that same introduction. Very brave.

The person who keeps writing, "Is [fill in blank] a Communist," should check out the Raleigh F.I.S.T. website and their red star logo with the "fist" as the upward point of the star. Raleigh F.I.S.T. also has a nasty, inaccurate "accounting" of the case linked on their website, post-Cooper "innocent" declaration.

My favorite mischaracterizations: (1) That Duke lax players "threatened to rape them with a broomstick," and (2) that one of the boys "threatened to kill 'the bitches' and cut off their skin ...."


[Speculation Alert!] If we got cooke on the leather couch, would she admit that she is extra-aggresive in her writings and protests because she feels a need to "show her street cred" to the other members of the Asian and African Literature Department who are less white than she? Just sayin'.... [They don't like their own medicine, so this one might sting a little bit].
"K.C. Johnson carries a tattered piece of paper in his wallet with Satan's signature and the sentence: 'I owe you one soul.'" DANTE, "STUFF I SAW WITH MY OWN EYES," at p. 412 (Pressa de Milano, 1304). My Opinions ONLY! Gregory

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I just went back (and I urge other readers to do the same) and re-read the profiles on Farred, Sigal, Rudy, Deutsch, and the rest of the 88 already profiled. I think Farred's is probably the worst, but in every case the actions of these Duke Professors is simply inexcusable. It makes perfect sense that they should sign on to the ad denouncing their own students.

It's really quite clear. These professors are not trying to hide the fact that they deeply dislike a large number of the Duke student body.

It's alarming and it's shameful.

Anonymous said... cooke's hubby has his own special kind of webpage.

I linked to where it goes from his intro page.

See if this works....then wait a few seconds for his little show.



Anonymous said...

"she capitalizes neither her first nor her last name"

Does anyone ever capitalize one but not the other? Wouldn't 'M'iriam cooke
be more in line with her theoretical decisions? Capitalizing Miriam as a symbol of the empowerment of women, not capitalizing cooke as a rejection of patriarchy.

Gary Packwood said...

The G88 are not going to be pleased with this new publication.

Duke First Annual Athletics Report

"For the first time, Duke University Athletics released an annual report on the incredible happenings and accomplishments within the department over the past year".

Anonymous said...

I recently read an obituary for a man who had fathered three children by three different women, and not one of them had his last name. The end of the patriarchy is near. We used to call such kids bastards. Remember, unfathered (of course, someone had to father them, right Precious) kids will remember, and they will not take kindly to a society that allows this regardless of what academics say about it.

Anonymous said...

Has KC changed the format?

Something's different.


kcjohnson9 said...

Yes--blogger has an updated format, so the blog changed along with it . . .

Anonymous said...

Mike Lee 6;17

"These professors are not trying to hide the fact that they deeply dislike a large number of the Duke student body."

You hit the nail on the head. What a damning statement to make about a faculty member. BOT, Brodhead, and decent members of the Duke proffesoriat. What are you doing about this?

Anonymous said...

To Gregory--

The modification of words like "herstories" makes me heave.

Are these people so mentally sterile that this kind of affected idiocy--including the altering of every word with "man" as a suffix...etc..-- signifies a leap into a higher consciousness?

This is playground navel-gazing taken to the nth degree.


Anonymous said...

One of my favorite things about Middle Eastern culture.

The good professor cooke should try it!



Anonymous said...

You guys really need to click on the update that KC provided of cooke and hubby.

I meant to go back and check out the three little videos on her husband's website later and have just now seen them.

These two doughnuts are vying to be Duke's Regis and Kathy Lee it seems. LOL!!!

In depth conversations between the two of them in their rustic Hillsborough hideaway.

The matrix of intellectual ecstacy!


Anonymous said...

Those Muslims try the zaniest things...

Thank goodness Duke has someone so dogmatically defending the religion of peace.

What's the over/under on how long before she asks to have crosses removed from Duke Chapel.

Be sure and check out the video (not violent) in the top right corner.

Plot Would Have Killed Thousands

You have to get to the second page before the word "Muslim" is written. But hey it's ABC, someone probably will get fired for allowing it to be included.

Anonymous said...

As noted, bruce lawrence is MIRIAM COOKE’s husband. On Bruce Lawrence’s web site, he has a prayer. He wrote that prayer. He claims it to be his own.

In pertinent part it states:

“In Islam is the abode of peace. Let it expand and expand engulfing all claimants to Abraham’s faith – be they Jews, be they Christians, and also in Your mercy, be they Muslims.”

This is remarkably similar in tone to his wife’s comment regarding Islam being the “ideal just society.”

“Let Islam expand and engulf all claimants to Abraham’s faith….”

This person, however brilliant or however demented, prays that Islam replace Christianity and Judaism. How more presumptuous could a person be? Is this not Al Qaeda preaching its mission with the protection of tenure at a world class research university?

Sedition. Pure and simple, this is sedition.

If this person is not a US citizen, he should be deported. If he is a US citizen, he should be tried for high crimes and misdemeanors before a jury of his peers….American peers with the same education that would have judged the lacrosse team.

And capital punishment should not be precluded.

Ah. The Gander looks at the Goose.

Anonymous said...

Here's the leftist plan.

1. Form an alliance with the islamofascists in order to destroy capitalism and take over.

2. Declare free cheese and thereby cause the islamofascist threat (which arises only because of "conditions") to evaporate forever.

The islamofascists beat the sucker leftists in Iran. They'll do it every time.

Anonymous said...

miriam cooke ph.d. ?

As punctilious as dr. cooke appears to about the listing of her name, I would expect her to deplore your [mis-]characterization of her doctoral degree.

Oxford University, in England, does not award Ph. D.s.

It does award D.Phil.s.

Anonymous said...

Viewing their giddy little videos about themselves I could not help but notice that these two have done rather well peddling their academic snake oil. Hubby is on sabbatical, which means he is paid rather handsomely for doing nothing, in his case a tremendous improvement over doing something. The truth is, Duke and Duke students would benefit enormously if all of the 88 phony cronies went on sabbatical for a few years, relieving themselves from their grueling nine hour work week.

Anonymous said...

These people are spoiled. They fundamentally do not know what they are talking about, nor do they understand the debt they owe to people who have provided them with the freedom to essentially and metaphorically "piss" on everything they want to piss on. These are the people Hitler would have found useful. Frauds, yep!

Anonymous said...

TO 11:23 and 11:24PM--

Actually, the superfluous existence of cooke and her husband goes far beyond uselessness or being spoiled.

They represent the total destruction of what any of us used to think of as teachers or professors.

Those three goofy (should-have-been-made-for-family-and-friends-only) videos would work any night of the week as a skit on the Jay Leno Show....referencing someone's loony aunt and uncle.

Duke's Gritty literati


Anonymous said...

I have seen the anger that these professors teach manifest itself in multiple confrontations in my and my family's life. Permitting it to continue is not good for our society.

Duke BOT - take a stand - do your job - fix the problem. Or before long the cult following this blog ia attracting will gain critical mass and get bigger than you are. And who knows what pressures might be generated at that point in time.

Anonymous said...

I think we can all agree that a large number of the 88 and their supporters are aware of the existence of this blog and read the information posted here. From some of the posts we've seen criticizing KC's profiles it's clear that information contained on this blog bothers some people.

There are 2 points I'd like to make to any detractors who may want to criticize the things posted about the 88.

1) In his critiques KC uses the group's own words. If the 88 look foolish or ignorant, it's because they said or wrote something foolish or ignorant.

2) If you think KC is being unfair or making invalid assumptions about anyone, please put yourself in the shoes of a Duke lacrosse player in April 2006.

These professors publicly branded these innocent young men as rapists because of their preconceived notions about the holy trinity of race/sex/gender. They made a terrible decision to prejudge innocent men because of their biases. Despite their awful transgressions they are unapologetic.

Their actions, scholarship, credentials, writings, and statements need to be scrutinized to the greatest extent possible. Every dirty skeleton about these folks needs to be removed from the closet and examined with a fine tooth comb. Their actions were and continue to be deplorable. For sitting idly and doing nothing the BOT and University President deserve the same.

It's been said on this website a thousand times, but sunlight really is the best disinfectant.

Anonymous said...

BOTS Johnnie Mack (CEO Morgan Stanley) and Ricky Waggoner (CEO GM) better watch out for these anti-capitalist 88 types that are proliferating on campus.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Is Cooke a Communist?

8/6/07 9:28 AM

======================================================================You keep asking this idiotic question. But its certainly not idiotic in this case.

Anonymous said...

"Ms. cooke's husband, Duke Prof. Bruce Lawrence"

Aha! Another spousal hire, like Kim Curtis. When you're a spousal hire you know that you didn't get your job on merit, and you know that you're not going to lose or keep it based on performance. That's an inherently corrupting position to be in.

Anonymous said...

8/7 12:09 AM -


"Their actions, scholarship, credentials, writings, and statements need to be scrutinized to the greatest extent possible. Every dirty skeleton about these folks needs to be removed from the closet and examined with a fine tooth comb."

I agree completely, but would like to add some more context. Humans make errors or mistakes in judgement. Perhaps all of us have said or written things that we would - in hindsight - rather not have. Likely, we hope such examples are isolated cases.

KC's examinations of the 88's bodies of work and public track records are producing tremendously valuable and revealing evidence that the 88's actions in the Duke LAX case were and are NOT atypical for them. The "ad" they took out and their other public bloviations are CONSISTENT with all they have done before.

Those deeds and utterances were not anomalies from which they now cringe in retrospect, but clear signals as to what they will continue to do in the future. This is why KC's repeated injunction that these are the people who will strongly influence future hires is all the more chilling.

Anonymous said...


I'd like to read the DELETED blogs. What's the problem with them?

A faithful reader of DIW

Anonymous said...

As an addendum to yesterday's comments, the following was reported in the news last night --

"JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli security officials on Monday warned citizens traveling in Egypt, Jordan and other Muslim countries to leave immediately due to a "concrete and severe" threat of terror attacks.

Israelis anywhere in the world should also be alert to the danger of being kidnapped by operatives from Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, according to the announcement from Israel's National Security Council."

Also, is it possible that various pro-Islamic academicians are also Al Qaeda 'sleepers'? What better cover than to be right out in the open, with the blessing and support of your employer and your community and with the ease of travel.

I wonder if Homeland Security will be monitoring overseas calls of cooke and company.

Anonymous said...

Here's a question for which, mirabile dictu, I do not have an answer:

How much freedom should a university professor be given to make a fool of him/herself?

Where---after viewing and listening to cooke and her "herstories"-whipped husband---is the threshold?


Anonymous said...

I suspect it is Professor's Cooke's politics rather than her research that bothers so many of the people who post here. Get used to tolerating dissident opinions!

Anonymous said...

TO 3:48PM--

Psst! Let me tell you a little secret:

No, that's not it.

Personally, I have lived around professors most of my life. Even dated them on and off all my adult life.

I know the we all do.....and most of all, Harvard-eduated-prolificly-published-author-professor KC Johnson knows everything about this issue.

Dissident opinions are the least of anyone's concerns here.

miriam cooke and her husband are certified loons on a stick...and not very sharp loons, at that.

Pure and simple.

If only the Gang of 88 had drawn attention to themselves by having different opinions....then most of the country would not be so alarmed by their institutional squalor.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I suspect it is Professor's Cooke's politics rather than her research that bothers so many of the people who post here. Get used to tolerating dissident opinions!

8/7/07 3:48 PM


cooke obviously isn't completely stupid. She's fluent in a difficult foreign language. (I wonder how many professors in African & African-American Studies are fluent in an African language, like Yoruba or Swahili.) And Oxford doesn't give doctorates to unqualified people.

No one is advocating that her political opinions, dissident or otherwise, should not be "tolerated" -- i.e. that she should be silenced.

But it's legitimate to comment that a lot of her political and social views are irrational to the point of being comic; and that they do seem to have come to dominate her teaching, research, publication and general behavior. Especially when her worldview leads her to falsely acccuse her students of rape and applaud calls for their castration.

Anonymous said...

3:48 p.m., it's not a matter of tolerating dissident opinions. The problem is that cooke's politics corrupt her scholarship.

Anonymous said...

How do her politics in particular--as opposed, say, to those of someone's with which you agree--corrupt her politics? This seems like a mighty silly comment to me!!

Anonymous said...


one speaks so softly to maximize audience attention.


mac said...

Let's just say that her logic - (such as it is) - is flawed and overburdened with nonsense, her
scholarship on the issue of "colonialism" is skewed to the point of profound confusion, and her bias makes her appear as a finger-painter in a school of Dutch Masters.