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February 08, 2005

More Ward Churchill

Marc Cooper has an excellent post up in which he quotes, hell, reproduces an essay from Swarthmore history professor Timothy Burke. Go read it. While I'm pretty sure I don't agree with their politics I do agree with their analysis (aside from the pathetic shots at Glenn Reynolds) of the problem that Churchill represents for academe.

Posted by Mr. Bingley at February 8, 2005 08:56 PM


Shorter essay, that saves time and sticks to the essential: "Ward Churchill is a nutcase."

Posted by: Jorgen at February 9, 2005 09:50 AM

jorgen, do you work for Cliffs Notes? ;)

that does sum it up rather well.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at February 9, 2005 09:58 AM

Pretty good, but I think the essay is a little too generous on the guilt of the (non-science) Academy. Academics such as Churchill are more common than "not idiosyncratic".

Posted by: John at February 9, 2005 02:27 PM

Sadly, John, I think they are more common amongst his age group certainly; yet more trash left over from the 60s that we have to smell for a few more years.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at February 9, 2005 07:59 PM

I saw a lot of these clowns of '68 in the humanities (I took grad classes in Russian Literature and Linguistics). Many sceintists in the Academy are on the left, too, but they tend to be on the Alan Sokal side of the fence, and you can usually have a dialog with them. Their leftism really stems from their personal choice to stay insulated in the Academy to do science "for the public good", as well as a realistic view that Democrats tend to throw money at academic science.

My thesis advisor voted straight Democratic based purely on the likelihood of funding of the NSF and NIH, although he hedged his bets with DoD grants, too (I worked on the defense-related work).

You're right about having to smell them for a few more years. They are clinging to the Academy like barnacles. It used to be you'd never see a Ph.D. grad from science powerhouses such as Stanford or MIT looking for treaching positions at small schools, but that is the situation now, and will be until about 2012.

It was so bad in Slavic Linguistics that my school quit accepting doctoral students for a few years after finding out that in the previous year there were 100 applicants for every one of the 4 open positions in the US that year. We used to make fun of the doctoral students in the humanities by saying that their Ph.D. stood either for Piled Higher and Deeper or Post Hole Digger.

Posted by: John at February 10, 2005 09:22 AM