9.3.16

DERIVATIVE AND REALLY USELESS SCHOLARSHIP.

The American Association of University Professors will be investigating the firing of Melissa Click from Missouri at Columbia. "Normative practice among American institutions of higher education is that a faculty member with indefinite tenure—or a probationary faculty member within the term of appointment—may be dismissed only following demonstration of cause in an adjudicative hearing before a faculty body." This is right and proper.  Procedural protections exist for a reason.

And Ms Click has a weak tenure case.  Marc Randazza of Popehat knows how higher education works, and he summarizes it as "her 12 year career ... is f***ing useless."
Her CV indicates someone with a very shallow view of the marketplace of ideas, and someone who figured out how to game the system, but not someone who has much to offer when it comes to expanding knowledge, or just teaching students how to do anything useful.

Don't get me wrong, hers was a brilliant path for anyone who wants to get hired in social science academia.
Go, read, and understand the whole thing. Perhaps if there are any adults left in the departmental or collegiate promotion committees, she's gone for the right reasons.

But what is it about culture-studies types and Thomas the Tank Engine?
She's not quite finished with The trouble with Thomas: A closer look at the popular children’s Series. I presume that Thomas the Train is an agent of the Patriarchy, and railroads are a metaphor for rape culture, or something like that.
Doesn't matter. It's derivative.  Perhaps the culture-studies machinery goes to Shining Time Station for fun.  Or perhaps for tenure.  (And what are the semiotics of "Caitlyn," a streamlined President Pacific?)  I'm with John Hinderaker.
If you put a gun to my head and made me read one or the other–Fifty Shades of Grey or Thomas the Tank Engine–I would go with Thomas. I do wonder, however, what the feminist angle on Thomas the Tank could possibly be.
Derivative scholarship.

For what it's worth, Thomas is Really Useful with autistic kids.  "That's in addition to aiding and abetting the recruitment of the next generation of ferroequinologists."

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