16.12.17

LET'S DECLARE IDIOCY A FORM OF INTELLECT.

Civility is oppression.  Seriously.
Through an analysis of interview data, [Northern Iowa researchers C. Kyle Rudick and Kathryn B. Golsan] generated 3 categories describing whiteness-informed civility (WIC): (a) WIC functions to create a good White identity, (b) WIC functions to erase racial identity, and (c) WIC functions to assert control of space. These thematic concepts show how WIC is characterized by logics of race-evasion, avoidance of race-talk, and exclusion of people of color. The authors conclude by offering ways for instructors to interrogate WIC through classroom practices informed by critical communication pedagogy.
The article is from Taylor and Francis, a publishing outfit that provides @RealPeerReview no end of material.  And of course, dear reader, any scholar who uses "interrogate" as if some institutional concept ought be dragged into the Lubyanka for round-the-clock questioning and then dispatched with a small pistol.

So how does this oppression take place?
Students who indicated that they “treat everyone the same way” were accused of trying to create a “good White identity,” according to Rudick and Goslan’s analysis.

“First, participants stated that they tried to avoid talking about race or racism with students of color to minimize the chance that they would say something ‘wrong’ and be labeled a racist,” the professors report. “Another way that participants described how they tried to be civil when interacting with students of color was to be overly nice or polite.”

White students who make an extra effort to be nice to students of color, Rudick and Goslan claim, are merely upholding “white privilege” and “white racial power.”
That used to be called "good manners." But when you're deconstructing institutions, never mind that you might be deconstructing civilization at the same time.  Or, if you're Mr Rudick, that might be a desirable outcome.
I am critical communication scholar who studies how power, privilege, and oppression are constructed and marshaled through everyday communicative performances. Specifically, I focus on how communication that occurs within and across educational contexts (e.g., K-12 public schools and higher education) functions to (re)produce our shared social realities. My research and teaching interests are predicated upon my strong belief that contemporary society is rife with inequalities and that it is my (your, our) ethical duty to imagine and pursue a life of freedom, equality, and harmony. My primary mode of activism is through research and teaching, where I encourage ideas that are counter to oppressive logics such as classism, racism, and sexism (to name a few). Please send me a message if you would like to discuss my work further.
Because it's so much better to (re)invent our social realities ab initio, ad infinitum.  Give the kid props, though, for putting such an obvious content warning on his home page.

But that's probably not the most egregious academic outrage of the week.  For that we must recognize Purdue's Donna Riley, for whom rigor is oppressive. (Yup, more treats from Taylor and Francis.)
Rigor accomplishes dirty deeds, however, serving three primary ends across engineering, engineering education, and engineering education research: disciplining, demarcating boundaries, and demonstrating white male heterosexual privilege. Understanding how rigor reproduces inequality, we cannot reinvent it but rather must relinquish it, looking to alternative conceptualizations for evaluating knowledge, welcoming diverse ways of knowing, doing, and being, and moving from compliance to engagement, from rigor to vigor.
I'll paraphrase Hank Rearden. Run along, punk. Come up with an alternative conceptualization to evaluate a heat of steel.

No wonder Commentary's Warren Treadgold bemoans "The Death of Scholarship."
In applying postmodernist theories repetitively and uncritically to every subject under the sun, leftist scholars necessarily arrive at the same few stale conclusions time and again. It is only the rigor and honesty of traditional scholarship that allow for the flourishing of new knowledge. And in effectively barring that practice from universities, postmodernist scolds have fashioned and ennobled a regime of obscurantism.
Don't say I didn't warn you, or that Common Cause's John Gardner didn't notice the rot, years ago.

Let Power Line's Steven Hayward bring the smack.
[M]ost of the so-called “new knowledge” in the humanities is, simply put, crap. And the increasing narrowness if not irrelevancy of large swaths of academic social science (including, sadly, economics in too many cases) is leaving students cold. (See: Any of my “academic absurdity” posts here, which I could file on an hourly basis if I wanted to.)
Indeed. I limit my cataloging of academic atrocities, in part to keep my spirits up.  But as long as Taylor and Francis proliferate those trendy journals, Campus Reform and Real Peer Review and the rest are unlikely to be idle.

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