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David Thompson
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March 16, 2011

Comments

rjmadden

Surely all of them are phoney...?

David

“Surely all of them are phoney...?”

Well, they do exist.

“This essay argues that the cross-dimensional plot device in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, Turtles Forever (2010) provides opportunities for feminine reading strategies through combining cross-generational representations from this particular cult text… I examine the performative aspects of the cross-dimensional Ninja Turtles in Turtles Forever, in relationship to a paratextual analysis of the 1987 and 2003 TMNT series DVD boxes. This allows me to conclude by exploring how Turtles Forever and TMNT promotional paratexts reinforce feminine and masculine reading strategies through industrial ‘route-making’.”

And I won’t have any laughing. This is vital intellectual work.

Frank

Dr Caroline Guertin: ooh, she really is a keeper isn't she, total and utter fraud, but a keeper. Looks the way you would expect her to as well.

Reading that teaching statement of hers linked to above is surprising. The woman is a polymath that seems to be across just about every area of human knowledge available. I wonder how they act when a mathematician is around and starts quizzing them on the relevance of the choice of Hilbert space versus say a Banach space. And exactly what metric they are using etc etc.

rjmadden

The higher education bubble is obviously a myth.

TDK

To be fair credit should go to Mr Briggs http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=3586

David

TDK,

Post updated to include the missing credit.

rabbit

This is why the best use of a PhD in the humanities is for wrapping burgers in.

Anna

Jesus, the Brown Skinned Revolutionary: Was Jesus a Marxist Rapper?

Er, no?

Phew. That was easy.

David

“The higher education bubble is obviously a myth.”

Heh. Yes, there’s quite a lot of fat on that bacon. Some studies suggest that the overwhelming majority of humanities scholarship goes uncited or unread. Given the examples above and others in the archives, that figure isn’t especially surprising.

I’ve nothing against pondering pop cultural trivia per se, but as a measure of intellectual merit it’s cheap currency. And I’m not sure that lengthy and pretentious speculation about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (for instance) has much of a commercial application either. Is it a skill that many employers crave? I mean, what are the employment prospects – beyond spending one’s life in the Clown Quarter of the humanities, possibly at public expense, and inflicting the same hokey noodling on other students?

Fred

Frank: I wonder how they act when a mathematician is around and starts quizzing them on the relevance of the choice of Hilbert space versus say a Banach space. And exactly what metric they are using etc etc.

you think they would let a mathematician in the room, let alone finish such a question?

These kinds of events are purely a self-reinforcing closed shop for self-congratulation. There is no dissent, for to express such dissent would indicate lack of understanding, even though objectively there is nothing to understand.

To be brutally honest, I struggle to understand this kind of "scholarship" when starting from a presumption of good intentions on the part of the "scholars". It gets easier to understand when one is cynical, and presumes a combination of intellectual insecurity and a desire to justify one's salary and position in the faculty with publication volume.

Somebody more eloquent than me once described the pomo writing style as something along the lines of conflating impenetrability of prose with intelligence. Hence, the more impenetrable and nonsensical the piece, the more intelligent the author must be, and it proves how ignorant the reader is because he or she cannot understand it.

mojo

"Good jobs for Philosophers, too!"
-- Firesign Theatre, 1980

David

Fred,

“...a combination of intellectual insecurity and a desire to justify one’s salary and position...”

The insecurity aspect is, I think, pertinent and people who are pretending something are more inclined to be insecure. There’s a fear of being rumbled, hence the gratuitous mannerisms. I tend to picture some small squishy creature inflating its gas bladder and hissing in the hope of intimidating passers-by. Tim Burke referred to it as the porcupine strategy.

Frank

I tend to picture some small squishy creature inflating its gas bladder and hissing in the hope of intimidating passers-by.

I am stealing that one.

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