This may wind up being one of the greatest hoaxes in the history of American academia, but it wasn’t pulled off by some group of political pranksters or bloggers. James Lindsay, Peter Boghossian and Helen Pluckrose are an accomplished group of academics who have grown alarmed at what they describe as “grievance studies” in contemporary universities. Most of these programs fall under the more general category of social science, women’s studies and related fields and have, in the opinion of these authors, crossed the line, substituting political correctness for actual science.
In order to test this theory, they wrote a series of papers which were intentionally ridiculous and submitted them to prominent, peer-reviewed journals. And when I say ridiculous, I mean one of the papers was composed in two parts, the second of which copied directly from one chapter of Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Another suggested keeping white and male students in chains during classes to adjust their views of entitlement and power. In what will likely not come as much of a surprise to our regular readers, a number of these papers were seriously reviewed, including suggested changes from the journals, and then published. (USA Today)
Do you think putting white and male students on the floor in chains as a form of “experiential reparations” is a good educational opportunity? How about inviting them to listen and learn in silence throughout their course? We don’t.
Within the academic fields utilizing what we’ve called “grievance studies,” however, these ideas are perfectly acceptable. We discovered this by submitting a paper on feminist educational theory to arguably the most respected feminist philosophy journal in the world, Hypatia.