Taking on “Grievance Studies”. Hilarious and frightening.

Although I am irritated with Rod Dreher, he published something in equal measures hilarious and alarming.

It just goes to show how fast our society is devolving into imbecilic madness.

A taste:

You have GOT to read this, from Quillette!  It starts with this editor’s note:

Editor’s note: For the past year scholars James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian have sent fake papers to various academic journals which they describe as specialising in activism or “grievance studies.” Their stated mission has been to expose how easy it is to get “absurdities and morally fashionable political ideas published as legitimate academic research.”

To date, their project has been successful: seven papers have passed through peer review and have been published, including a 3000 word excerpt of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, rewritten in the language of Intersectionality theory and published in the Gender Studies journal Affilia.


In a press release, the three scholars say:

Because the scholarship we infiltrated represents a view that currently has a great deal of cultural power (though very little political power, at least in the United States in most districts), and because that power is nearly absolute within the universities (and seems to be going that way in media and many businesses, including large corporations), one conclusion this project provides is a permission slip for academics and others to openly doubt the scholarship that seems to legitimize and institutionalize these conclusions as factual.

Because this is just one project, however, with limited scope and duration, we want it to be a starting point to a proper and thorough review of the fields, journals, disciplines, and scholarship that has allowed this to be possible.

Here’s a link to the fake papers they submitted successfully to Grievance Studies journals.

At one point the piece gets a little raw, but it is a thorough savaging of prevailing academia.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. rtjl says:

    I have to ask. Why are you irritated with Rod Dreher?

  2. Ellen says:

    This is so accurate and depressing. Academic writing is filled with this dreck. At one point in my life, I wanted to get a PhD, but the rot was beginning and I couldn’t even fake it like these people did.

  3. Justalurkingfool says:

    rtjl asks:

    Why are you irritated with Rod Dreher?

    Perhaps, it is because Rod left the Catholic Church, and I DO NOT CARE WHO DISAGREES, for the ADULTEROUS ORTHODOX!!!

    The Orthodox and Rod need to repent, in public in the open, and return to the ONLY CHURCH FOUNDED BY JESUS CHRIST, The Catholic Church.

    I might be wrong that this is THE REASON, for Fr Z’z irritation. But his abandonment was done in public and REMAINS SCANDALOUS!



  4. JonPatrick says:

    Dreher also seems to have joined the knee jerk never-Trumpers you sometimes find on the Right. He takes pot shots but never seems to really explain his dislike. He also seems to have gotten on the Climate Change bandwagon. But in many issues he is spot on, particularly the need for a “Benedict Option”.

  5. The Masked Chicken says:

    This has been done, before, by physicist Alan Sokal at NYU. It is known in academia as the Sokal Affair:


    The problem isn’t that the humanities are, in general, populated by imbeciles. The problem is that they are populated, in certain areas, by people who are out of touch with the idea of there being truths beyond themselves. They believe that they create truth, on-the-fly, in cooperation, forced or not, with other people. Of course, it takes money and prestige to maintain that illusion, so the poorer the person, the less likely they are to believe in their own nonsense.

    The reason sciences are, for the most part, immune to this is because their truths are, literally, outside of themselves. Nature doesn’t care if you think Helium having an atomic mass of 4 amu is dreadful. Things are the way they are. In science, especially the hard sciences, the whole purpose is to get the numbers right. If the humanities had to get the numbers right, these sorts of shenanigans would be far less likely to happen. In large measure, the ills afflicting society, today, have been fomented by people who refused to believe that 2+2=4. They don’t want to discover the laws of Nature and Nature’s God – they want to replace them with their own. Of course, in due time, nature will hit them with a two-by-four and prove them to be the delusional people they are, but it is in the nature of delusions to see what they want to see.

    If humanities could be converted into math, these problems would vanish, overnight. Music was sort of converted to math by Rameau in the early 1700’s, so, music is, relatively immune to certain postmodern influences, even if musicians, are not. We will, eventually, be able to convert humor studies into math, so only comedians will be afflicted, not the humor (when somebody says, “that’s not funny,” they will be able to prove it). Every English professor should be forced to learn Natural Language Programming and Computational Semantics. Every theologian should be forced to learn lattice theory.

    In other words, these faux humanities scholars can’t do the math for their fields of study. Creativity is not mathematical, since it supervenes math, but being accountable to something beyond oneself, which math-like rigor forces one to do, is what is missing from humanities, today. It was not always, thus. Sadly, the disconnect began in the Enlightenment, when the humanities and the physical sciences went their own separate ways. Aquinas’s theology is very mathematical, but after Kant, things slowly began to fall apart in theology, leading to Modernism and La Nouvelle Theology, neither one of which is concerned with rigor. What Gender studies is to biology, Pope Francis’s ambiguity and accompaniment notions are to theology. Both are disconnected from accountability (which is, of course, the science of getting the numbers, the account, right).

    The Chicken

  6. Thomas says:

    The article was hilarious. In one of the fake pieces, the authors took the text of Mein Kempf by Hitler and replaced all references to jews with white men. Of course, it was accepted for publication!

  7. Justalurkingfool says:

    Dear Chicken,

    Probably way late, but when I heard of his death, immediately, you came to mind.

    Please remember to pray for Matthew P. Freivald, to most of us lurkers, Zippy Catholic.
    We and his family lost a very good man.

    Could I ask for your prayers for my family as well, related to heath issues? I could use
    all the prayers that I can get.

    I hope that you are hanging in there. Glad to see a post by you from time to time.

    God be with you.


  8. The Cobbler says:

    This academic sting op reminds me I need to read On Being Sane in Insane Places again.

    Actually sort of relevant (if only distantly or indirectly) to the whole St. Luke’s issue too.

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