[lbo-talk] QUT to discipline academics for advocating humanity (part three) please sign or e-mail

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Thu May 24 17:26:17 PDT 2007

On Tue, 22 May 2007 19:14:30 -0700 Tim <tim_boetie at fastmail.fm> writes:

> The particular project is just a jumping-off point for an article
> about
> relativism in the humanities. Is it really right for senior
> academics to
> attack a PhD student in a national newspaper in order to make some
> kind
> of point about what they think is wrong with academia?

Why not, if in the opinion of the aforementioned academics, the thesis project of that PhD student is thought to examplify what they believe to be wrong with contemporary academic life. Are we going to seriously argue that because one is a "mere" PhD student, that student's work should be immune to public criticism from other academics? I find it troubling that a university administration should feel it necessary to take such a heavyhanded approach in an effort to stiffle debate.

> And Hookham
> and
> MacLennan's employment of the project in this way casts some doubt on
> the sincerity of their concern for the rights of disabled people -
> nowhere in their article, for example, do they mention that Noonan's
> project was undertaken in collaboration with a disability-rights
> group:
> http://larvatusprodeo.net/2007/05/10/4139/#comment-366623
> (though it's been criticized by other local disabled organizations,
> so
> it's obviously not cut and dried). Moreover, the whole tone of
> Hookham
> and MacLennan's criticism of Noonan's project is problematic (and
> seems
> to be repeated in the petitions). To quote a blog post on the
> subject:

Well if the university administrators want to make that sort of a case on behalf of the PhD student, then let them. The one thing that the administrators should not be doing is trying to suppress debate by disciplining the two academics who were criticizing the student's thesis project.

> "The op/ed doesn’t really need parsing, but it’s worth noting in
> passing
> that the so-called concerns expressed appear to deny all agency to
> people with disabilities, and construct us as poor souls in need of
> protection."
> http://larvatusprodeo.net/2007/04/13/laughing-at-the-disabled/
> Anyway, like I say, I have no real knowledge of the case - but it
> looks
> on the surface not to be quite as simple as these petitions make out.
> --
> "Boredom is the threshold to great deeds."
> -- Walter Benjamin
> ___________________________________
> http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/mailman/listinfo/lbo-talk

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list