December 28, 2004

“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” First Annual

“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” First Annual “Worst Academic Paper Title” Competition: And the Winner Is…

Well, dear reader, the big day has finally arrived. Our Official Contest Judges have devoted the requisite hours of work necessary to announce the winner of the First Annual “Worst Academic Paper Title” Competition.

As you can imagine, dear reader, it proved very difficult for our Official Judges to sort through all of the pseudo-intellectual fluff we received and arrive at a clear victor. Accordingly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have decided to offer a few runner-up prizes to those entrants who submitted titles that were gloriously stupid, but didn’t quite have the stuff to take home the trophy, if you will.

Before we get to the Official Announcement of Our Official Contest Winners, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would like to thank all of our readers who troubled themselves to send us an entry. In a perfect world, you would all win, as you are all winners. In reality, however, some of you lost big.

We must also mention one contestant whose magnificent entry, unfortunately, was disqualified. Mr. Mike Zorn sent us this hysterical title to an academic book: The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory by Carol J. Adams. Now that, dear reader, is the stuff of pseudo-theoretical hilarity! Alas, dear reader, it is the title of a book, not a paper, and could not be considered for the prize. Given the quality of Mr. Zorn’s entry, we would not be surprised to learn that rag-tag assortments of Americans nation-wide were gathering to protest our Official Disqualification Team’s ruling.

With that friendly throat-clearing out of the way, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are pleased as peacocks to present:

The Official Announcement of Our Official Contest Winners

Fourth Runner-Up:
Justin Torres sent us the following article title, which offers a glimpse into the world of professors of education—the kind of academics whom even sociologists look down upon:

“The Circle of Learning: Individual and Group Processes” by Ernest Chang and Don Simpson.

What wishy-washy garbage! Even though this title is not ultra-ridiculous, we thought that it beautifully captures the noxious stench of political correctness that wafts in the academic breezes. No wonder our children can’t read or write. And, if you thought the title was vaguely horrendous, check out a portion of the abstract: “Using combinations of two dimensions, the first being whether the learner’s activities are By-Oneself or With-Peers, and the second whether the process orientation is toward the Person as the focus of the learning or toward the Group as the focus, we derive four quadrants in Activity-Orientation learning space.” We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” earnestly hope that our children never compose such hackneyed trash.

Third Runner-Up:
Ally, the clever mind behind the marvelous “weblog” Who Moved My Truth, offered this entry, from the journal "Archives of Sexual Behavior":

“Sexual Behavior After Head Injury in Indian Men and Women” by S. Saghesan and M. Natarajan.

Given the scintillating topic for discussion, we were surprised to find that neither of these two authors are household names. We wonder how they came up with the idea. Perhaps another learned character penned an article entitled “Sexual Behavior After Head Injury in Hungarian Men and Women,” or “Sexual Behavior After Head Injury in Scottish Men and Sheep,” which inspired Saghesan and Natarajan.

Second Runner-Up:
Stephen Baldwin, the “weblogging” aesthete who runs the great “website” Stephenesque, sent us the following entry, which is the title of a paper given this year at the University of Leeds:

“Queer Slants and Straight Orientations” by Sara Ahmed.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” know what you are thinking: That’s clever and all, but what the heck does it mean? Perhaps a portion of the abstract may help you: “[This paper] explores the spatiality of sexuality and suggests that heteronormativity involves the repetition not just of norms, but also of certain 'directionality,' which puts some objects (and not others) into view.”

Thanks for clearing that up, Ms. Ahmed. We particularly savored the ridiculously redundant phrase “which puts some objects (and not others) into view.”

First Runner-Up:
The good Colonel Blimp, the master behind the thoughtful “weblog” Blimpish, offered this entry, taken from “GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies”:

“Eternal Flame: State Formation, Deviant Architecture, and the Monumentality of Same-Sex Eroticism in the Roman d’Eneas” by Noah D. Guynn.

Boy, and you thought Mr. Baldwin’s title was confusing! As the good Colonel remarked: “Putting state formation, architecture and queer theory all in one article takes some doing, I think.” Indeed, this article must have taken Mr. Guynn at least ten minutes to write. And imagine all the examples of “deviant architecture” he had to visit for his research!

The Winner:
Naturally, dear reader, given the high quality of the runner-up titles, the winner was going to have to be a humdinger. And a humdinger it is. A reader who goes by the curious name Its [sic] Just Dan sent us the following title, culled from the journal “College English”:

“Befriending the Medieval Queer: A Pedagogy for Literature Classes” by Richard E. Zeikowitz.

Wow! That’s academic inanity for you! The summary of the piece says it all: “Analyzes Grendel ('Beowulf'), the Green Knight ('Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'), and the Pardoner ('The Canterbury Tales'). Notes that they are all 'queer' characters in that they are not typical men of the time and they pose a challenge or threat to normative homosocial desire. Suggests that traditional readings of these characters have obscured their disruptive queerness.”

Oh, dear. Grendel, the disruptive queer? We think that you will agree, dear reader, that this feculent article clearly takes the cake.

As such, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are delighted to announce that Mr. Its [sic] Just Dan has won our First Annual “Worst Academic Paper Title” Competition.

Posted at December 28, 2004 12:01 AM | TrackBack