December 11, 2004

Academia Goes A-Wrasslin’ Although everyone

Academia Goes A-Wrasslin’

Although everyone this side of Delta Burke seems preoccupied with the 2004 Weblog Awards, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” want to remind you of another ongoing contest: Our Official First Annual “Worst Academic Paper Title” Competition (which you can read about here).

In the past week or so we have received a number of entries from our rabid fans, but we hope to exhort more. As a result, we have taken it upon ourselves to offer you, dear reader, a weekend post that delivers an example of the kind of pseudo-academic ridiculousness we are urging you to submit.

Today’s example comes from that venerable beacon of academic hucksterism, the Duke University Press. As we may have remarked before, Duke University Press appears to be in a dogfight with Routledge to deliver readers the most noxious pseudo-intellectual dross in the land. And who’s winning this fracas? Hard to say, really; hard to say.

But we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are prepared to shout “Advantage Duke!” thanks to the following forthcoming tome, which we humbly submit as an example for our contest: Steel Chair to the Head: The Pleasure and Pain of Professional Wrestling.

Edited by one Nicholas Sammond, an assistant professor of media and society at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Steel Chair to the Head offers articles by such intellectual luminaries as Roland Barthes, who apparently came out of death in order to write it. Mr. Barthes, for those of you blissfully unaware of his work, opined about the so-called “death of the author”; now, alas, it appears as if this particular author won’t die off.

It’s nice to know that, whilst many earnest scholars have difficulty getting serious work published, Duke University Press blithely wastes its energies on trendy garbage. It’s enough to make us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” desire to put Professor Sammond in a figure-four leg-lock.

So, dear reader, there’s our example. Think you can do better? If so—and even if not—send us an e-mail by clicking the “Contact Us” link at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen.

Posted at December 11, 2004 12:01 AM | TrackBack