Monday, February 16, 2009

Oh, Look! Stanley Fish, being an Asshat!

Oh, Look! Stanley Fish, being an Asshat!




The asshat king of straw man butchering is at it again! This time, he's pulling out selective comments to his last column so he can build some more straw men.

Here's a nice little excerpt -- "Look! people objected, so I'm going to say in different words that, really, those pesky, spoilt faculty members really do think they are all special snowflakes and would do this if they could!" :

It may be outlandish because it is so theatrical, but one could argue, as one reader seemed to, that Rancourt carries out to its logical extreme a form of behavior many display in less dramatic ways. “How about a look at the class of professors who … duck their responsibilities ranging from the simple courtesies (arrival on time, prepared for meetings … ) to the essentials (“lack of rigor in teaching and standards … )” (h.c.. ecco, No. 142). What links Rancourt and these milder versions of academic acting-out is a conviction that academic freedom confers on professors the right to order (or disorder) the workplace in any way they see fit, irrespective of the requirements of the university that employs them.


I have a book to work on and a department meeting to run. Excuse me for not writing more, but please, can I just say: Gods. What. A. Feckin'. Tool.

3 comments:

heu mihi said...

Um...wait...I really don't see how being a bad professor/colleague constitutes a deliberate abuse of academic freedom. Does Fish mean to suggest that, when my otherwise quite amazing full-prof colleague is late to a faculty meeting, that she considers it justified by the AAUP?

I just don't know what the hell he's talking about (granted, I haven't read this article! But I did read the first one), and I don't understand why he feels that professors need to be taken down so many pegs. What on earth is his problem? I don't know anyone who even approximates Rancourt's behavior, or who would dream of doing so.

Sorry for the length of the comment. I'm just annoyed and in complete agreement with you.

[My verification word is "bityp": the naughty part of my brain wonders whether that isn't peculiarly appropriate.]

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Oh, please! Rant away!

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