This is a slow week, so I do not now want to continue the discussion of what the best replacement of academia is. That is needs replacing I take as granted. But not all of you do—yet.
Here is a small item for the decreasing pile of doubters.
Here is a peer-reviewed paper—read and approved by peers, which means (1) peers exist, and (2) peers agreed. “Guilty of Loving You: A Multispecies Narrative“, in Qualitative Inquiry, published by Sage Journals, a firm some would say is reputable or respected. The work is in the category of “Research Article.”
The authors of this peer-reviewed paper are Susan Naomi Nordstrom, Amelie Nordstrom, Coonan Nordstrom. The listed affiliation is The University of Memphis. Which is a university, mind.
The corresponding author is Susan Naomi Nordstrom, a necessity, because the other authors are cats.
I say: the other authors are cats.
Don’t believe me. Believe the author biographies.
Susan Naomi Nordstrom, homo sapiens, is an assistant professor of educational research specializing in qualitative research methodology at the University of Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Her research agenda includes poststructural and posthumanist theories about human–nonhuman relations and qualitative research methodology.
Amelie Nordstrom (ca. 2001-2017), felis domestica, was a black cat specializing in making kin with humans and (sometimes) other nonhumans.
Coonan Nordstrom (ca. 2009-present day), felis domestica, is a tuxedo cat specializing in a Haraway-influenced becoming with other species.
So not only were two of the authors cats, but one of them was a dead cat.
That a deranged feminist (pardon the redundancy) cat lady wrote an article about her cats, which she was delusional enough to believe were co-authors, is not the point. We expect feminists to be cat ladies. Nor is the point the vast distances from reality achieved by Nordstrom, not per se. Distance from reality is another well known expectation of feminism.
The article is a diary of how Nordstrom picked up the not-yet-dead cat from the pound. “Her green eyes followed me back to my apartment. Her name was Nicky, but the name ‘Amelie’ (admittedly not properly spelled) created soft susurrus in my body as I thought of her that evening.” Et cetera, for seven pages. I admit to ignorance of what a “susurru” is, but I also not want to know.
Note how the deranged Nordstrom speaks of herself as if the cats were writing.
Over 15 years, Amelie and Susan developed an affective communication system through repetitions of living-with and dying-with each other. Over time, Susan learned that certain meows carried meanings such as “Hungry, I’m going to my food dish,” “You were away too long,” “Stop. Don’t touch me now.” We smell each other for changes in scent or as a way to check in with each other without vocalizations. Our physical proximity to each other creates affects of desired intimacy–sometimes wanted other times less so. Our sleep-dream practices meld into one such that we always know how to position our bodies. We gaze at each other, slowly blinking, wide-eyed, or a shared sideeye. We sense each other’s emotional states.
Lunatics are everywhere, and everywhere includes academia. So it is not the point that here is a prime specimen inside academia.
No. The real point is that passages like this were judged to be of academic quality. The real point is that Nordstrom is not adjudged off-her-rocker. The real point is that not only is her lunacy not recognized as lunacy, but that it is in no way unusual.
Drivel, and worse than drivel, is now accepted as prime “research”. Not just here, at the University of Memphis, but everywhere in the West.
Here’s another peer-reviewed paper from the same source: “What Is Peace? Being an Autoethnographic Account of Methodological Musings From the Beach” by Anandam Kavoori at the University of Georgia.
This autoethnographic essay is focused on methodological space of “problematization”—the wrenching intellectual and emotional process (and lived experience) that a scholar goes through before settling into a long-term writing project—in this case travel to different parts of the world, in an attempt to explore the idea and experience of “Peace” in each of those places.
Another: “On Not Being Able to Sleep: After the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election” by Ronald J. Pelias.
Following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, I find myself struggling, wanting to find a narrative that will let me sleep, but I am unable to find any comfort in the current political landscape. I call upon a fragmentary structure in this autoethnographic essay to display the troubling thoughts and incidents that have assailed me since the election, to point toward a frightening right wing agenda, and to demonstrate why I cannot sleep.
The journal goes on and on and on and on and on and on some more. It never stops. There is nobody inside academia with the guts to stop it.
Everything is summed up in the same’s issues Maria Lahman’s article “Who Cares?“, which, as far as I can tell, is empty. The classification is “research poetry.”