Woke Bibliographies

Dr. Carrie Mott is a feminist geographer recently hatched from the graduate program at University of Kentucky, and even more recently installed as an assistant professor at Rutgers University. She lists among her research interest “resistance” (she’s for it), “Boundaries” (she’s against them), and “difference” (which she’s for when it’s the right kind, and against when it’s not). She’s also into “non-Euclidian spatialities,” which has little to do with Euclid and a great deal to do with “Race,” “Settler Colonialism,” and “Critical Race Theory.”

Dr. Mott co-authored (with an old friend of mine) “Not Everyone Has (the) Balls: Urban exploration and the persistence of masculinist geography,” and is said to be at present hard at work on something called Geographies of Whiteness.

Dr. Mott recently recently drew notice for an article she wrote with Daniel Cockayne, another geographer, who lists among his research interests, “Affect,” “Work,” “sexuality,” “Desire,” and “Financial Capitalism.”

Given the laser-like focus of their research interests, you will not be surprised to learn that Drs. Mott and Cockayne deplore “the reproduction of white heteromasculinity of geographical thought and scholarship,” and that they have consequently devised a “feminist and anti-racist technology” to, as Dr. Mott might put it, cut the balls off of this beast.

The technology they propose is a progressive hack of the already sleazy citation index system.  Those of you outside the system need to understand that a record is kept of the number of times a paper is cited in the footnotes to other papers, and that a paper with a lot of citations is a sort of “top forty” hit. What is more, an academic with a lot of “top forty” hits is a sort of heart-throb, or superstar.  Citations can be cashed in for dollars, which is why scholars devoted to the life of the mind look upon boosting their number as a very big deal.

It’s even a big deal way, way down the list, among the utterly nugatory papers that have, say, twenty-five citations. Twenty-five is, after all, more than twelve. And this is why the motto of every academic is:

Friends Don’t Let Friends Go Un-cited.

This motto explains perhaps half of the titles in the ponderous lists of works cited that one finds freighting the back-end of an academic paper nowadays.

What Drs. Mott and Cockayne propose is to further corrupt this system by consciously boosting the citation rates of geographers without balls, geographers of color, and queer geographers. In other words, their motto is:

Progs Don’t Let Progs Go Uncited.

There is, I’m afraid, one flaw in this technology. All it could possibly do is punish the Progs who have balls, lack color, or swim in the sexual mainstream.


UPDATE (7/17): I now see that Takimag covered this story in its weekly roundup.  Wouldn’t want to let that go uncited.

7 thoughts on “Woke Bibliographies

  1. Pingback: Woke Bibliographies | @the_arv

  2. Actually, this has always been a major problem with academics. They are in sort of a perpetual high school where popularity is more important than any other quality. It should not be surprising that the new cool kids are trying to supplant the old cool kids. A few of us actually did graduate. It would be of little concern to me if my work is cited or considered in any way by those I do not respect. See, I’ve moved on. Often my philosophies are right, sometimes they are wrong. Never once did their merit depend upon the opinions of the cool kids. This newest group will one day look back at a life wasted. And…I care not.

    • Imagine yourself occupying the best rocking chair on the porch at the Rest Home for Superannuated Geographists, watching the sun set and remembering the proudest moments of a active (and activist) Prog-Geog career. Imagine how sweet it will be to remember the glorious days spent on the barricades of your bibliographies, with the smoke of burning endnotes in the air, the groans of unmentioned white guys at your feet, and the lusty huzzahs of your affirmative-action references all around. “Ah!” you will say, “the philosophers have only interpreted footnotes. The point, however, is to change them.”

      • The idea that anyone should cite anything is obviously hierarchic, patriarchal, bigoted, and anti-prog. We know this because Bernie’s Little Red Book says so. Nominalism demands that whatever anyprog asserts is true, and that whatever any living or dead non-prog asserts or has asserted is false. We know this because Zinn’s Little Red Book says so. It follows from the precept that the West owes absolutely everything to Islam and the remainder to the Huitzliputzli Cult. It follows that the Prog-Cult, being a phenomenon of the West, owes absolutely everything to Islam and the remainder to the Huitzliputzli Cult.

        Many people do not know that, if a prog were immersed in a pot of water over a flame, and if the flame were to raise the temperature of the pot of water only one degree in every few minutes, the prog, being unable to sense the change in temperature, would blissfully boil and die and become ready for consumption. But it is so.

        After the prog is dead, and its legs are boiled (it is best to drop a mess of bay-leaves beforehand into the ebullient liquid), the skilled cook, bathing the extracted prog-legs successively in flour, egg-yolks, and corn-meal, can then fry them in butter and lemon-juice in a hot skillet and serve them up to his guests or customers, to their delighted and grateful degustation. Mustard greens, cooked in bacon-fat, and mashed potatoes, with roasted garlic, make excellent accompaniments.

        A more elaborate preparation reserves the breaded prog-legs in the skillet and de-glazes them with cognac. Ummm… Sauteed prog-legs de-glazed in the skillet with cognac! We Creoles really know how to cook!

        In some geographical regions, such as Mobile, New Orleans, or East Texas, this dish is called swamp chicken.

        Most everything published in “academic journals” nowadays should be called swamp chicken.

      • One minor correction to the good Professor Bertonneau, if I may presume: most material in academic journals should be called “swamp chicken scratch.”

  3. Pingback: Woke Bibliographies | Reaction Times


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