The Group Of 88: What They’re Up To

KC Johnson continues to pay indefatigable attention to the Group of 88 at Durham-in-Wonderland. We missed a post two weeks ago, but it’s certainly worth a look:

Waheena Lubiano, the famously prolific Duke professor, recently co-authored a piece in Social Text (along with fellow group member Michael Hardt, and another professor) on the trials of the Group of 88. What’s the issue? They were victimized by bloggers and outsiders.

According to the Lubiano Trio, “the most extreme marginalization was reserved for the faculty whose professional expertise made them most competent to engage the discourses on race and gender unleashed by the inaugurating incident – scholars of African American and women’s studies. Instead, administrators, like the bloggers themselves, operated under the assumption that everyone was an expert on matters of race and gender, while actually existing academic expertise was recast as either bias or a commitment to preconceived notions about the legal case. Some faculty thus found themselves in the unenviable position of being the targets of public discourse (and disparaged for their expertise on race and gender) without being legitimate participants in it.

Horrors. What other indignities did these innocents (speaking truth to power) go through? KC reports:

Blogs, according to the Lubiano Trio, used “powerful tactics of harassment” against members of the Group. “Typically we [Group members] should… work as maids for the players’ families [or] return to the slave quarters.” Group members “have also been found guilty of numerous crimes, including treason, sedition, and tax evasion(!).”

Although the Lubiano Trio’s article does contain footnotes, the Group members elected to supply not even one citation for any of these outlandish claims. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to figure out why.

What does the inclusion of these unsourced ramblings say about the editorial policies of the Duke University Press journal Social Text?

Oh come now, we all know the Social Text editorial policies are ironclad!

It’s an astonishingly risible piece. Read more.

Anthony Paletta

Anthony Paletta is a freelance writer.

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