Dr. Katja Thieme πŸ‘€ Profile picture
#WritingStudies #DiscourseStudies #GenreStudies #CanLit. "The epitome of the hysterical left wing!" Pronouns on chest: she/they. #cdnwrds #cdnpse #wrds350
3 May
I would be curious to hear what my fellow #AcademicFreedom researchers think of the details in this recent Canadian story at @RyersonU. (HT @ColleenDerkatch) 1/
The gist of it:

1. "In 2016, the Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute (SRFI) opened with a $1 million donation from The Edward and Suzanne Rogers Foundation. . . . In past, the Rogers family has donated almost $34 million to various programs at Ryerson."

2. "On May 1, 2021, Suzanne Rogers, honorary patron of the Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute, posted a photo of herself and her family with former U.S. president Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, as reported by Canadaland."

Read 23 tweets
30 Apr
Warning: this article contains hogwash. It claims universities--as a whole, as administrations, as institutions--can't take a stance on anything on which some of its members dissent.

It's about Middlesex U rejecting the race report, of course. 1/

Despite the specificity of the rejection of the race report, the argument at play is more general and can be applied to other topics. My uni recently took a stand--in response to government directive, no less--that it will fully open and have face-to-face classes in September. 2/
I don't have to imagine it, I know that there is vigorous dissent amid faculty about this decision. What if I said: because the uni adopted this official stance towards opening, thereby accepting the nature of the pandemic as managed at that stage, this diminishes free speech. 3/ Image
Read 11 tweets
30 Apr
Poignant question, good discussion in the comments.

Here's what I do. It's geared to my own beliefs and abilities while teaching. Other methods work for other people. 1/

#PublicPedagogy #WritingStudies #CdnWrds
These days, reading drafts and commenting on them is time- and energy-consuming for me. There's burnout and loss of ability to focus at play. Also too much time sitting with screens looking at texts. So, I have to start from the premise that it costs me something to agree. 2/
My sense of equity in teaching dictates that if I agree to do it for one student, I have to present it as an offer for the other students as well. Not everyone thinks that way, others reward the initiative displayed by the students who request it. That's not my way, I guess. 3/
Read 10 tweets
29 Apr
#EricKaufmann has some, what shall we call it--authoritarian?--idea for warning labels to be placed on some university courses. So students are foretold if they are to encounter material that anti-academic hacks indiscriminately call "CRT."
I, too, am eagerly awaiting the day when universities employ a syllabus inspektor to whom course materials must be submitted in time, and who will then put little red stamps beside course numbers where evidence of "CRT" subversiveness has been found.
Here is the top of the thread in which Kaufmann is responding. I put "CRT" in quotation marks because as soon as you're in a conversation where Chris Rufo is participating, you've got to distinguish his fever dream from the work of actual critical race scholars.
Read 9 tweets
28 Apr
I have yet to be convinced that "cancel culture" is a workable concept. In the famous cases of cancellation from within academia, the public perception of cancellation comes often from the fact that there were very loud screams in social media networks: "this is cancel culture!"
The perception of cancellation is frequently not borne out when you look into the details of the actual cases. There were complaints. Administrators handled those complaints--perhaps imperfectly. If they didn't handle them perfectly, there is evidence of pushback.
Some complaints are dismissed, as they should be. Others have significant evidence behind them: an investigation ensues, and there will be a form of discipline. We will have to allow that sometimes universities rightfully terminate faculty, given evidence of serious misconduct.
Read 6 tweets
27 Apr
Cenotaph: Mini-Play. For your reading pleasure.

K [sits quietly beside the old cenotaph, strokes her greying beard]

J [walks up confidently]: I hear this cenotaph is one of 70 that meet the criteria. It contains the cancellation, the intimidation, the mob letters, the petition!
K: Hello. Welcome. I have been here for a while. This cenotaph contains no such things. It has been thoroughly investigated. I have documented my own searches. Over there, in that box, are my notebooks. Have a look if you like. [returns to the posture of stroking her beard] Image
S [enters stage]: Ah! There have been more and more of these graves! Filled with dead bodies. Only efforts like the Harper's letter are slowing them down. It is not even about more graves and dead bodies, it is about the new culture of arbitrary mobs screaming for dead bodies! Image
Read 8 tweets
18 Apr
A few days ago, in this thread on #EricKaufmann's #AcademicFreedom report, I thought I would let other points slide in favour of this point: that the upper end of this 7-18% of NA faculty who he says support academic freedom violations is inflated by bad survey design. 1/
But my mind gets stuck on certain issues sometimes and this time it kept reminding me of what I didn't elaborate. So here goes: the lower end of this figure of 7-18% of NA faculty is inflated, too, by the choices Kaufmann made in processing his survey results. Let me explain. 2/
Here are two of the questions that led to the 7% lower edge of that range. You'll note that half the participants were given option A and the other half option B (or so I presume). 3/

Read 17 tweets
18 Apr
I suspect my Twitter fights could be much improved if this pedagogical insight was put more consistently into practice. :)
I would like to come to a place where those who keep espousing the principle of "only ever talk about the data, not about the people who handle it" change their tune, you know? Reputation matters. People who through past discussion have shown themselves more trustworthy. . .
. . . in their production of quantitative work and its interpretation tend to produce more trustworthy interpretations. It matters to know that and to talk about it.
Read 4 tweets
18 Apr
Dear everyone,

Just a warning. My "Oooops." is very powerful. You might want to take a few steps back to keep yourselves safe given this "Oooops." is virulently defending censorship."

Don't blame me if the silly string hits you.

Woke Sauron
Missing an opening quotation mark in the above tweet, sorry.
Read 6 tweets
17 Apr
This part is really important: β€œMr. Galloway’s dismissal was also because of financial misconduct, dishonesty in the investigation of the complaint, alcohol consumption with students, and a previous instance of sexual relations with a student.”

The effect is real. Whether every tweet was fair and accurate is perhaps another question.
Read 4 tweets
15 Apr
As I mentioned, I've been looking at #EricKaufmann's report on #AcademicFreedom. I want to share another head-scratching moment with you today. 1/

My earlier thread:
Top of the report is a set of questions for which he received answers from 803 US scholars in social sciences & humanities. Here are questions 1-3 along with the graph representing the answers. In the report, the answer key is: 1. support, 2. oppose, 3. neither, 4. don't know. 2/ ImageImage
Participants were given 1 of 2 versions of each question with either students or admin campaigning. There is a difference between the two. We might question answers being lumped together into "students/the administration" as well as the very odd "find work elsewhere" phrasing. 3/ Image
Read 18 tweets
14 Apr
James Lindsay is a shitty writer who consistently fails at constructing and editing meaningful sentences.

This abomination of a sentence here, in Merkin's screen shot, boils down to the following main clause:

There is the bending of the university to the ideology. 1/
That's the key thing he's trying to say: There is the bending of the university to the ideology.

Silly, isn't it.

Everything else is needlessly puffed up around the main clause while also insufficiently connected to it. 2/
Starting at the end (because it's simpler):

There is the bending of the university to the ideology.
That has to be appreciated for what it represents.

(What does it represent? Why does it have to be appreciated? Nobody knows.) 3/
Read 7 tweets
13 Apr
I read this.

I was curious about the arguments against the Scottish hate crime law.

The only claim that actually engaged with the law was that the verb β€œstir up” is metaphorical in an unfortunate way.
Nicolas is right.

I did not do it justice.


Take 1.

Take 2.

The article, "a welcome counterblast" according to noted historian Niall Ferguson, objects to the hate crime law and its use of the verb "stir up" with the following argument. Image
Read 5 tweets
10 Apr
The question of whether academics who are Conservative/Republican-aligned in their political beliefs need more affirmative-action-style support to increase their numbers esp. within some research fields has been a hot one on Twitter lately. 1/
I watched this interview with #PeterBoghossian yesterday. He’s not the most mainstream character in this discussion; but he is working on his publicity and he is an active supporter of various organizations that push this idea. 2/
One point he madeβ€”I didn’t transcribe itβ€”is that he thinks it’s hypocritical of the white president of his uni to make a statement against racism while not resigning his seat to hand it over to a BIPOC president. He also posted this recently. 3/

Read 13 tweets
9 Apr
Below thread are my notes in #PeterBoghossian's words (marked with em-dash, sans commentary) from listening to this interview. I'll add only some comments (in square brackets) for issues pertinent to my work. 1/
-- Cognitive liberty is better than left, right dichotomies. Traditional categories don't apply. Two things:

-- 1) The cognitively liberal speak clearly & bluntly about evidence, discuss, converse without negative implication for truth-seeking. No reputational cost attached. 2/
-- 2) Correspondence theory of truth, there are truth and facts. There are better ways to move towards truth. 3/
Read 33 tweets
9 Apr
University professor finds it mind-boggling that educational spaces are not public streets & squares and that those in charge of them have the mandate of safeguarding the educational mission, incl. by regulating offensive speech.
Read 6 tweets
8 Apr
I’m no Willard, but I learned from him. Here is a play.

K [stands to one side of the stage; nods and smiles to an argument that’s just out of earshot]

U [walks onto stage from the other side]: Nodding to balderdash? Smiling to horseshit?

K: You yourself seem to talk horseshit. Image
U [to audience]: Always dismissing people who disagree with her, isn’t she? No surprise here!

K [to U]: Are you joking?

U: My lady, I will give you the benefit of the doubt! What I called horseshit was what you were agreeing to, not your agreement to it. [smiles to audience] Image
K: And by calling what I was nodding to horseshit, you were not also calling my nodding horseshit?

U: I was only trying to figure out why you could possibly be nodding to it.

K: Are you trying to make me believe that when you say horseshit you are asking me a question? Image
Read 4 tweets
8 Apr
I should go for a walk, I’m a bit mad. Before I go, here is a basic argumentative return for our use, my beloved friends:

When people say, β€œWe shouldn’t make a taboo against saying racist/eugenicist/transphobic shit, it’s better to have debates and strengthen our arguments.” 1/
You say: β€œOK, where are you doing it? Show me. Send some links. I wanna see how you argued against racists yesterday. And against eugenicist the day before. Also against transphobes the day before that. Teach me your formidable arguments in action. Please. And thank you.” 2/
Would be cool if they could actually show me. So far, anyone I’ve asked hasn’t been able to offer anything. They’ve used the β€œwe need to argue better against X!” demand as nothing more than a convenient shield for not facing up to racism/transphobia, others’ or their own. 3/
Read 4 tweets
8 Apr
Who. Hired. This. Woman?!?!

πŸ‘€ πŸ‘€ πŸ‘€

Aside from spouting eugenicist stuff in the public square, does this woman know anything? Anything at all? In her alleged field of research, even?

Read 9 tweets
3 Apr
β€œI have yet to hear a single parent say anything bigoted” says #Quillette author about anti-trans parents at the 600-word mark of article that is very liberally spiced with bigotry.
If you encourage me, I will write more about how bigoted, exactly. Not right now, though, Twitter, not right now. πŸ™ƒ
OK. Here we go.

Brace yourselves, please. This #Quillette article is one in a series by a pseudonymous academic who has no expertise in this area of study and will publish three more pieces like it. 3/
Read 20 tweets
2 Apr
Dear Heather,

Let me validate your feeling: you are an absolute clownfish.

Woke Sauron Image
What makes Heather a man, a woman, or a wannabe clownfish in the year 2021 in the United States of America is that 500 million years ago there existed sexual reproduction. Nobel-Prize-worthy material. ImageImage
Shall we tell Heather that trans and non-binary folk can sexually reproduce, too? Or, shall we keep that information from her for 500 million uninterrupted years, just to tease her?
Read 4 tweets