Academic Bombast: A Little Bit of Cis and That


Academics can be full of surprises. Just when you are about to write off the lot of them as pompous and often criminally inclined boors whose bloated prose only a Judith Butler could love, they redeem themselves with a bit of self-aware mockery.

Wags at the University of Chicago have come up with a nifty computer program that will write an entire scholarly essay for you.

University of Chicago Professor Lewis explains the sentence generator.

All you need do is populate a few fields with words of your choosing from prepared lists, string together the resulting sentences (order optional) and–voila!–there’s your essay, guaranteed to please the most discerning gender theorist. Drop what you are doing and give it a try right now.

Fun, isn’t it? Until you remember the tens of thousands of tenured faculty whose jobs-for-life are predicated on that argot. Try not to lose your lunch.

For those of you yet to get the hang of the University of Chicago’s sentence-generator, read the passage below:

The trans policy committee is sorry to announce that Kate Bornstein is sick and is not able to make her performance of Men Women and the Rest of Us tonight at 7pm in the [gym]. We are working to reschedule Kate’s performance, and meanwhile are arranging for a Gender Speak Out in the faculty lounge…from 7-9. In this space, we hope to center lived experience of gender oppression at [Liberal Arts College USA]. Cisgender people (those who are comfortable with the gender societally aligned with the sex they were assigned at birth), are welcome and encouraged to attend. It may be beneficial to have a passing familiarity with transphobia and cissexism.

The most famous cisters of all.


Is it genuine? By that I mean did I search the announcements on the Liberal Arts College USA calendar until I hit pay dirt, or did I take a little help from the sentence generator?

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5 thoughts on “Academic Bombast: A Little Bit of Cis and That

  1. This here computer program that writes essays for you is the slickest thing since self-heating cans of Chef Boyardee. Wait a minute; they haven’t invented those yet. I started off with “public sphere” and by trying different combinations of the other options I was able to produce authentic government gibberish that could reasonably be ascribed to specific federal agencies! I give the program 4 out of 5 stars.

  2. Or you could do like the defrocked former president of Penn Valley Community College in Kansas City. Write an op-ed report for the Kansas City Star that shamelessly plagiarizes verbatim the work of a real scholar without bothering to give the fellow any credit whatsoever. Bernard Franklin didn’t need a computer program, only a copy machine. Compare the Franklin copy:
    http://www.kansascity.com/2012/05/06/3593948/a-high-price-for-untreated-mental.html
    with the original written by Brett Plummer, Ph.D.
    http://hcfgkc.org/sites/default/files/overview-cost-untreated-illness-greater-kansas-city.pdf

  3. Pingback: Cis, BOOM, Balderdash: Physicists Go Nuclear for Diversity | Call Me "Miss"!

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