“Grievance studies” hoax sparks debate over social justice in the academy

October 12, 2018

Scandal has erupted over an academic hoax that saw peer-reviewed journals publish fake papers discussing topics such as rape culture in dog parks, fat bodybuilding, and the imperialist tendencies of AI programming. Vinay Menon of the Toronto Star argues that the publication of the articles shows how academic fields concerned with social justice have “fallen foul to the same kind of motivated reasoning and naked partisanship that is currently engulfing the country as a whole.” In response to the controversy, the Chronicle of Higher Education interviewed a group of professors with varying opinions on the hoax, with some insisting that it marks a much-needed wake-up call for academia. Others contend that all academic fields routinely settle into certain habits of thought, with the only difference being that the fields targeted by the hoax receive exponentially more criticism for doing so. Toronto Star | Chronicle of Higher Education