Worse again

It started from Sally Hines ranting at Rebecca R-C on Twitter and led to a lot of eye-popping stuff I hadn’t seen before.

I’ve got his LSE page open and it’s true: first thing it says after his name, job, and department, is the sabbatical announcement.

For greater ease of reading, his wildly pretentious account of his “research”:

My primary area of research is on contemporary U.S. social justice movements, and the ways in which the idea of childhood operates within and against them. Specifically, this work interrogates and thinks with Black Lives Matter, transfeminism, queer youth activism, and anti-deportation movements. My monograph on this research, titled Ambivalent Childhoods: Speculative Futures and the Psychic Life of the Child was published in 2021 by the University of Minnesota Press. It brings together critical race, trans, feminist, queer, critical migration, and psychoanalytic theories to explore the role of childhood in shaping and challenging the disposability of young black life, the steadfastness of the gender binary, the queer life of children’s desires, and the precarious status of migrants. Through an engagement with “the psychic life of the child” it combines theoretical discussions of childhood, blackness, transfeminism, and deportability with critical readings of films, narrative, images, and social justice movements. Beyond Ambivalent Childhoods, my research in this area is published with Feminist Theory (forthcoming), American Quarterly (2019), and Transgender Studies Quarterly (2017).

One thing that emerges from that as clear as ice is that women are of no interest whatever to cutting edge geniuses now. That feminism is as dead as spats or monocles or tight lacing. The hippest researchers are into sexed-up children and deportations.

What the everloving fuck, you might wonder, do anti-deportation movements have to do with queer youth activism? What does it mean to “interrogate and think with”? What is “critical migration theory”? What is “the queer life of children’s desires” and what does it have to do with “the precarious status of migrants”? Let me guess: desires are hindered by wicked boundaries and so are migrants. Yeah? So children want to “transgress” those boundaries, and so do migrants, and bang there’s your research. I’m sure migrants languishing in filthy pens on the Texas border are just thrilled to have Jacob Bresslow interrogating and thinking with them.

It’s hideous preening self-admiring appropriation of real misery and injustice for the sake of baroque academic posturing. There are few things I despise more.

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