Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Glenda's back!

Remember last October, when Yale history prof Glenda Gilmore chalked President Bush's new National Security Strategy up to his desire to be emperor? (I blogged on it here.) There was more controversy which arose between her and Andrew Sullivan because he called her on it (check out his archives from last October).

She's now back in the attention of at least some bloggers... Erin O'Connor posted recently on a controversy brewing over the scholarship of historian Christine Heyrman. Another historian, Ralph Luker, noted some questionable things in an award-winning text of Heyrman's, and, after failing in private attempts with Heyrman to address his concerns, he "went public," writing an article and emailing it to a number of history scholars.

Among those scholars was Ms. Glenmore. Here's O'Connor's take on Glenmore's response (which Luker details here):
    Gilmore did not appreciate receiving Luker's email. She of the ad hominem attacks found his public call for a response from Heyrman uncivil, and asked to be removed from his mailing list. And in so doing, she revealed something awfully telling about attitudes toward accountability in academe. Luker's exchange with Gilmore perfectly captures the way the ideal of "civility" may be invoked in today's ethically compromised and politically partisan academy to avoid responding to legitimate questions and to dismiss the person who (so rudely) insists that scholars ought to be publicly accountable for the veracity and soundness of their work. Gilmore's own professional conduct indicates just how selective and self-serving the invocation of civility is. Luker's reflections on what is at stake for Gilmore, for the Yale history department, and for the history profession itself are well worth reading.
Well said.

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