December 31, 2013

ROGER KIMBALL: Inadvertent Comedy From The American Studies Association, or, An Ecofeminist Does Milk. “You may not know much about the American Studies Association. The small (5000-member) organization is known to many outside the academy as “The Anti-American Studies Association” because of its reliably backwater, reflexive leftism. . . . Every now and then, however, something truly egregious bubbles up from the dismal pit of pseudo-intellectual academic lucubration, some special gem of fatuous, wood-pulp darkeni’g nonsense that even now, at the fag-end of Anno Domini 2013, has the capacity to spark a little frisson of nauseated wonderment in this jaded breast. . . . Despite the inadvertent comedy of its title, ‘Toward a Feminist Postcolonial Milk Studies” really exists, and my is it in earnest. How many things had to go wrong — intellectually, socially, morally — to account for prose like this? . . . Charity prevents me from offering an analysis of this vaguely minatory tripe. Considered as a rhetorical product, it is pitch perfect in its bristling opacity, touching gently on a vast host of political and intellectual clichés while maintaining a semantic content of nearly zero. The amazing thing is that Ms. Gaard keeps it up for nearly 25 pages.”