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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Auto-da-Fe?

Here is an interesting exercise in dissimulation. Christian Smith argues that Mark Regnerus, author of right-wing funded article against gay parenting, is the victim of a witch-hunt. Of course, Smith was MR's professor!:

Regnerus was trained in one of the best graduate programs in the country and was a postdoctoral fellow under an internationally renowned scholar of family, Glen Elder, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Full disclosure: I was on the faculty in Regnerus's department and advised him for some years, but was not his dissertation chair.)

Actually, Smith lists Regnerus as his dissertation advisee on his own cv, so this is not full disclosure at all. He has also co-authored several articles with his former student, articles which he lists on this same cv.

Look, you have to mount a substantive defense of a piece of scholarship under attack. You can't just say "it's not quite as bad as people say" or "the author is a good friend of mine." You can't throw up langauge like "internationally renowned scholar of family." What you really can't do is to lie overtly about your connection to the person you are defending.

2 comments:

matt said...

Jonathan,

I just ran across the phrase "auto-da-fe" for the first time in my first reading of
Voltaire's _Candide_ last night!

Jonathan said...

PS. Now his article has been corrected to state that he was MR's advisor. Nevertheless, he doesn't mention his co-authoring of articles with him.