Sokal Hoax The Sham That Shook the Academy

ISBN-10: 0803279957

ISBN-13: 9780803279957

Edition: 2000

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Description: In May 1996 physicist Alan Sokal published an essay in the fashionable academic journalSocial Text. The essay quoted hip theorists like Jacques Lacan, Donna Haraway, and Gilles Deleuze. The prose was thick with the jargon of poststructuralism. And the point the essay tried to make was counterintuitive: gravity, Sokal argued, was a fiction that society had agreed upon, and science needed to be liberated from its ideological blinders. When Sokal revealed in the pages ofLingua Francathat he had written the article as a parody, the story hit the front page of theNew York Times. It set off a national debate still raging today: Are scholars in the humanities trapped in a jargon-ridden Wonderland? Are scientists deluded in thinking their work is objective? Are literature professors suffering from science envy? Was Sokal's joke funny? Was the Enlightenment such a bad thing after all? And isn't it a little bit true that the meaning of gravity is contingent upon your cultural perspective? Collected here for the first time are Sokal's original essay on "quantum gravity," his essay revealing the hoax, the newspaper articles that broke the story, and the angry op-eds, letters, and e-mail exchanges sparked by the hoax from intellectuals across the country, including Stanley Fish, George F. Will, Michael Bérubé, and Katha Pollitt. Also included are extended essays in which a wide range of scholars ponder the long-term lessons of the hoax.

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Book details

List price: $23.95
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Publication date: 9/1/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 271
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Introduction
The Article
Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity (Social Text, Spring-Summer 1996)
Revelation and Response
Revelation: A Physicist Experiments with Cultural Studies (Lingua Franca, May-June 1996)
Response: Mystery Science Theater (Lingua Franca, July-August 1996)
Selected Letters to the Editor (Lingua Franca, July-August 1996)
Press Reactions
Scientist Takes Academia for a Ride with Parody (Contra Costa (Calif.) Times, 12 May 1996)
Is It Gibberish or Merely Obscure? Scientist Hoaxes Academic Journal (Associated Press, 16 May 1996)
Postmodern Gravity Deconstructed, Slyly (New York Times, 18 May 1996)
Hokum for High-Brows (Boston Globe, 18 May 1996)
Professor Sokal's Bad Joke (New York Times, 21 May 1996)
When Pretension Reigns Supreme (New York Post, 22 May 1996)
A Physics Prof Drops a Bomb on the Faux Left (Los Angeles Times, 23 May 1996)
Smitten with Gibberish (Washington Post, 30 May 1996)
Hoax Article Yanks Academics' Legs (Gannett News Service, 3 June 1996)
Pomolotov Cocktail, and selected responses (The Nation, 10 June 1996)
Another Dispatch from the Culture Wars (Kansas City (Mo.) New Times, 13 June 1996)
Scholarly Article a Fine Hoax: Social Scientists Wore No Clothes (Fort Meyers (Fla.) News-Press, 23 July 1996)
Foreign Press Coverage
Illogical Dons Swallow Hoaxer's Leap into Quantum Gibberish (The Observer (London), 19 May 1996)
Sokal's Prank (Folha de Sao Paulo (Brazil), 22 September 1996)
Sokal, a Self-Parodist (Folha de Sao Paulo (Brazil), 21 October 1996)
Academic Insult in Greenwich Village, and selected responses (Il manifesto (Rome), 6 November 1996)
When Clever Men Think Rubbish, Sound the Alarm Bells (Evening Standard (London), 17 December 1996)
Sokal Is No Socrates (Le Monde (Paris), 3 January 1997)
Is There Science after the Cold War? (Le Monde (Paris), 18 January 1997)
Why I Wrote My Parody (Le Monde (Paris), 31 January 1997)
Longer Essays
My Sokaled Life; Or, Revenge of the Nerds (Village Voice, 25 June 1996)
The Sokal Hoax (University Of Chicago Free Press, August 1996)
Sokal's Hoax, and selected responses (New York Review of Books, 8 August 1996)
What the Sokal Hoax Ought to Teach Us, and selected responses (Times Literary Supplement, 13 December 1996)
Was Sokal's Hoax Justified? (Physics Today, January 1997)
The "Sokal Affair" Takes Transatlantic Turn (Nature, 30 January 1997)
Friendly Fire: The Hoaxing of Social Text (Radical Philosophy, January-February 1997)
Alan Sokal's "Transgression" (Dissent, Winter 1997)
The Science Wars in India (Dissent, Winter 1997)
Postmodernism and the Left (New Politics, Winter 1997)
Cultural Studies and Its Discontents: A Comment on the Sokal Affair (Social Text, Spring 1997)
Just Doing Your Job: Some Lessons of the Sokal Affair (Yale Journal of Criticism, Fall 1997)
Colloquies
Reflections on the Sokal Affair (Forum at New York University, October 1996)
A Plea for Reason, Evidence, and Logic (Forum at New York University, October 1996)
Lingua Franca Roundtable, May 1997
Contributors
Source Acknowledgments
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