Tenured vampires

From: “Vampires latch on to learning”, The Australian (May 26):

One of the many things ailing the present university – and the list is long – is the emergence of what we might term vampire disciplines. These new disciplines are parasitic on existing bodies of knowledge and tend to justify themselves in terms of critique, deconstruction, contextualism, discourse analysis and other approaches that don’t add very much to the total sum of knowledge a society or civilisation possesses about itself.

Originally, vampire disciplines found their homes within the humanities and social sciences. But they are quickly spreading to areas as diverse as law and architecture, terrorism studies and geography. Indeed, any discipline with some version of the "critical studies in . . ." genre has probably been infected by the vampire virus. And, if your discipline is still a vampire-free zone, expect the vampire advanced guard to come knocking on your door to convince you that your students majoring in transport logistics need to take a unit in "transport and society" or in "transport cultural identities".

The presence of the word "and" in a unit title should alert you the possibility that the unit being proposed is a vampire unit.

The lack of a sense of humour on the part of the proponent, or their inability to explain in words understandable to the man or woman on the street what the field is about, also make it likely that you are dealing with an academic vampire.

Read “Vampires latch on to learning” here…

Leave a Reply