Friday, 26 August 2011

Reading through the list of the 102 academics who denounced Starkey as a thought criminal, it is clear they are D-graders at best. Not one has achieved any public distinction. If you type some of their names into Google, the only thing that comes up is this Starkey letter.
Most are from Mickey Mouse institutions:
John Callaghan, professor of politics and contemporary history, University of Salford

Some stretch the definition of "academic" to its breaking point:
Catherine Feely, graduate teaching assistant, University of Manchester

Elizabeth Hutchin, PhD candidate, University of St Andrews

Amy Kavanagh, MA candidate, University College London

MA candidate? Master of Arts? Is this an undergraduate?
Chris Kempshall, DPhil candidate, University of Sussex
Oeenila Lahiri, PhD candidate, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Others teach subjects that have no obvious relevance to the matter at hand:
Sophie Heywood, lecturer in French, University of Reading

Debbie Challis, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College London

This is ironic, considering that they accuse Starkey of straying outside his field of expertise.

But since Starkey is an expert on the Elizabethan period, it can be assumed he imbibed some of Elizabeth I's wisdom on the matter of race relations (see below), and therefore can be considered a guru on the subject himself.
Her Majestie understanding that there are of late divers blackmoores brought into this realme, of which kinde of people there are allready here to manie…Her Majesty's pleasure therefore ys that those kinde of people should be sent forth of the lande, and for that purpose there ys direction given to this bearer Edwarde Banes to take of those blackmoores that in this last voyage under Sir Thomas Baskervile were brought into this realme the nomber of tenn, to be transported by him out of the realme. Wherein wee require you to be aydinge and assysting unto him as he shall have occacion, therof not to faile.


EH said...

It appears you stretch the definition of "literate"; I quote the *first paragraph* of the THE letter:

'As a group of professional historians, academics and graduate students' would seem to me that MA candidates, PhD candidates, and DPhil candidates would fit into *at least* the last of those categories.

If we're talking the definition of "academic", the OED (to which you probably don't have access, being a fictional character, an' all) defines it in this way:

a. A member of a college or university; a collegian. Now spec. a senior member of a university; a member of the academic staff of a university or college; also loosely, an academically-gifted person.'

I am a member of a university. I teach at a university, for which I am paid. Given my ability to make it to a PhD, let's modestly assume I am 'loosely, an academically-gifted person'. Hmmmm. 75% constitutes nearly breaking a definition? I think your fictional status and inability to even read the first *two* sentences of a letter completely invalidate any semblance at intelligent criticism you think you may have rendered. And what are your credentials to even define who does and does not constitute a member of the academy?

Finally, when attempting to "own" historians with references to supposedly relevant quotations, citations are expected. Psst: Wikipedia doesn't count.

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

Is that you Elizabeth?

"Elizabeth Hutchin, PhD candidate, University of St Andrews"

The 102 signers of this letter were described as "academics" in the news reports and, even more erroneously, as "historians".

The clue is in the "Now spec." part of the definition. A student is not normally now considered an "academic". Even one of the OED's quotes establishes that:
"[1894 Univ. Chicago Weekly 4 Oct. 4/1 One student, a member of the graduate school,‥was heard one day soliciting an ‘Academic’ to set him right on the question of credits.]"

The 102 signers of the letter ought to reflect solemnly on another part of the OED's definition:

"academic freedom, the freedom of a teacher to state his opinions openly without censorship, or without the fear of losing his position, etc."

EH said...

The signatories of this letter identified themselves accurately. If you take issue with how they have been described by third parties, then take it up with those publications...much like those 102 people did with the BBC.

Repeatedly using someone else's name and criticising her/his status whilst hiding behind a pseudonym taken from a science fiction novel is just cowardly. I repeat: what are your credentials for determining these things? Who are you?

To say "not normally now" whilst citing an example from 1894 is just laughable.

Finally, you again reinforce the fact that you failed to read or comprehend the letter.

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

My credentials don't matter, dear. Arguments stand or fall by their own merits. Since you purport to be an academic, you're no doubt familiar with the concept of "argumentum ad hominem".

While you're here, perhaps you'd like to share your insights on the relationship between the good ladies of Castile and their Muslim "sisters" before and after the glorious Reconquista was complete. Did they share make-up tips?

EH said...

Oh, I see! You're not only a racist, you're also sexist, condescending, and make attempts at intimidating through internet stalking.

You have no argument. Every time you write something, you hide behind "arguments" which attempt to silence and intimidate, as well as your anonymity.

Fortunately, the end result is really quite funny, as stating that "credentials don't matter" invalidates your criticism of these signatories for being "D-graders" [sic]. Criticising their self-identification which you then attribute to a third party? A hoot! Trying to mock or scare someone with information about her work whilst at the same time asserting that for most of these people, when Googled "the only thing that comes up is this Starkey letter"? Oh my, stop already with the jokes. I didn't realise this website was satirical, a British internet version of "The Colbert Show", if you will. Bravo!

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

The letter specifically raised the issue of Starkey's credentials for talking about issues of class and race. I myself think his credentials were not relevant. His opinion and arguments stand or fall by their own merits.

The letter was also explicitly premised on the credentials of its signatories, "As a group of professional historians, academics and graduate students...". This invites and legitimates public discussion of those credentials.

It's ironic that you raise the question of stalking, given that you have repeatedly asked me to identify myself for no obvious reason. It's doubly ironic that you bizarrely accuse me of attempting to "silence and intimidate" when this is exactly what you and your fellow signatories do in your published letter.

Presumably you would like to extend your McCarthyite stalking activities to me as well as David Starkey. And you must also have googled my name, unless you happen to be an Iain Banks fan.

As for the mention of your research, I wasn't trying to scare you, dear. I am genuinely interested. I'm reading Jane Gerber's book about the Jews in Spain now. Post your thesis on the internet when it's ready and I will read it.

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