ATG Quirkies: If It Can’t Be Understood, Why Publish It?

This piece in the tells a story that has become all too common. It recounts how two academics submitted “an absurd article to the journal Badiou Studies to expose its lack of rigor in accepting papers.” The paper is entitled “Ontology, Neutrality and the Strive for (non-)Being-Queer,” and is attributed to an evidently non-existent scholar named Benedetta Tripodi of the Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza in Romania.

It’s another example of a so-called Sokal hoax, named after the prank played by the NYU mathematical physicist Alan Sokal in which he submitted an article to the journal Social Text, that according to Sokal was “liberally salted with nonsense and in his opinion was accepted only because “(a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors’ ideological preconceptions.”

(Thanks, as always, to John Riley of Gabriel Books for providing ATG Quirkies!)

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