From The Weekly Standard:
Somehow it is fitting that the most extraordinary academic hoax of our time would deal with dog parks, dildos, Hooters, masturbation, fat shaming, and a feminist Mein Kampf.
In a prank that is alternately hilarious, appalling, and disturbing, three puckish academics managed to place no fewer than seven “shoddy, absurd, unethical” articles in “respectable” academic journals that trafficked in the growing field of grievance studies—a field that includes gender and queer studies, critical race theory and a variety of post-modern constructivist theories now fashionable in the humanities and social sciences. If nothing else, they demonstrated that academic leftism is a target ripe for ridicule as well as outrage.
As they note in their paper, “ Academic Grievance Studies and the Corruption of Scholarship,” the seven fake papers were the “tip of the iceberg” of sophistry in the hyper-ideological swamps of academia.
Indeed, they would surely have gotten more fake pieces published if their article about “dog park culture” had not attracted so much attention for its obvious risibility. The “dog park” article, was published with some fanfare in the journal Gender, Place, and Culture, was titled “Human Reactions to Rape Culture and Queer Performativity in Urban Dog Parks in Portland, Oregon,” and argued that “dog parks are rape-condoning spaces and a place of rampant canine rape culture and systemic oppression against “the oppressed dog.” The study claimed that the observation of the dogs would provide “insight into training men out of the sexual violence and bigotry to which they are prone.” One peer reviewer gushed: “This is a wonderful paper—incredibly innovative, rich in analysis, and extremely well-written and organized given the incredibly diverse literature sets and theoretical questions brought into conversation.” The authors note that the journal honored the article about dog parks and rape as “one of twelve leading pieces in feminist geography as a part of the journal’s 25th anniversary celebration.”
The absurdity of the paper was first highlighted by the twitter account known as @RealPeerReview, which exposes a wide range of junk scholarship (if you don’t follow it, you really ought to.) When the Wall Street Journal and others began sniffing around to ascertain the authorship of the piece, however, the gig was up and the three hoaxers decided to come clean. They admitted that they were also behind the “nutty and inhumane” idea to make white male students sit on the floor as a form of reparations, a paper that explored why straight men “rarely anally self-penetrate using sex toys,” and had even gotten a paper accepted in a feminist journal that was actually a chapter from Mein Kampf, “with fashionable buzzwords switched in.”
In addition to the seven papers that were accepted, they had another three accepted but not published; another seven were “still in play,” and only six had been rejected by peer reviewers.