On illogic in the academy & Italy’s new Caravaggio research institute.
Recent links of note:
“Higher Ed’s Latest Taboo Is ‘Bourgeois Norms’”
Heather Mac Donald, The Wall Street Journal
Heather Mac Donald’s latest piece in The Wall Street Journal, which recounts the controversy surrounding an op-ed written by two law school professors (one at University of Pennsylvania, the other at University of San Diego) that extols the virtues of 1950s era cultural standards, is another reminder of the intellectual lethargy of the academy. The article, which praises the “bourgeois norms” of education, marriage, and industry, has been widely (and incorrectly) denounced in the academic circles of both authors’ home institutions as racist and, yes, white supremacist. Never mind that a central target of the authors’ critique is the “single-parent, antisocial habits” of some working class whites, or that the op-ed explicitly acknowledges that the 1950s was a time in which racial discrimination and anti-Semitism regrettably thrived. Unfortunately, it seems, the academy is at this moment completely unwilling to accept the data-backed truth that cultural norms of marriage and civic virtue are beneficial to society, as well as superior to the more ruinous standards of many in contemporary times.
“Italy Is Launching an Expansive New Caravaggio Research Institute Thanks to a Surprise Supporter”
Kate Brown, artnet News
The life of the Italian Baroque painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio has been famously shrouded in mystery, and recently, as his paintings have accrued in value, a number of paintings supposedly by him have come out of the woodwork, leading to discussions of authenticity. In Italy, a new research institute dedicated to the preservation and scholarship of Caravaggio’s paintings has been founded with the financial support of the Italian luxury brand Fendi.
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