The Issue at a Glance

Peer Review and the Productivity Era (10.1007/s12129-013-9347-6)

Mark Bauerlein, Emory University

In the opening contribution to this issue’s special section, “Peer Review in the Politicized Academy,” Mark Bauerlein examines his own field, literary studies, and argues that ideological trendiness is less a cause than a consequence of the avalanche of scholarly material published roughly since 1999, which has made upholding peer review standards nearly impossible.

Peer Review, Political Correctness, and Human Nature (10.1007/s12129-013-9349-4)

Paul Hollander, emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

In his “Peer Review in the Politicized Academy” entry, Paul Hollander writes from his vantage point within the social sciences and finds that political correctness can affect and has affected the process of disinterested evaluation.

The Hidden Costs of Journal Peer Review (10.1007/s12129-013-9353-8)

Robert Weissberg, emeritus, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Adding to the “Peer Review in the Politicized Academy” discussion, Robert Weissberg reflects on his experiences with peer review. Weissberg labels cronyism and ideology as causes behind the corruption of the process.

Bypassing Bias: How Law Reviews Circumvent Favoritism (10.1007/s12129-013-9350-y)

Allen Mendenhall, Southern Literary Review

Culling from his Spring 2013 AQ article, “The Law Review Approach: What the Humanities Can Learn,” Allen Mendenhall adds to the “Peer Review in the Politicized Academy” feature with the suggestion that certain aspects of law review evaluation may work to disinfect peer review in the humanities and social sciences.

The Campaign to Discredit Mark Regnerus and the Assault on Peer Review (10.1007/s12129-013-9364-5)

Peter Wood, Academic Questions

In the last entry in our “Peer Review in the Politicized Academy” feature, Peter Wood describes the widening condemnation of University of Texas at Austin associate professor of sociology Mark Regnerus, who designed, completed, and published in the peer-reviewed journal Social Science Research the results—deemed politically incorrect—of the vast New Family Structures Study, which compared young adults raised by same-sex parents with those raised by their married biological parents.

Political Correctness in the Land of Conformity (10.1007/s12129-013-9360-9)

Bruce W. Davidson, Hokusei Gakuen University

Bruce Davidson writes with disheartening news: political correctness has infiltrated Japan. This exacerbates “tendencies and traditions that already work against rational scholarly inquiry” and “turns classes into forums for indoctrination.” But in detailing how Western-style activism has affected academic life, Davidson, a longtime resident of and professor in Japan, also explains why reflexive anti-Westernism and charges of cultural chauvinism are relatively rare among the Japanese.

Humanists in High Dudgeon: The CFR-ALSCW Standoff (10.1007/s12129-013-9346-7)

John Agresto, John Agresto and Associates

John Agresto reviews “What Is Education?” the response by the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers to U.S. Education Reform and National Security, a 2012 Council on Foreign Relations report chaired by Joel I. Klein and Condoleezza Rice.

Agresto finds a form of bias and liberal arts snobbery in ALSCW’s criticism and, to his surprise, a fair amount of common sense in the practical suggestion for improving our educational system to prepare students for a globalized world in the CFR report.

The Ideology of Political Science (10.1007/s12129-013-9348-5)

Bruce Heiden, The Ohio State University

Arguing against the views of recent contributions to AQ on political science, classicist Bruce Heiden present an outsider’s perspective on the state of the discipline. He contends that political science may, in fact, rest on a false foundation: “that politics is amenable to scientific investigation in the first place.”

Breaking (and Healing) the Social Covenant (10.1007/s12129-013-9351-x)

David Solway

David Solway, frequent contributor to AQ, reflects on the fragmentation of contemporary social and cultural life—“characterized by the breakdown of the social covenant that specifies our concern for one another as citizens of a polity, our curatorial obligation to the past, and our custodial responsibility for successor generations”—and finds that our educational failures rest within this picture.

Copland—Music and Imagination: A Review and Commentary (10.1007/s12129-013-9359-2)

Daniel Asia, University of Arizona

Composer and professor of composition Daniel Asia considers Aaron Copland’s Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, given at Harvard and collected and published under the title Music and Imagination in 1952. We learn about Copland the individual as Asia explains how these lectures share Copland the composer’s understanding of how we are meant to listen to, learn, and teach music.

Weighty Matters (10.1007/s12129-013-9357-4)

Carol Iannone, Academic Questions

In a review essay of Why Trilling Matters, a short book by Adam Kirsch, AQ editor-at-large Carol Iannone focuses on literary criticism and the long and influential career of Lionel Trilling.

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