L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

10 January 2007 Blog Home : January 2007 : Permalink

Good News for PhD Students

(This post also appears at my new Townhall blog)
At NRO's PhiBetaCon's blog David French tells us that the American Historical Association has decided to condemn the war in Iraq - a motion passed with no dissent whatsoever. He continues with this:

As a final note, the Iraq War resolution was drafted by Historians Against the War, which called the war’s practices “inimical to the values of the historical profession.” Which values are those? Are American soldiers plagiarizing or writing unoriginal theses in the Anbar province? Are they ignoring primary documents in favor of secondary sources? Are they advocating against tenure and reduced teaching loads? Not really. It turns out that the “values” of the historical profession mysteriously echo the “core values” of Harvard Law School — historians (like law school deans) are concerned about interrogation techniques.

This is actually good news. Unlike PhDs in other fields, Historians are guaranteed not to be waterboarded during their Vivas, they will also not be forced to parade naked before their examiners or listen to hours of rap music in the hours beforehand. One suspects that the AHA would look rather dimly upon the ancient tradition of the Tripos, judging it a cruel and unusual interrogation technique.

Even better, given the support for speech codes and the condemnation of Iraq, any would be PhD student searching for a topic for his thesis now has a number of options which are sure to guarantee him (or her) professorial approval such as:

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin