https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.chronicle.com_article_What-2Dthe-2DGrievance_244753_&d=DwICAg&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=LVw5zH6C4LHpVQcGEdVcrQ&m=UVtjr0RW4Cqy8SVrhnaYN7FRyp0ZHYgOj-_-LMqlZc8&s=ioEw-lH9I1sjtK8ganMUNcsmuNf1JmeMY0NobdFxo3E&e= What the 'Grievance Studies' Hoax Means October 09, 2018 Over the summer, the Wall Street Journal's Jillian Kay Melchior became suspicious of a bizarre-sounding academic journal article, "Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon," published in the journal Gender, Place & Culture. She started investigating, and discovered that the article's author, "Helen Wilson," did not exist. The article was part of an elaborate hoax cooked up by Helen Pluckrose, the editor of the online magazine Areo, James A. Lindsay, a Ph.D. in math, and Peter Boghossian, an assistant professor of philosophy at Portland State University. "Sokal Squared," Yascha Mounk called it, and the label stuck. The trio of hoaxers, Melchior discovered, had written 20 fake papers and managed to get seven of them accepted at peer-reviewed journals, including "Our Struggle Is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism," composed of passages of Hitler's Mein Kampf rewritten so as to appear to be a theoretical argument about social justice. As the hoaxers explained in Areo, they targeted fields they pejoratively dub "grievance studies" - "gender studies, masculinities studies, queer studies, sexuality studies, psychoanalysis, critical race theory, critical whiteness theory, fat studies, sociology, and educational philosophy" - which they consider peculiarly susceptible to fashionable nonsense. Does the hoax identify something uniquely rotten in gender and sexuality studies, or could it just as easily have targeted other fields? Is it a salutary correction or a reactionary hit job? And what does it portend for already imperiled fields? The Chronicle Review asked scholars from a variety of disciplines. Here are their responses. To hoax morally suspect fields like economics, one of the fake papers concocted by James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian and accepted for publication in Hypatia argued, is morally righteous. To hoax morally righteous fields like gender studies, on the other hand, is morally suspect. This hilarious little piece of meta-textualism shows that the scholars behind Sokal Squared are more conversant in postmodern discourse - and more attuned to its lighter modes - than some of their critics seem to assume. It also shows that they know their enemies well enough to predict their reactions with uncanny accuracy. What is most striking in the intense debate which this hoax has already occasioned is the sheer amount of tribal solidarity it has elicited among leftists and academics. Virtually the whole debate has focused on the supposedly malign motives, or the supposedly evident stupidity, of the authors. I don't find these criticisms to be particularly persuasive. Like Alan Sokal, Lindsay, Pluckrose, and Boghossian locate themselves on the left. And while it did them no favors to write up their hoax in the style of a social-scientific experiment, thus inviting the wrong standard of judgment, their mastery of postmodern jargon and their sly humor is evident in the corpus of work they have produced in the past year. If you don't believe me, dear "Sokal Squared" critics, I beseech you to actually skim some of the papers: you may even, despite yourself, end up having a good chuckle. But what I've found most striking - and debased - about this grand circling of the imperiled wagons is the ad hominem nature of so many of the reactions. So let me concede, for the sake of argument, that the motives behind the hoaxes were nasty; that they provided succor to the anti-intellectual enemies of the academy; that their hoax was, by its very nature (or, as Hypatia would have it, by its impermissible choice of target), immoral. What would follow from all of this? Practically nothing. Because, after all, it is possible to glean valuable information from the immoral actions of evil people. And even if all of the charges laid at the feet of Lindsay, Pluckrose, and Boghossian were true, they would have demonstrated a very worrying fact: Some of the leading journals in areas like gender studies have failed to distinguish between real scholarship and intellectually vacuous as well as morally troubling bullshit. Perhaps this does not mean that we should celebrate the perpetrators of the hoax as moral heroes. Perhaps it would have been possible to hoax other fields in similar ways. And as the hoaxers themselves emphasize, there is no reason to conclude that all of academia is rotten, or that we shouldn't devote serious attention and resources to studying sex, gender, and race. But for all of the caveats, one thing remains incontestable in my mind: Any academic who is not at least a little troubled by the ease with which the hoaxers passed satire off as wisdom has fallen foul to the same kind of motivated reasoning and naked partisanship that is currently engulfing the country as a whole. Yascha Mounk is a lecturer on government at Harvard University.
Tuesday, Armenian Police General Named Provincial Governor • Marine Khachatrian • Sisak Gabrielian Armenia - Hunan Poghosian, the newly appointed governor of Syunik province, speaks to reporters in Yerevan, . In a surprise move, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s government on Tuesday appointed a retired general, who was Armenia’s second most powerful police official during former President Serzh Sarkisian’s rule, as a provincial governor. Lieutenant-General Hunan Poghosian was named to run the southeastern Syunik province five months after resigning as first deputy chief of the Armenian police following Pashinian-led mass protests that toppled Sarkisian’s government. He had held that position since 2010. Poghosian tendered his resignation immediately after Pashinian appointed one of his subordinates, Colonel Valeri Osipian, as new head of the national police service on May 10. He gave no clear reasons for his exit. Armenia - Opposition protesters clash with riot police in Yerevan, 16 April 2018. The new government’s decision to give the vacant post of Syunik governor to Poghosian therefore took many by surprise. Some Pashinian supporters criticized it, saying that the police general was closely linked to the former ruling regime accused of corruption and human rights abuses. Pashinian acknowledged that the appointment may seem “strange” seeing as Poghosian was “on the other side of the barricades” during his nationwide campaign of anti-government protests. He said it is part of his efforts to “consolidate” the nation after last spring’s dramatic upheavals. “I find it very important to ensure that as a result of the revolution nobody feels that their [professional] life in Armenia is finished,” Pashinian told a cabinet meeting in Yerevan. “Accordingly, we must not allow the emergence of a phenomenon which can tentatively be called political racism.” “There are times for building barricades and dismantling them, and I hope that we are getting close to the latter point,” he said. Armenia - General Hunan Poghosian, the first deputy chief of the Armenian police, speaks to reporters near a police building in Yerevan seized by anti-government gunmen, 18Jul2016. Poghosian, meanwhile, dismissed critics’ claims that he was a loyal “servant” of the former ruling regime. “Only slavish people can probably think so,” he told reporters. “I have always served the law and the people.” “I’m a supporter of New Armenia and I will do everything to help ensure that everything is alright in New Armenia,” added the 54-year-old. Poghosian’s latest appointment was made possible by Pashinian’s decision earlier this month to sack all government ministers and provincial governors affiliated with the Prosperous Armenia and Dashnaktsutyun parties. The premier accused his coalition partners parties of assisting Sarkisian’s Republicans in their efforts to scuttle his plans to force snap parliamentary elections in December. U.S. Plans ‘Strategic’ Talks With Armenia • Sargis Harutyunyan • Emil Danielyan Armenia - U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent speaks at a press conference in Yerevan, . The United States plans to hold early next year “strategic discussions” with Armenia on ways of strengthening bilateral relations, a senior U.S. State Department official said at the end of a visit to Yerevan on Tuesday. George Kent, the U.S deputy assistant secretary of state for the European and Eurasian affairs, met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian as well as Armenian parliamentarians, businesspeople and civil society members during the two-day trip. He reaffirmed Washington’s readiness to help the new Armenian government implement sweeping political and economic reforms promised by it. “The U.S. remains ready to be a supportive partner as Armenia moves forward in improving its quality of institutions,” Kent told a news conference. “I believe after the [Armenian parliamentary] elections we will hold the next round of U.S.-Armenia Task Force strategic discussions,” he said. “I expect those will take place in Washington in the new year, perhaps in February. And I think that will be an excellent moment or us to talk about how we can deepen our relationship.” Kent pointed out that the U.S. already provided Armenia with $14 million in additional aid following last spring’s “velvet revolution” that brought Pashinian to power. He said it can specifically support the Pashinian government’s anti-corruption efforts and “programs on ways of diversifying the Armenian economy.” “U.S. companies will be prepared to invest in Armenia if the investment climate is supportive of large-scale investment,” Kent went on. “So it was interesting for me to hear the experience of U.S. companies [doing business in Armenia,] whether they are in hydroelectric power or other areas.” “I think there is a lot of discussion now about a large mining investment that is under review, and as I told Armenian political leaders yesterday, it’s critical that contracts are upheld in order that Armenia can continue to attract investment that will create good jobs and allow Armenians to work with dignity here in Armenia, rather than going overseas,” he stressed. Armenia - Gold mining facilities constructed by Lydian International company at Amulsar deposit, 18 May 2018. The U.S. official clearly referred to the continuing disruption of operations at the Amulsar gold deposit in southeastern Armenia which was developed by the Anglo-American company Lydian International. All roads leading to Amulsar have been blocked since June 23 by dozens of people protesting against gold mining operations there which they say are fraught with serious risks to the environment. Lydian has dismissed these concerns, saying that it will use modern and safe technology. The company, which claims to have invested more than $300 million in Amulsar, has condemned the disruption of its operations as illegal. The Armenian government, meanwhile, remains reluctant to forcibly unblock the Amulsar roads. Pashinian said late last month that the government is now seeking more evidence that open-pit mining would not contaminate water in the area. The Amulsar project is strongly supported by the U.S. and British governments. The U.S. ambassador to Armenia, Richard Mills, has repeatedly warned that its possible scrapping would discourage further U.S. investments in the Armenian economy. “As a friend of Armenia, I fear that if this issue is not resolved soon it could put a large cloud over the attractiveness of Armenia as a place to do business,” Mills warned last week. He noted “the absence of evidence of significant violations of Armenian environmental laws” by Lydian. Belgium - U.S. President Donald Trump and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian talk during a NATO summit in Brussels, 11 July 2018. Pashinian briefed Kent on his government’s reform agenda when they met on Monday. He had earlier expressed readiness to “strengthen and expand” U.S.-Armenian relations. The Armenian premier briefly chatted with U.S. President Donald Trump at a NATO summit in Brussels in July. He hoped to hold his first talks with Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in late September. The talks did not take place, however. “I’m sure there will be a [Trump-Pashinian] meeting but I can’t tell you exactly where and when,” said Kent. He suggested that Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, will discuss the matter with Pashinian when he visits Yerevan later this month. Kent said that Armenia’s relations with neighboring Iran and renewed U.S. economic sanctions against Tehran will also be on the agenda of Bolton’s talks. Trump re-imposed the sanctions earlier this year after pulling out of a 2015 international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. The move was criticized by the other world powers that signed it: France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China. Armenia too continues to support the 2015 deal and has made clear that it will press ahead with joint economic projects with Iran. The Islamic Republic is one of the landlocked country’s two commercial conduits to the outside world. “While we understand the challenges for Armenia in terms of regional trade, we remain very concerned about the behavior of elements of the Iranian military and state in regional instability, not regional stability,” Kent said in this regard. “So there are questions of legitimate trade but there are also questions of how the [Iranian] Revolutionary Guards and Quds force sponsor terrorism.” “So I think you can expect a frank and active exchange of perspectives during Ambassador Bolton’s visit about positive opportunities in the bilateral relationship and challenges to regional stability,” added the U.S. official. Security Chief Blames ‘Well-Known Armenian’ For Leaked Phone Calls • Sisak Gabrielian Armenia - Artur Vanetsian (L), director of the National Security Service (NSS), and Special Investigative Service chief Sasun Khachatrian at a cabinet meeting in Yerevan, 20 September 2018. Artur Vanetsian, the National Security Service (NSS) director, claimed on Tuesday that a “well-known” individual from Armenia commissioned the secret recording of his sensitive phone conversations with the head of another law-enforcement body. Vanetsian refused to name that person, saying that investigators lack the evidence to prosecute the latter. “It is very, very difficult to document and substantiate the involvement of that single orderer,” he told reporters. “Unfortunately, that cannot happen at this stage.” Vanetsian and Sasun Khachatrian, head of the Special Investigative Service (SIS), spoke by phone in July shortly before former President Robert Kocharian was arrested over his role in the 2008 post-election violence in Yerevan. Their phone conversations were wiretapped and posted on the Internet by unknown individuals in September. In that audio, Vanetsian can be heard telling Khachatrian that he ordered a judge to sanction Kocharian’s controversial arrest. Vanetsian also urged the SIS not to arrest Yuri Khachaturov, the Armenian secretary general of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), warning of a negative reaction from Russia. He noted that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian wants investigators to “lock up” Khachaturov. Pashinian condemned the wiretapping and denied putting pressure on investigators. For his part, Kocharian, who was released from pre-trial custody in August, portrayed the audio as further proof that the criminal case against him is politically motivated. Vanetsian said on Tuesday that the audio was doctored to leave the impression that he put pressure on the judge. He insisted that in fact he never spoke to the judge and referred a senior SIS investigator instead. The NSS chief also said that it was possible to wiretap his phone calls with Khachatrian only because he made them from a foreign country.“Any mid-level specialist could have secretly recorded them,” he said. Vanetsian further claimed that the prominent Armenian commissioned the wiretapping with the aim of forcing him to resign. He said the same person has been paying some media outlets to discredit him. He refused to name them, saying only that “they charge 3 million or 4 million drams ($6,200-$8,300) per article.” Last month, law-enforcement officers searched the offices of an Armenian news website, Yerevan.Today, and confiscated some of its computer hard disks as part of a criminal investigation into the leaked phone calls. The website editor, Sevak Hakobian, strongly denied any involvement in the wiretapping. He also dismissed claims that Yerevan.Today is controlled or financed by Kocharian. Reprinted on ANN/Armenian News with permission from RFE/RL Copyright (c) 2018 Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Inc. 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
Armenian FM to attend Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers meeting in Luxembourg
YEREVAN, OCTOBER 14, ARMENPRESS. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan will visit Luxembourg to participate in the October 15 EU Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers meeting, the foreign ministry said.
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) ministerial meeting will bring together EU foreign ministers and their counterparts from the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine), as well as key stakeholders involved in the region, the European Council said in a press release.
The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini will chair the meeting.
The meeting will provide an opportunity to resume the political dialogue between the EU and its Eastern partners.
Foreign ministers will also take stock of the implementation of the partnership's commitments, including the priorities identified as the '20 deliverables for 2020'.
The latter were adopted at the last Eastern Partnership Summit in November 2017 with a view to achieve stronger economy, governance, connectivity and society.
The meeting will also be the opportunity to discuss first ideas to mark the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership due in May next year.
Ahead of this meeting, EU ministers exchanged views on the Eastern Partnership at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in July 2018.
They reaffirmed the EU's commitment to the region, to the reform agenda and to the priorities identified as the '20 deliverables for 2020'. They confirmed the relevance of the tailored-made and differentiated approach and underlined the need to step up reforms in several areas.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan
Armenian delegation thwarts Azerbaijani efforts in PACE on shutting down Metsamor NPP
YEREVAN, OCTOBER 15, ARMENPRESS. The Armenian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has prevented the Azerbaijani efforts on halting the Metsamor Armenian Nuclear Power Plant’s operations, PACE Armenia delegation head Arpine Hovhannisyan said on Facebook.
“The Nuclear Safety in Europe resolution was adopted during the PACE October session,” she said, adding that the motion’s goal is to set the actions which member states should implement to increase safety of nuclear power plants and decrease risks in the event of incidents of terrorism. She highlighted the fact that with this resolution the assembly is demanding Belarus to not launch the Ostrovets nuclear power plant, which is currently under development 45km from Vilnius, Lithuania, until it corresponds to international standards.
“On the occasion of this resolution the Azerbaijani delegation was attempting to include wordings in the resolution for halting the operations of the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant. They failed, we prevented it,” she said.
Hovhannisyan also noted that she has thwarted the appointment of a biased co-rapporteur for Armenia in the EPP group. As a result, Slovenian Andrei Schirchel has been appointed as the new co-rapporteur from the EPP group, she said.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan
PM Pashinyan’s resignation expected on October 16 – spokesperson
YEREVAN, OCTOBER 15, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan is expected to resign on October 16, PM’s spokesperson Arman Yeghoyan told ARMENPRESS.
To the question if the PM will resign during the extraordinary session of the Cabinet, Yeghoyan answered, “I cannot answer that question. It may happen during the session, an hour after the session or 7 hours after the session”.
PM Pashinyan announced about his intention to resign on October 10. He told France 24 TV that he plans to resign until October 16, which means that the early parliamentary elections will take place on December 9 or 10.
Edited and translated by Tigran Sirekanyan
AGBU Press Office 55 East 59th Street New York, NY 10022-1112 Website: www.agbu.org PRESS RELEASE Monday, NEW OPPORTUNITIES INTRODUCED FOR FRANCOPHONES IN ARMENIA AGBU CHAPTERS LAUNCH A NEW SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM AND WRITING COMPETITION TO ENCOURAGE ENHANCEMENT OF FRENCH-LANGUAGE EDUCATION IN ARMENIA In the light of this year's Francophonie Summit held in Yerevan, AGBU Montreal and AGBU France have launched new projects in an effort to support French-speaking youth in Armenia, as well as promote French language and culture. Every two years, the Francophonie Summit-the main decision-making body of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF)-brings together leaders and representatives of 84 member-states for a series of discussions. For 48 years, OIF has actively advocated French language, linguistic diversity and humanist values across the world. On October 12, the final day of the Summit, AGBU Montreal and the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), a global network of French-language universities and research institutions, signed a framework agreement creating new educational opportunities for Armenia's Francophone students. Each year, four students from Armenia accepted to Quebec's French-language universities will get scholarships to pursue their doctoral degrees. AUF will grant the shortlisted candidates the exemption for tuition fees, while AGBU will oversee the selection process, provide some financial assistance to these students and facilitate their integration into the global Francophone community. The signing ceremony was held at the AGBU Armenia Office, with Armenia's Minister of Education and Science Arayik Harutyunyan, as well as government and university officials in attendance. "This agreement creates better opportunities for Armenian students to pursue higher education in French, thus targeting the objectives of OIF of spreading French language around the world," said Rector of AUF Jean-Paul de Gaudemar. Chairman of AGBU Montreal Chahé Tanachian noted that commitment to education is at the core of AGBU's mission. "It is a special agreement that we signed with AUF on the sidelines of the Francophonie Summit. Having students from Armenia in French universities will enhance cooperation in the field of education between Canada and Armenia and will make French language more popular in the Armenian society," Tanachian said. "AGBU is also looking forward to more closely working with Armenia's Ministry of Education to develop better expertise and skills in areas needed today." In an effort to promote French-Armenian connections and boost people's interest in French language, AGBU France-in partnership with the French Embassy in Armenia-announced the launch of a contest of short stories themed "Armenia of My Dreams in 2050 AGBU France-in partnership with the French Embassy in Armenia-announced the launch of a contest of short stories themed "Armenia of My Dreams in 2050." This contest is set to encourage the Francophones citizens of Armenia to imagine a better future for their homeland given the recent revival of democracy. "Taking advantage of this important moment, the Francophonie Summit in Yerevan, AGBU France contributes to the promotion of French language in Armenia through this contest. This contest is also a tribute to Charles Aznavour who skillfully used this language,'' said President of AGBU France and AGBU Europe Nadia Gortzounian. ''We hope that the contest's theme will inspire many applicants." The contest is open to the residents of Armenia who can submit their short stories in French -up to three pages or 4,500 characters-through December 15. Authors of the top three stories will receive monetary awards. For more information about the contest, please visit ugabfrance.org/2018/10/concours-recits/. The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) is the world's largest non-profit organization devoted to upholding the Armenian heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs. Each year, AGBU is committed to making a difference in the lives of 500,000 people across Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian diaspora. Since 1906, AGBU has remained true to one overarching goal: to create a foundation for the prosperity of all Armenians. To learn more visit www.agbu.org.