Award for worst academic writing

This article is over 7 years old Mind that metaphor! Workers paint wind turbine blades in northern China. Fondrie, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, beat an impressive display of terrible writing to win the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest, named in honour of Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton's novel Paul Clifford and its much-quoted opening, "It was a dark and stormy night".

Award for worst academic writing

The Bad Writing Contest attempts to locate the ugliest, most stylistically awful passage found in a scholarly book or article published in the last few years. Ordinary journalism, fiction, etc. In a field where unintended self-parody is so widespread, deliberate send-ups are hardly necessary.

award for worst academic writing

Obscurity, after all, can be a notable achievement. The fame and influence of writers such as Hegel, Heidegger, or Derrida rests in part on their mysterious impenetrability. This is a mistake the authors of our our prize-winning passages seem determined to avoid.

The first prize goes to a sentence by the distinguished scholar Fredric Jameson, a man who on the evidence of his many admired books finds it difficult to write intelligibly and impossible to write well.

The visual is essentially pornographic, which is to say that it has its end in rapt, mindless fascination; thinking about its attributes becomes an adjunct to that, if it is unwilling to betray its object; while the most austere films necessarily draw their energy from the attempt to repress their own excess rather than from the more thankless effort to discipline the viewer.

And imagine if that uncertain "it" were willing to betray its object? The reader may be baffled, but then any author who thinks visual experience is essentially pornographic suffers confusions no lessons in English composition are going to fix.

award for worst academic writing

If reading Fredric Jameson is like swimming through cold porridge, there are writers who strive for incoherence of a more bombastic kind. Here is our next winner, which was found for us by Professor Cynthia Freeland of the University of Houston. The writer is Professor Rob Wilson: This colorful gem appears in a collection called The Administration of Aesthetics: And precisely what are "racially heteroglossic wilds and others"?

Wilson is an English professor, of course. That incomprehensibility need not be long-winded is proven by our third-place winner, sent in by Richard Collier, who teaches at Mt. Royal College in Canada. Marcus University of California Press, Of what he calls "post-modern ethnography," Professor Tyler says: It thus relativizes discourse not just to form--that familiar perversion of the modernist; nor to authorial intention--that conceit of the romantics; nor to a foundational world beyond discourse--that desperate grasping for a separate reality of the mystic and scientist alike; nor even to history and ideology--those refuges of the hermeneuticist; nor even less to language--that hypostasized abstraction of the linguist; nor, ultimately, even to discourse--that Nietzschean playground of world-lost signifiers of the structuralist and grammatologist, but to all or none of these, for it is anarchic, though not for the sake of anarchy but because it refuses to become a fetishized object among objects--to be dismantled, compared, classified, and neutered in that parody of scientific scrutiny known as criticism.

Tim van Gelder of the University of Melbourne sent us the following sentence: Neither has any faculty member. When interpreted from within the ideal space of the myth-symbol school, Americanist masterworks legitimized hegemonic understanding of American history expressively totalized in the metanarrative that had been reconstructed out of or more accurately read into these masterworks.

Susan Katz Karp, a graduate student at Queens College in New York City, found this choice nugget showing that forward-thinking art historians are doing their desperate best to import postmodern style into their discipline. Chave, writing in Art Bulletin December To this end, I must underline the phallicism endemic to the dialectics of penetration routinely deployed in descriptions of pictorial space and the operations of spectatorship.

The next round of the Bad Writing Contest, results to be announced inis now open with a deadline of December 31, Feel free to forward this message to other lists or internet sites.Posts about Worst Writing Award written by Lynn.

Home | The Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest

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Award for world's worst writing goes to author Molly Ringle's comparison of a lovers' kiss with the sucking of a thirsty rodent. World's Worst Writing. The academic journal Philosophy and Literature chose the following three pieces of writing in its "bad style" contest.

Irony and parody were excluded from the contest, so all three are genuine pieces of academic writing. Welcome to the Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest! The Bad Writing Contest attempts to locate the ugliest, most stylistically awful passage found in a scholarly book or article published in the last few years.

Ordinary journalism, fiction, etc. are not eligible, nor are parodies: entries must be non-ironic, from actual serious academic journals or books.

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