Thursday, March 10, 2016

Brodhead's conscience is clear about false allegations of rape; what about his lying about me in the NY TIMES?

Brodhead's conscience is clear. Maybe that means he does not have a conscience.

This is from his interview with the Duke Chronicle:

Ten years later, President Richard Brodhead says he has come to terms with the lacrosse case that rocked Duke’s campus. Former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong was disbarred for his handling of the Duke lacrosse case 10 years ago. Brodhead noted that Nifong’s actions kept the case in the national spotlight.
“I am certainly at ease in my conscience with the role that I played,” he said.
Brodhead said he does not spend much time thinking about the incident that cast a shadow over Duke, but the episode—and the role he played during it—have had a significant impact on his legacy as president of the University. As the case was winding down, Brodhead apologized for his unwillingness to defend the lacrosse players earlier in the process.
“The fact is that we did not get it right, causing the families to feel abandoned when they most needed support,” he wrote in a 2007 statement. “This was a mistake. I take responsibility for it, and I apologize." 

But what about his lies about scholars?
In the early years of the 2000s leading up to these two scholarly studies of Melville, historical and biographical scholarship was still being discounted or ignored by living intellectual heirs of the New Criticism. Those Melville scholars who had continued to pursue unfashionable scholarly investigations were stunned in 2002 to see just how seriously a generation or two of professors had taken the dismissal of biographical or historical study of Melville. In 2002, 80 years after Minnigerode printed the 1860 documents about Poems, 51 years after Leyda reprinted and supplemented the documents, 43 years after Leyda had reprinted the Log with a Supplement, three reviewers of the second volume of Parker's biography--a Yale dean (Richard H. Brodhead), a Columbia professor (Andrew Delbanco), and a Kansas professor (Elizabeth Schultz)--all denied that Melville had ever written Poems. In doing so, they ignored all the documents quoted and analyzed in the pages of the biography they were reviewing. Printing his accusation in the most conspicuous place possible, the Sunday New York Times Book Review (June 23, 2002), Brodhead declared contemptuously that only Parker “in his black hole” had ever heard of Poems. Available online, never corrected, Brodhead’s words can mislead any uninformed reader who encounters the review. Delbanco went so far as to warn that because of Parker’s unfounded surmises about the existence of the lost 1853 The Isle of the Cross and the 1860 Poems readers should regard all of his biography as untrustworthy. Delbanco’s review also remains online. Schultz echoed the groundless accusation that Parker had invented Poems, declaring that its existence was only “putative.” Damage to Melville scholarship (quite aside from damage to Parker’s reputation) has been compounded by this succession of false accusations. Yet Brodhead, Delbanco, and Schultz in 2002, however inexcusable they were in their denial that Melville wrote a book he called Poems, and however unfair in their assaults on Parker’s credibility as a biographer, were not the only Melville critics to deflect attention away from Poems.

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