Sunday, February 13, 2005

 

Ward Churchill--plagiarist

From WorldNet Daily:

Is 9-11 prof a plagiarist? Churchill writings said to contain passages 'almost identical' to those of other authors
Posted: February 13, 20055:47 a.m. Eastern
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

Prof. Ward Churchill under fire for 9-11 comments

Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado professor under fire for saying the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attacks were not innocent, is now under the microscope for the accuracy of his academic writings, including possibly plagiarizing material.

"If he is going to get fired, it is going to be for making up data, and that's one thing you can't get away with in the academic community," Thomas Brown, assistant professor of sociology at Lamar University in Texas, told the Denver Post.

Critics such as John LaVelle, a University of New Mexico law professor, say essays by Churchill contain passages "almost identical" to those of other authors, according to the Rocky Mountain News.

That allegation was actually made in a 1999 essay by LaVelle published in "Wicazo Sa Review," an American Indian studies journal.

In his paper, LaVelle compared sections of Churchill's work to parts of essays by other writers, showing the wording to be "substantially the same," reports the News.

LaVelle's criticism says Churchill invents or distorts facts, a claim repeated by other scholars.

"He just makes things up," Guenter Lewy, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts, told the News.

Lewy says Churchill's assertion that the U.S. Army intentionally spread smallpox among American Indians by distributing infected blankets in 1837 is false.

As an example of possible plagiarism, the News published two similar passages from Churchill and his ex-wife, M. Annette Jaimes, who later changed her name to Jaimes Guerrero.

Churchill: The Indian Citizenship Act greatly confused the circumstances even of many of the blooded and federally-certified Indians, and imposed legal obligations of citizenship upon them. As for the noncertified, mixed-blood people, their status was finally "clarified": they had been absorbed into the American mainstream at the stroke of the congressional pen. Despite the act having technically left certified Indians occupying the status of citizenship within their own indigenous nation as well as the U.S. (a "dual form" of citizenship so awkward as to be sublime), the juridicial door had been opened by which the weight of Indian obligations would begin to accrue more to the U.S. than to themselves.
– "Struggle for the Land," a volume of essays by Ward Churchill published in 1993

Jaimes: The Indian Citizenship Act greatly confused the circumstances even of many of the blooded and federally certified Indians insofar as it was held to bear legal force, and to carry legal obligations, whether or not any given Indian or group of Indians wished to be a U.S. citizen. As for the host of non-certifed, mixed-blood people residing in the U.S., their status was finally "clarified": they had been definitionally absorbed into the American mainstream at the stroke of the congressional pen. And, despite the fact that the act technically left certified Indians occupying the status of citizenship in their own indigenous nation as well as in the U.S. (a "dual form" of citizenship so awkward as to be sublime), the juridicial door had been opened by which the weight of Indian obligations would begin to accrue to the U.S. than to themselves.
– An essay by M. Annette Jaimes included in the volume "The State of Native America" published in 1992

Churchill reportedly cited Jaimes in a footnote, but did not put the material in quotes, nor did he refer to the similarity of the wording.

Churchill used extensive footnotes in his work, said to stretch for many pages.

"He's impeccable on his sources and known for his empirical and archival-based methodologies," Arturo Aldama, a professor with Churchill in the CU ethnic-studies department told the Post.

"Whether you agree with it or not, it's always been praised for academic rigor. He has 400 footnotes per chapter."

But LaVelle was critical of the content of the footnotes.

"By researching those copious endnotes, however, the discerning reader will discover that, notwithstanding all the provocative sound and fury rumbling through his essays, Churchill's analysis overall is sorely lacking in historical/factual veracity and scholarly integrity," LaVelle wrote.

Controversy erupted around Churchill last month, when one of his essays made it into the national spotlight.

Written shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, it describes the thousands of American victims who died in the World Trade Center inferno as "little Eichmanns" – a reference to notorious Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann – who were perpetuating America's "mighty engine of profit." They were destroyed, he added, thanks to the "gallant sacrifices" of "combat teams" that successfully targeted the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.

Churchill resigned his position as head of the Colorado University ethnic studies program but kept his $96,000 per year teaching post. He has steadfastly refused to apologize for his comments.

He's also come under fire for claiming an American Indian heritage, training terrorists, and meeting with Libya's Moammar Gadhafi in the 1980s when the U.S. had banned travel there.

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