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Editorial Article

Tel Aviv University – Chen Misgav (Dept of Geography) Describes "Bodily Functions" - the Death of Academic Standards at TAU

Universities are traditionally places where new ideas are always welcome. Once a theory or question is presented, academic research and study of the subject matter at hand can provide evidence and information to better mankind through understanding. Thus the academy can find a cure for a disease or explains why some cultures are enabled to advance. Sadly, this has been perverted over the last several decades, where academic inquiry is replaced by one-sided advocacy, often for loony things.

…

Along comes PhD student Chen Misgav from Tel Aviv University's Geography department. Bear in mind that at many universities, geography is not even regarded as a bona fide academic discipline. … And what does Misgav do for research? As far as we can tell, he has a great time trolling gay sex clubs in Tel Aviv where he can claim his sexual recreational pursuits serve the dual purpose of getting him "partnered up" as well as getting him an advanced degree and fellowships to travel the University circuit abroad as well as in Israel.
…
Misgav continues:

"My research focuses on people and spaces on the event itself – the party and the interior halls and spaces of the club, where bodily performances, drags, alcohol, sexual practices and music connects (sic) together. My main aim on this research is to check how bodily performances, gender and identity expressions define special spaces inside the club's halls. I conducted many field observations in the club and later on made some in-depth interviews with people who spent time in this club, focusing especially on gay men and transgendered (sic) women. … In my paper I discuss these different and unique constructions of sexual identity and the role of bodily performances and gender through the production of these heterotopias. I will show the extent to which space plays an important role in the construction of identity through body performances."
…
Chen insists that we all have to hear about his homosexuality, which is then conflated by him into an attack against "Zionism" and the Jewish state.

 

 

"Bodily Functions" and the Death of Academic Standards at Tel Aviv University

By Lee Kaplan, www.Isracampus.org.il
4/1/2012

Universities are traditionally places where new ideas are always welcome. Once a theory or question is presented, academic research and study of the subject matter at hand can provide evidence and information to better mankind through understanding. Thus the academy can find a cure for a disease or explains why some cultures are enabled to advance.

Sadly, this has been perverted over the last several decades, where academic inquiry is replaced by one-sided advocacy, often for loony things. In the American university system this has led to an educational Theater of the Absurd: More than one American college introduced courses on "The Philosophy of Star Trek" and actually give credit for them. Georgetown University is currently offering a similar class centered around black rap singer Jay-Z (a high school dropout who supports the racist BDS movement against Israel). Students today may not know Shakespeare or the Classics, they may not be able to add and subtract and they lack critical thinking skills, or even how to read and write, but they can discuss Vulcan terminology or discuss their latest run-ins with their "hoes" and "beotches." Israeli universities are obsessed with copying their American counterparts and places like Tel Aviv University are more than willing to show they can be just as innovative.

Along comes PhD student Chen Misgav from Tel Aviv University's Geography department. Bear in mind that at many universities, geography is not even regarded as a bona fide academic discipline. TAU's website explains its Geography department as being "a leader in research and education in Geoinformatics, Urban Planning, Climatology and Water Resources, Human and Historical Geography." The site continues, "Our teaching and research are inherently interdisciplinary and we seek to integrate the natural sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences. We offer courses in a wide range of geographical specializations at the undergraduate, graduate and PhD levels."

So just how is all this manifested? By doctoral student Chen Misgav inventing a new field called "Queer Geography." He calls it that. So does Tel Aviv University.

And what does Misgav do for research? As far as we can tell, he has a great time trolling gay sex clubs in Tel Aviv where he can claim his sexual recreational pursuits serve the dual purpose of getting him "partnered up" as well as getting him an advanced degree and fellowships to travel the University circuit abroad as well as in Israel.

Here's a brief self-description of Misgav's "research" in a Tel Aviv nightclub where gays and "transsexuals" come to "socialize":
…"I would like to present a research taken place in one of the most well-known gay night clubs in Israel – the Oman 17 Club. In this club takes place a party known as FFF party, which has been running from the early 90's almost every Friday night, and became a famous name in gay nightlife scene and for the gay community in Tel-Aviv. It runs (sic) since 2004 based on the famous Oman 17 Club in Tel-Aviv that attracts mixture of gays, lesbians, straights and transgendered (sic) people. It probably became the most important going-out place for the transgendered (sic) people and maybe the only place that mixed gay men and transgendered (sic) women get together under one roof."

What fun! Sounds like serious scholarship to us!

Misgav continues:

"My research focuses on people and spaces on the event itself – the party and the interior halls and spaces of the club, where bodily performances, drags, alcohol, sexual practices and music connects (sic) together. My main aim on this research is to check how bodily performances, gender and identity expressions define special spaces inside the club's halls. I conducted many field observations in the club and later on made some in-depth interviews with people who spent time in this club, focusing especially on gay men and transgendered (sic) women. I found out that although there is not any official separation between these two groups, each of them produces a kind of what Foucault defined as 'heterotopy' in the space that helps to create a 'room for ourselves' inside the main space. In my paper I discuss these different and unique constructions of sexual identity and the role of bodily performances and gender through the production of these heterotopias. I will show the extent to which space plays an important role in the construction of identity through body performances."

Bodily performances? We sure hope he wipes himself afterwards and washes his hands.

We suppose that, aside from toilet activity, "bodily performances" means sexual activity. Were these "field observations" anything more than sexual voyeurism on Misgav's part, or was he in fact also engaging in those sex acts as part of his TAU "research?"

Chen explains that he is a member of groups affiliated with the International Solidarity Movement, groups that usually have large amount of anti-Semitic homosexuals in them, like Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW) and Solidarity Against Fascism (which supports Arab and Muslim Fascism against Jews).

The question is this: Is "Queer Geography" really just an intellectualized way for "queers" like Misgav to generate homosexual trysts while trying to capitalize on it with a university degree?

Chen insists that we all have to hear about his homosexuality, which is then conflated by him into an attack against "Zionism" and the Jewish state.

He states: "The gay community in Israel went through major changes since the eighties of the 20th century and especially in the nineties. The growing visibility of the community and its political achievements contributed largely to the possibility and to the legitimacy of research on 'queer' subjects. Forming a political gay identity stirred a process of creating alternative knowledge about queer issues in different disciplines, knowledge that arises from the gay life experience and that reflects it In Israel, Tel Aviv–Jaffa became the center of attraction for the gay population and since the end of the eighties in the last century a gay community with identity, visibility and political power started to form. In my researches (sic) I focused on few scales of the space (sic) – from the city and the streets to the gay venues as the night club and the spaces of the body."

Reading that seems to be stimulating some noisy gastro activity in my own rear spaces.

Misgav's faculty mentor at TAU is Tovi Fenster, a notorious anti-Israel professor associated with the anti-Israel "Bimkom" NGO. She claims to have invented "Feminist Geography," whatever that is. Fenster has also been active in the semi-Marxist Van Leer Institute. She led a Geographical Union conference despite her earlier acts such as signing a petition endorsing the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign against Israel.

Fenster's Bimkom is one more NGO seeking Israel's elimination. It specializes in lobbying for most of the Negev being turned into a Bedouinstan state. Ariel Handel, another PhD candidate at TAU is another kommissar of the Fenstergrad camp at Tel Aviv University. Handel's pretension is researching time and space and he then seeks to use his "understandings" of it to promote demonization of Israel, leading to its elimination.

But the real disgrace here is that academic standards at Tel Aviv University have clearly been flushed down with the other Chen Misgav "bodily functions" in the little totalitarian republic of Fenstergrad Geography there.

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Op-Ed articles appearing on IsraCampus.Org.il are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinion of IsraCampus.Org.il