Deferring Frances Widdowson

On the matter of the Widdowson-Howard brouhaha the CPSA Board has reached a decision to defer its decision. You’ll remember the tears and tantrums at the Canadian Political Science Association meetings last year, when Frances Widdowson read a paper recapitulating the argument in the book she wrote with Albert Howard, Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry: The Deception Behind the Aboriginal Cultural Industry (McGill-Queen’s University Press). Some of the people at Widdowson’s session contended that the argument had created a “hostile atmosphere. ” The CPSA Women’s Caucus asked the Board to issue a “protocol” about correct behaviour at academic panels.

Now we have the Board’s response. It does not mention Widdowson and Howard, or their book, or the tears at Widdowson’s session. It does not promise a protocol. It says merely that at their December 2008 meeting the CPSA Board established a committee to review professional ethics for political scientists. It is chaired by Avigail Eisenberg (Victoria) and its members are Caroline Dick (Western) and Jocelyn MacLure (Laval). They will report to the Board in December 2009. So all bets are off for a year.

Meanwhile Frances Widdowson is enjoying great success with her book. Television talk shows, think tanks (she got a big splash at The Frontier Centre for Public Policy), Maclean’s, the National Post: they all want her.

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2 Responses to “Deferring Frances Widdowson”


  1. 1 Joe July 14, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    The book is racism and ill informed. A narrow minded perception at best. Not worth the read. It’s not a factual depiction of the Aboriginal Culture. If anyone reads this book, keep in mind the neo-colonialist point of view. The author’s are shallow and are profiteer of those whom been under the tyranny of the anglo’s.

    The British empire is the problem on earth. A pathetic government that steals to survive. Get rid of them and peace will come to all nations. All nation under british rule of law have the same problem… the Britishs

    My recommendation is for you to take a serious moment to view V for Vendetta.. And consider doing what is mentionned in the greatess ending of all time.

  2. 2 Albert Howard March 4, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Given the semiliterate comment by Joe, is there any chance that anyone will take seriously his claim that the book is “not worth the read”? I’ve noticed that the negative criticisms of the book tend to include unsubstantiated accusations and ad hominem attacks instead of rational analysis. There are also a lot of clearly written, intelligent reviews by people who understand the objectives of the book. Joe should reflect on those – it might clear his head.


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