So this is what passes for 'scholarship' at UCLA?
UCLA is a vaunted leading and competitive university in California, where only a small percentage of applicants ever get in.
It's also loaded with wokesters, not just in the departments ending in the word "studies," but apparently in the more rigorous departments, where the leading Egyptologist — a professor or maybe an associate professor, according to her LinkedIn, but UCLA's site says full blown professor, while elsewhere, UCLA says "faculty member" (everyone's kinda loose with facts over there), and chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures — has made a doozy of a wokester error, somehow managing to sandwich in a reference to Kyle Rittenhouse to her new book that claimed that the men Rittenhouse was acquitted of killing were black, and other MSNBC-style tropes. Apparently, she never checks even the most basic of facts from recent news stories.
But she's fancy, indeed, with lots of honors and stuff, according to UCLA, and her own personal website:
Dr. Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney is a professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture at UCLA. Specializing in craft production, coffin studies, and economies in the ancient world, Cooney received her PhD in Egyptology from Johns Hopkins University. In 2005, she was co-curator of Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Cooney produced a comparative archaeology television series, entitled Out of Egypt, which aired in 2009 on the Discovery Channel and is available online via Netflix and Amazon.
Her latest book, The Good Kings: Absolute Power in Ancient Egypt and the Modern World, Kara turns to five ancient Egyptian pharaohs — Khufu, Senwosret III, Akenhaten, Ramses II, and Taharqa — to understand why many so often give up power to the few, and what it can mean for our future. Published by National Geographic Press, this book will be released in late 2021.
Well, it got released, and a local OANN journalist found doozies in it, showing just how wokesterly as well as fast and loose with the facts that place has gotten:
I’m literally wheezing this is so funny 😂🤣 this is the last chapter of “Good Kings” by Egyptologist Kara Cooney. I’ll say this delicately… she’s not the brightest and it shows. pic.twitter.com/YoI4sGGM49— Kara McKinney OANN (@Nefertari_25) January 5, 2022
In her book on Egyptian kings, published by National Geographic Press, Conney wrote:
Or consider 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who used his semi-automatic weapon to kill two Black men in Kenosha, Wisconsin, while waging a glorious race war on behalf of his inherited White power. That's not to mention the White people who rallied behind him to post his bail. Fear has gripped the patriarchy, and the threat of righteous violence — or the lethal use of it — is the patriarchy's response.
Sounds like a good one for Kyle Rittenhouse to add to his lawsuit list.
What's more, it was far from the only error she made. McKinney noted that Cooney not only got her news events flat wrong, but also got her 20th-century history wrong, claiming that Rosa Parks sat down in a white section of the Montgomery bus, not the black section, and refused to give up her seat to a white who thought he was entitled to it after the white section filled up. Cooney didn't know that, either.
There was some largely gentle ribbing on Twitter as word spread about the quality of her wokester "scholarship":
Does Kara want to try again??? pic.twitter.com/a1BTch5H2W— tribute 776 🇺🇸 🇯🇵 🏴 (@Twilightseven) January 5, 2022
Maybe she just looked at the criminal records and made some racist assumptions as white liberal women tend to do. pic.twitter.com/lCiwEJ0b3w— SeñorTrout (@senor_trout) January 5, 2022
But the mistake was such a credibility-killer that she had to come out with a three-part apology on Twitter. She botched it:
On p. 341 of THE GOOD KINGS I state that Kyle Rittenhouse shot two Black men when instead he shot two white men. That was my mistake, and I apologize. The response has been a hateful stew of ridicule and denial that America has a race problem at all.— Kara Cooney (@KaraCooney) January 5, 2022
If one mistake in a little known book about ancient Egypt elicits this much howling, it is to avoid discussing our larger problem, to avoid seeing our deep-seeded obsession with patriarchal power.— Kara Cooney (@KaraCooney) January 5, 2022
So yeah, tiny detail of the book with a big mistake about a massive American issue. And that’s on me. But the white supremacy is still a problem. And the misogyny is still a problem.— Kara Cooney (@KaraCooney) January 5, 2022
What kind of apology is that? She put out sloppy scholarship; failed to check the most basic of her facts; apparently listened only to MSNBC; and became a laughingstock, putting a stubborn stain on the quality of all of her scholarship and casting a shadow on the quality of UCLA scholarship.
She should be embarrassed as hell, and her publisher should yank that book off the store shelves. Didn't anyone at National Geographic fact-check? Admittedly, it was not a scholarly, or peer-reviewed book, which books in the past, at least, have been fiercely fact-checked, but National Geographic is a marquee name, and its miss on this is every bit as embarrassing as Cooney's fantasy facts. I checked and didn't see any crisis over in their quarters. Thus far...it seems the book is still out there and selling like hotcakes on Amazon.
Scholarship? Not exactly. The question raised is what other errors are in her scholarly works now that everyone with a brain can see that she can't get facts right on a major news event that happened just months ago. What else did she make up? Where are her editors? Does anyone try to calm her down before she spews her fact-free wokesterism?
Apparently not. Based on other news reporting out there, Cooney is a rabid feminist who thinks patriarchy is the big problem, and it leaches into her scholarship about Egypt, painting a wokester face on events that happened 6,000 years ago. She can't see anything outside her own wokester context, which is a critical thing for any sort of scholarship involving history or related liberal arts. A disciplined historian always makes himself invisible, and you never know what his politics is. The only thing you learn is what it was like, to your bones, to be immersed in another era. Example A: The brilliant histories of Simon Schama. On Twitter, his views are largely liberal, but that's irrelevant — he's all discipline when it comes to his histories, and that's why those rigorous scholarly histories are definitive and lasting and worth reading, no matter what your politics. You'd never catch him making this kind of mistake.
As this Amazon reviewer put it:
If you like your egyptologist with a feminist missionary zeal who turns egyptology into a political allegory for today's world, and to moralize us then this book is for you.
That is what Kara Cooney does with her new book here as she did with her prior book: When Women Ruled the World. She uses her egyptology to pontificate and project her own personal political sensibilities and politics of today along with her social commentary.
Was I converted? Nah, I returned the book.
For someone so hung up on patriarchy, as she is, she sure does show a lot of boob shots in her photos — seen here. It kind of wrecks her case for patriarchy, given her pro-offered "goods." It does show that she's less about history or art or archaeology than she is about self-promotion. Aside from the Britney Spears aspirations, she's also apparently got more interest in televised projects than she is in checking facts on the substance of her research with her name on it.
It's not her brain she's selling in those photos. Is that why she got her promotion to UCLA "professor"? Now she's making errors like these new doozies because she's not exactly a disciplined researcher, and apparently nobody among her peers ever notices anything. Hedge accordingly.
Image: Twitter screen shot.