Today was the last day of school, which means two weeks of Easter/spring holidays. In theory, the holidays only start on Friday, but my Wednesday class is currently doing work experience internships and Thursday is Future Day, which is the German version of Take our sons and daughters to work day, so I have no classes on the remaining two days until the holidays.
My Sunday post on Gender and the shifting definitions of epic and urban fantasy really seems to have struck a chord, thanks to links from Jay Lake, Paul Jessup and Harry Connolly. At any rate, yesterday was the busiest day since the relaunch of this blog with 147 unique visits according to the WordPress Stats plug-in.
The issue of gender and fantasy continues to be a hot topic. Here Paul Jessup muses about the feminization of epic fantasy and wonders why there aren’t more women writing epic fantasy.
Is there some previously unknown law of nature that every big genre dust-up about epic fantasy inevitably coincides with a plagiarism scandal involving a German politician? At any rate, February’s “nihilism in epic fantasy” debate coincided with the plagiarism allegations (now proven) against former German defence secretary Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.
And now that we are having a debate about gender and epic fantasy, there just happens to be a new plagiarism scandal involving a German politician. This time around, the alleged plagiarist is Silvana Koch-Mehrin, who is a member of the European Parliament for the liberal party FDP (liberal in the European sense – libertarian in the US sense) and a frequent guest in political chat shows and apparently an authority on women’s issues. At any rate, she usually shows up in political chat shows to explain how easy it is for women to combine career and family. Ms. Koch-Mehrin also has the distinction that her photo on the official campaign posters for the 2009 European Parliament elections made her look like a vampire. The VroniPlag Wiki lists the evidence against Koch-Mehrin here.
The good people at VroniPlag have made it their mission to uncover plagiarising politicians and at the moment they have two other dissertations under investigation, namely that of Matthias Pröfrock of the conservative party CDU, who is a member of the Baden-Württemberg state parliament, and Veronica Saß who is the daughter of conservative politician and former prime minister of Bavaria Edmund Stoiber. The evidence in all three cases looks pretty damning. The German Financial Times has more information on all three cases.
Considering that four politically motivated doctoral candidates have been exposed as plagiarists in recent months – and I for one suspect that more cases like those will turn up – I hope that soon we will only have politicians who actually put in the work to gain their doctorates.
Finally, I just wrote a long, link-laden post about the nuclear power situation in Japan, Germany, the US and elsewhere over at the ABC-Buhlert blog.