Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: A turn-up for the books

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  • Russell Clarke,

    Oh dear, now Prof. Keith Sorrenson is claiming that Witi snaffled some of his work too.

    A sticky situation just got stickier, methinks....at least allegedly.

    -36.76, 174.61 or thereab… • Since Nov 2006 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    CK Stead was scathing on RNZ yesterday (streaming 4m40, MP3 1.6MB) about the academic implications, as quoted in that linked Herald story:

    "It makes you wonder what the title
    of a distinguished professor means in the University of Auckland, if they then say what Witi Ihimaera has done doesn't matter.

    "It's really like saying 'Well, yes, I did steal from 16 people but I only took a dollar from each'," he said in the radio interview.

    Professor Stead said the situation would reflect badly on the university until the seriousness of what had happened was acknowledged.

    Avoiding words like "inadvertent" and "error" might be a start.

    Professor Sorrenson said he was annoyed that Professor Ihimaera had been named as one of five Arts Foundation laureates and had received a $50,000 donation.

    "It was awarded for a body of literature which included The Matriarch. It's not just this latest book. He doesn't seem to have learnt anything because he's done it again."

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Go Jolisa. Great RNZ interview just now. One of us can link directly when it is posted here in an hour or so.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Go Jolisa. Great RNZ interview just now.

    Yes, it was. The Listener arrived this morning, with more on this story. The only problem is that it is written by Joanne Black, which won't raise any expectations of fairnesss nor balance. Nevertheless, I wonder what the UoA wil think of the quote from American academic Margaret Soltan, "Pretending it didn't happen is the sort of thing a very provincial university wiill do"

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2321 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Avoiding words like "inadvertent" and "error" might be a start.

    Indeed. "Error" is pretty bleeding obvious, and as numerous people have pointed out -- not least Auckland University Ph.D. candidate Paul Litterick -- there's no "whoopsie, i made an accident" escape clausie in UoA's own rules about plagiarism.

    Yes, it was. The Listener arrived this morning, with more on this story. The only problem is that it is written by Joanne Black, which won't raise any expectations of fairnesss nor balance

    Oh for feck's sake...Spit on me if you must, but I've got say The Listener has been a damn sight better when Black has acting editor.

    I wonder what the UoA wil think of the quote from American academic Margaret Soltan, "Pretending it didn't happen is the sort of thing a very provincial university wiill do"

    It's a damn sight kinder than their own professor emeritus Stead has been over the last twenty four hours.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    written by Joanne Black

    Why why WHY? Argh.

    Caught the last half of the interview thanks to Twitter. Go Jolisa!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Thanks, guys. Hard to concentrate all the thinking and nuance of the last few weeks into nice soundbites, especially with the Wombles playing in the next room by way of video-babysitter. On the other hand, it kind of was the perfect soundtrack.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It's a damn sight kinder than their own professor emeritus Stead has been over the last twenty four hours.

    Yes, but you know, somebodyfromoverseas said it, and when somebodyfromoverseas speaks it always carries more weight.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    From today's Herald:

    Asked why Penguin had not picked up the plagiarism during its own publishing processes - using expert advice - she said that for fiction it would be very tough for anybody, unless they were intimate with the author's previous works.

    "For us to do that for every title would cost us a lot of money to run through [computer] plagiarism programmes."

    Until Penguin grow a few hairs on the backs of their necks, presumably.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3565 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    BTW, heads up folks -- Kathryn Ryan has just done her preview for Nine to Noon , and she's going to have Sorrenson on at some point. At least I hope it's him, because it would just be too much if there's another "senior academic" who wants to talk about "his experience with Ihimaera".

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • Ngaire BookieMonster,

    Great interview Jolisa, glad I saw your tweet about it. Brought it back to the basic point - cut and paste.
    The University keeps using words like "inadvertent" and "no deliberate wrongdoing". How hard would it be to give a plausible scenario of why this is so? "Months ago I put the passages in as placeholders with the intention of going back and rewriting, and then I completely forgot I had done that."
    It's not pretty and it's no less stupid, but at least it would be honest.

    Nevertheless, I wonder what the UoA wil think of the quote from American academic Margaret Soltan, "Pretending it didn't happen is the sort of thing a very provincial university wiill do"

    Ouch.

    At the foot of Mt Te Aroh… • Since Nov 2009 • 173 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    when somebodyfromoverseas speaks it always carries more weight

    *That's* why we know Where You Are Originally From, isn't it?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Asked why Penguin had not picked up the plagiarism during its own publishing processes - using expert advice - she said that for fiction it would be very tough for anybody, unless they were intimate with the author's previous works.

    "For us to do that for every title would cost us a lot of money to run through [computer] plagiarism programmes."

    Or NOT OUTSOURCING YOUR EDITING TO FRAKING FREELANCERS! As I said elsewhere, P.D. James has sad the same editor, Rosemary Goad, through her near half-century with Faber and Faber. Goad's still sharpening her blue pencil in retirement.

    If a relatively small independently-owned house can still afford to do it, why can't the second largest fragging publisher on Earth?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    *That's* why we know Where You Are Originally From, isn't it?

    Actually, no, as soon as peoplefromoverseas move to NZ on anything resembling a permanent basis, they immediately become ordinary local schmucks.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    But, as we worked out in a recent thread, not Real New Zealanders. You inhabit a strange limbo, Tiso.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Nice to hear from the Arts Foundation executive director that it has "no official position" on plagiarism, while handing out substantial awards for a body of work. If they're going to keep including writers, I hope they get one soon.

    I really really want to give the Arts Foundation the benefit of the doubt here, so why do they have to make it so hard? It's like they were perfectly well aware of Ihimaera's previous form as a literary klepto and just didn't care.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    And just what kind of 'commercial art' are you thinking of???

    Another Unicorn perhaps?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3426 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I agree with the young woman from NZUSA on Nine To Noon this morning, who suggested that the response from the University of Auckland could be sending a message of double standards to students. There is plaigarism and there is plaigarism. Universities regularly warn students of this sin--as something akin to matricide--but the problem is that there is often too little explanation as to what exactly it means, or it is just an after-thought in course outlines. One response I have had from ESL Chinese students, for example, is that they are 'paying respect' to source material through lumping in great chunks of (often unattributed) text. Another manifestation of this is when they cite an author but also add in the author's qualifications, their university affiliation, the names of their children...
    My tack, in respect of general advice to students, is that the great majority of knowledge and thought has already been recorded and stored. They will undoubtedly call on this, in terms of quotation and paraphrasing, and all they need to do is acknowledge when and where they do this (as well as adding in their own analysis and explanations).

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2321 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    It is tempting to respond to the cover story of the new Listener "Last chance to save humanity", with a 'Cancel your subscription' but I do have to admit that this issue is really quite good--and Joanne Black on the Witi Ihimarea case is much less horrid than I expected.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2321 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It is tempting to respond to the cover story of the new Listener "Last chance to save humanity", with a 'Cancel your subscription'

    Beats the usual "Last chance to save your waistline" surely.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Beats the usual "Last chance to save your waistline" surely.

    Even those incredibly helpful stories are always sabotaged by the infallibly persuasive wine and cooking pages. Yum.

    The Listener: truly something for everyone.

    (Although: no children's department.)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I agree with the young woman from NZUSA on Nine To Noon this morning, who suggested that the response from the University of Auckland could be sending a message of double standards to students.

    Indeed -- while I've got my bones to pick with NZUSA, I thought Sophia Blair was very good value indeed. Also nice to hear give short shift to the idea that Auckland Uni had an out because The Trowenna Sea was not published "under the university's auspices".

    Worth noting, I think, that for many years C.K. Stead wasn't the only distinguished poet on the English Department faculty. So was Allen Curnow -- and it was only relatively late in his career that the Auckland University Press became his publisher in New Zealand. You're seriously trying to tell me that his literary mana and professorial standing would have been unaffected if it had been discovered he'd laced his Caxton volumes with "poorly integrated" borrowings, or plagiarised another critic's work in his (in)famously combative introductions to his various anthologies of New Zealand verse? As the kids say, I feel a Tui billboard coming on...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    aaargh the 'Erald angles...
    @Joe - your Herald link
    has the Laws Flaw
    and is missing an 'h'
    (ie ttp instead of http)
    I believe Auckland Uni
    will be offering 'Cut n Paste'
    courses soon if ya
    wanna brush up...
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5071 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    @bugger.

    A single semester of sulking with scissors should sort me out.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3565 posts Report Reply

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