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Jan 20, 2005 7:22 pm


What a Cliopatriarch Looks Like ...



Cliopatriarchs generally hold to a doctrine of transblogrification, so we know that appearances can be deceiving. But Scott McLemee (scroll down/17 January) got me to thinking about that again. He's been skinhead bald; now, he's got Extravagant Academic Hair; and he's gonna have it cut back. (Actually, that may have been a veiled reference to the fact that he's leaving the Chronicle of Higher Education for Inside Higher Ed, but how was I supposed to know that?)

Anyway, Fontana Labs's notion of Extravagant Academic Hair amused me so much that I wondered if a group of Cliopatriarchs at the AHA convention would recognize each other because one or all of us had Extravagant Academic Hair. As it turned out, none of us did. Greg Robinson has what you might generously call Thin Academic Hair. Tim Burke has what you might call Thick Academic Hair, but none of us, that I know of, have Extravagant Academic Hair, except on our faces. Including Jonathan Reynolds, at least five Cliopatriarchs have Extravagent Academic Facial Hair.

Cliopatriarchs come in different colors and genders. Manan Ahmed, for instance, simply identified himself to us as"the brown guy" and Extravagant Academic Facial Hair is not an obligation of group membership. To my knowledge, none of the female Cliopatriarchs have beards or mustaches. See, for example: Miriam Burstein and Wendy Anderson. There are even male Cliopatriarchs who are believed not to have Extravagant Academic Facial Hair. See: Nathanael Robinson (scroll down) and Hugo Schwyzer. Rob MacDougall, on the other hand, looks ..., well, he looks a little Robotic.

Hugo is probably the least inhibited of the Cliopatriarchs. He has (gasp!) tatoos. Here are pictures of him sitting on his official Cliopatriarchal throne and, with his brother, a Pretender, in their mitres. Good lord, Hugo, what is that other thing on your head? Think of your Cliopatriarchal dignity!

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