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New article on 'the five' bashing Ripperologists again. Is a formal response needed?

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  • New article on 'the five' bashing Ripperologists again. Is a formal response needed?

    Here is a link to a new article by Paul Bleakley 'A new front in the history wars? Responding to Rubenhold’s feminist revision of the Ripper'

    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/ful...48895821992460

    Yet again we 'amateur' enthusiasts come in for some serious criticism, which I think is totally unwarranted. It appears that academics and the like treat us with utter contempt sometimes and are happy to make all sorts of assumptions, despite the fact that there are people on here and in other places that know far more about this topic than anyone else? It seems like you can neither carry out research or have an opinion on a topic unless you have a PHD or something. This is ridiculous and so annoying, especially when articles like this don't appear particularly well written or actually able to answer the questions that it sets for itself. But then what would I know, as the topic I studied at university was Psychology my opinions on this matter clearly do not count.

    Sorry for the rant but I do get a bit annoyed sometimes with this kind of snobbery. Would it be possible to make some kind of formal response? Is there anyone out there with the 'Intellectual'? 'Academic'? 'Organisational'? 'Institutional'? clout to stand up for us? It is now getting to a point where maybe this should be considered?


    Tristan



  • #2
    The problem is respond where? The article now being discussed is in a journal, they don’t accept opinion pieces and most likely have about a year’s production time for a peer-reviewed article, I.e. from submitting the article until it’s published expect at least a year.

    Possibly the papers would have some interest in a piece about “ripperologists push back: tarred by pseudofeminists” or some such. Perhaps a collective letter by the brightest ripperologists would have a chance of being published.

    Much of the annoying snipes and comments are in social media so that’s as usual frustrating, perhaps a sort of summarizing page listing the problems with the HR narrative succinctly. A page that can be quickly linked to.

    In the end, one might give up and consider that HR thrives on any controversy or debate because it extenuates her narrative.

    Comment


    • #3
      What might be interesting would be to compile a bibliography of the books, articles etc about the victims that pre-date The 5, highlighting those that actually appear in the bibliography of The 5.

      A comparison of that to Rubenhold’s claim that, ‘Apart from a small booklet containing fifty-seven pages of text, nothing else on the subject existed...’ would tell any unbiased reader everything they need to know about Ms Rubenhold.





      Comment


      • #4
        Items such as this:


        https://www.amazon.co.uk/Will-Real-M.../dp/1905277059


        156* pages about MJK by the esteemed researcher, Chris Scott who was tireless in his search for the ID of the elusive Mary Kelly. Did Chris have a favoured suspect? I couldn’t tell you. He was also intrigued by Alice ‘McKenzie’.

        *HR manages a mere 35 pages on Kelly.

        Comment


        • #5
          We've seen so many examples of the poor quality of the work done by academic researchers when they do venture into this area. This is just one more. Sadly academic standards aren't what they were even a few decades ago.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
            What might be interesting would be to compile a bibliography of the books, articles etc about the victims that pre-date The 5, highlighting those that actually appear in the bibliography of The 5.

            A comparison of that to Rubenhold’s claim that, ‘Apart from a small booklet containing fifty-seven pages of text, nothing else on the subject existed...’ would tell any unbiased reader everything they need to know about Ms Rubenhold.
            I have already done that in the revised edition of my book.

            www.trevormarriott.co.uk

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

              I have already done that in the revised edition of my book.

              www.trevormarriott.co.uk
              Then I will buy a copy on that basis.

              Comment


              • #8
                I wish to tread carefully, but...in my humble opinion...

                I don't know which I find more uncomfortable--

                Rubenhold or someone else claiming they are challenging the "Orthodoxy"

                Or some group "formally responding" to her, as if tacitly admitting that there IS an Orthodoxy.

                There is no Orthodoxy. Just a collection of anarchists.

                If anyone wants to respond to Rubenhold or anyone else, that's their right, but they ought to make it clear that they do so on their own and are not speaking on behalf of an imaginary group that, like all imaginary groups, does not exist.

                If Bleachley wants a "public criminology" (whatever that is) he can stop in anytime he wants. There are two or three forums to chose from.

                It's almost an accidental lament about academia having lost its power to enlighten the multitudes.

                Maybe.




                Comment


                • #9
                  A book on ‘Covering the Victims’ that’s a compilation of previously published material as well as new research, with perhaps the last section addressing issues found in ‘The Five’ and a commentary on the pre/post publication accusations leveled against Ripperology...perhaps wouldn’t be a bad idea. At least the next time someone claims “nothing has been written about the victims” can be swiftly pointed in the direction of such a book and then be told to go jump off a cliff.

                  JM

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...stora-tumlehed

                    This 2009 Casebook thread about Liz Stride’s early life mentions an exchange of research material on the subject in 1976.


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As long as Lady Blah Blah has the various media courting her; being interviewed by journalists who don't really give a rat's ass about Ripperology and a fan base who don't bother to investigate what she writes or says, the game is rigged permanently in her favor. Game. Set. Match.

                      She really doesn't have an effect on what we do in the other areas and aspects of the Case. I have to admit that I'm bored of all the inordinate amount of time being centered on the victims, anyway.
                      To Join JTR Forums :
                      Contact [email protected]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I suppose the fundamental question is how much it really matters if people with only a passing interest in the case (which will include a large majority of academic historians) are misled by claims like Rubenhold's. Certainly it's irritating, particularly as part of her media strategy is based on denigrating those who have researched the case. But on the other hand, the general public is regularly bombarded with misleading information about the case by people trying to sell books. And I think we're kidding ourselves if we think most people regard an interest in Ripperology as entirely normal or healthy anyway.

                        My feeling is that it's worth correcting up to the point at which people with a serious interest will be aware of the correction. But I think the returns on efforts beyond that point diminish quite quickly.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I know at least two historians of the case that hate the term "Ripperologist." They believe it conjures up the image of an obsessed, somewhat nerdy character, with a garage full of Ripper posters, etc., not too far removed from similar characters with a garage full of Star Trek memorabilia.

                          Meanwhile, studying a sensational topic such as the Whitechapel Murders is not what one would generally consider to be a legitimate academic pursuit.

                          Thus, when academics or people who consider themselves to be academics stray into this topic, they may feel an immediate need to defend their own interest in such blood-thirsty matters, and there is no more immediate way of doing so by referring to their adversaries as "Ripperologists," making it clear to everyone that they are not one of those people.

                          Of course, on another level, they are one of 'those' people.

                          Rubenhold would no doubt be outraged by the suggestion, but it is possible to view her as just another 'Ripperologists' who got extremely angry when her theories were not accepted?

                          That doesn't make her exceptional. It is par for the course. Pretty much all 'Ripperologists' are outraged when their theories are not accepted.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                            I know at least two historians of the case that hate the term "Ripperologist." They believe it conjures up the image of an obsessed, somewhat nerdy character, with a garage full of Ripper posters, etc., not too far removed from similar characters with a garage full of Star Trek memorabilia.

                            Meanwhile, studying a sensational topic such as the Whitechapel Murders is not what one would generally consider to be a legitimate academic pursuit.

                            Thus, when academics or people who consider themselves to be academics stray into this topic, they may feel an immediate need to defend their own interest in such blood-thirsty matters, and there is no more immediate way of doing so by referring to their adversaries as "Ripperologists," making it clear to everyone that they are not one of those people.

                            Of course, on another level, they are one of 'those' people.

                            Rubenhold would no doubt be outraged by the suggestion, but it is possible to view her as just another 'Ripperologists' who got extremely angry when her theories were not accepted?

                            That doesn't make her exceptional. It is par for the course. Pretty much all 'Ripperologists' are outraged when their theories are not accepted.
                            She freely admits to having been an obsessive Ripperologist in her book.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                              I know at least two historians of the case that hate the term "Ripperologist." They believe it conjures up the image of an obsessed, somewhat nerdy character, with a garage full of Ripper posters, etc., not too far removed from similar characters with a garage full of Star Trek memorabilia.

                              Meanwhile, studying a sensational topic such as the Whitechapel Murders is not what one would generally consider to be a legitimate academic pursuit.

                              Thus, when academics or people who consider themselves to be academics stray into this topic, they may feel an immediate need to defend their own interest in such blood-thirsty matters, and there is no more immediate way of doing so by referring to their adversaries as "Ripperologists," making it clear to everyone that they are not one of those people.

                              Of course, on another level, they are one of 'those' people.

                              Rubenhold would no doubt be outraged by the suggestion, but it is possible to view her as just another 'Ripperologists' who got extremely angry when her theories were not accepted?

                              That doesn't make her exceptional. It is par for the course. Pretty much all 'Ripperologists' are outraged when their theories are not accepted.
                              One funny thing about the article by Paul Bleakley is the author's incoherence over what he means by "Ripperologists". Almost at the start he defines them as "amateur sleuths", but as far as I can see all the people he subsequent identifies as Ripperologists have actually earned money from their Ripper-related activities. In fact, one of his "Ripperologists" is Martin Fido, who held various academic positions over a period of decades. That's in contrast to Rubenhold, who - as far as I can see - doesn't have a Ph.D. (despite the impression given by her website) and has never held an academic position. It's a funny old world.

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