The Bullshit Cartoon Abstract: In Praise of Creative Academic Writing — Michiel Van Oudheusden, Frédéric Claisse & Hans Boeykens

Using graphic images to illustrate fictional, nonsensical research, this article taps into bullshit as a source of academic innovation.

Abstract: This article introduces and discusses a novel form of scholarly output, the bullshit cartoon abstract, which can be used to illustrate summaries of fictitious research papers for both scholarly and lay readers. Presenting five self-authored examples that meticulously deal with trivial research subjects, from the use of visual mnemonics in education to disaster marketing, the article classifies these abstracts along seven dimensions (analytic, aesthetic, existential, satirical, pedagogical, recreational, and opportunistic) to illuminate how bullshit is enacted in academic writing. Building on this classification, it reappraises academic bullshit(ting) as potentially generative of new and multi-textured expressions of creative scholarship.

Keywords: abstract, bullshit, cartoon, communication, creativity, scholarship.

You can read the full article with the cartoon abstracts here.

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The Graphic Social Science Research Network

The Graphic Social Science Research Network was established in June 2017 to help advance the practice of Graphic Social Science.