Feminist professor accused of plagiarism

Professor Tiina Rosenberg has been accused of plagiarism by political scientist, Johan Tralau. In an article in the journal Axess, Tralau claims "gender politics comes before academic rigour". He uses Rosenberg, a leading member of the new Feminist Initiative party, as an example of the politicisation of academia.

FI’s spokeswoman, Gudrun Schyman, has not read the article but feels the criticism fits into a pattern.

“I’d expected a debate on the real issues, but not this kind of seething misogynistic prejudice,” she said.

According to Schyman, too many FI activists have been put under the microscope. The scrutiny has concerned everything from academic merits to sick leave.

“FI’s members have been pretty roughly treated and scared off,” she said. “Obviously one expects to be scrutinised, but there are degrees and I feel there’s been a systematic campaign. Several members have finished.”

The accusations against Tiina Rosenberg go back to a book review written by professor emeritus Ingeborg Nordin Hennel in 2000. Hennel showed that Rosenberg had included word for word a passage from a book written by two other academics in her own work, “Byxbegär” (‘Wearing the trousers’) and failed to provide a reference.

“[Rosenberg does herself] a disservice because her actions are not just contrary to sound academic practice, but also create uncertainty in the minds of the readers about where the line is drawn between her own findings and those of others,” wrote Hennel.

Rosenberg’s error did not cause much of a stir at the time, but Hennel still finds it surprising that she did not correct it in the book’s second edition.

In his article, Tralau, a researcher in political science at Uppsala University, claims that a student would be automatically failed for committing such an oversight and that “any disciplinary body worth its salt would have considered it plagiarism. Instead Rosenberg was rewarded with a professorship.”

Stockholm University, where Rosenberg is a professor in gender studies, announced that the matter would be investigated by the faculty at a meeting on 18th October

TT/The Local