As we await the opening of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” in theatres next week, the McSweeney’s site brings us this little known historical letter from Jones’ employer, Marshall College, explaining why the famed archeology professor’s bid for tenure has been denied. Here’s one nugget:
The committee concurred that Dr. Jones does seem to possess a nearly superhuman breadth of linguistic knowledge and an uncanny familiarity with the history and material culture of the occult. However, his understanding and practice of archaeology gave the committee the greatest cause for alarm. Criticisms of Dr. Jones ranged from “possessing a perceptible methodological deficiency” to “practicing archaeology with a complete lack of, disregard for, and colossal ignorance of current methodology, theory, and ethics” to “unabashed grave-robbing.” Given such appraisals, perhaps it isn’t surprising to learn that several Central and South American countries recently assembled to enact legislation aimed at permanently prohibiting his entry.
Both fans of Indy and anyone familiar with academia will appreciate the whole thing.