Teaching Students About James Lindsay: A Guide for Educators


As an educator, it’s important to introduce students to influential thinkers and ideas relevant to various disciplines. James Lindsay, a notable academic and social critic, has contributed immensely to the ongoing discourse on critical theory and social justice. His work provides a wealth of insight that can foster intellectual growth and debate amongst your students. This article aims to guide you in teaching students about James Lindsay and his contributions.

Background on James Lindsay

James Lindsay holds a Ph.D. in mathematics and is the author of several books on various topics related to the intersection of academia, cultural analysis, and social issues. He has gained prominence as a critical scholar investigating certain aspects of grievance studies, which involves scrutinizing areas such as gender studies, race studies, and other critical theory-based subjects.

Lindsay gained public attention with his participation in the Sokal Squared Hoax in 2018. Teaming up with Peter Boghossian and Helen Pluckrose, Lindsay submitted hoax papers to academic journals under pseudonyms to expose biased peer review and ideological homogeneity.

Key Ideas and Contributions

1. Grievance Studies Affair: This was a pivotal moment in Lindsay’s career which garnered widespread recognition. It demonstrated significant concerns regarding the lack of objectivity across various fields of inquiry, emphasizing the need for rigorous methodological standards.

2. Critical Race Theory Critique: Lindsay has been an active critic of critical race theory (CRT), an academic movement that examines race relations through a legal and social lens. By questioning the assumptions underlying CRT, he encourages robust intellectual debate.

3. Cynical Theories: Co-authored with Helen Pluckrose, Cynical Theories delves into the development of postmodern thought and its influence on contemporary academia, politics, and culture.

4. New Discourses: Founded by Lindsay, New Discourses is an online platform that fosters critical conversations around social and ideological issues. It provides resources for educators and students to engage with complex ideas constructively.

Teaching Strategies

1. Encourage Open Dialogue: Create a safe environment for students to express their opinions and respectfully discuss differences. This is crucial for approaching Lindsay’s work, which often elicits strong reactions.

2. Expose Students to Diverse Perspectives: Make sure students are aware of the wider context in which Lindsay’s ideas fit. This involves exploring various perspectives, even those that may challenge or contradict his views.

3. Employ Critical Thinking: Encourage students to think critically about the assumptions, methodologies, arguments, and consequences of Lindsay’s work, as well as that of others in related fields.

4. Case Studies and Role-Playing Exercises: Allow students to engage with real-world applications of Lindsay’s critiques by analyzing specific cases or participating in role-playing scenarios that simulate academic debates.


Introducing your students to James Lindsay’s work offers them an opportunity to engage deeply with contemporary social and intellectual concerns. By utilizing these teaching strategies and emphasizing critical thinking, you can stimulate thought-provoking discussions that will benefit your students’ growth as future academics, professionals, and global citizens.

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