The Bullshit Cartoon Abstract: In Praise of Creative Academic Writing

Michiel Van Oudheusden, Frédéric Claisse, Hans Boeykens

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHyperrhiz: New Media Cultures
Early online date28 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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