I believe that the two most diametrically opposed cultures in the United States are Jersey Shore and the University of Chicago. So that makes all the more bizarre to learn about a conference in Hyde Park on Friday analyzing the MTV reality show, Jersey Shore. The conference program reveals over-the-top (and I’m sure very much self-aware) MLA-type titles that go on forever, saying nothing comprehensible (which is perhaps an appropriate metaphor for Jersey Shore), such as this paper: “Situating the Situation: Psychogeography, Mimetic Desire, and the Resurgent Indo-European Trifunctional Paradigm in Seaside.” As for “Platonic Justice and the Jersey Shore,” I’m not sure if Socrates says much to enlighten us about idiots doing crap. But my favorite paper title is: “Foucault’s Going to the Jersey Shore, Bitch!” Yes, I’m sure this kind of fun little conference will encounter a lot of ridicule and rage. My question is whether an academic analysis of pure idiocy really tells us anything. Of course, as the author of a book about Rush Limbaugh, some people might say I’m engaged in a similar activity. You can register to attend this free conference and find out.