Saturday, February 12, 2005

Dave Lindorff has written about the demise of academic freedom. He writes, "amid all the controversy over the observations of University of Colorado professor and leftist Indian political activist Ward Churchill concerning the military justifiability of the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center, it's easy to overlook the fact that freedom of academic expression on American university campuses is already virtually dead."
The culture of fear that has taken over campuses, do in fact make junior faculty very vulnerable. That is why it is important to have more politically progressive people in senior faculty positions. Speaking of senior faculty positions, I went to a great job-talk on Thursday. In a part of her talk, the speaker pointed to the civilizational thinking that characterizes area studies today. Her critical approach to universities as political sites of production of knowledge reminded me that in the midst of the return of McCarthyism, there is still hope for academic dissent. What else can we do if we are not hopeful?


The sidebar image is taken from Mahmoud Pakzad's "Old Tehran", Did Publishers, 1994. Thanks to Jahanshah Javid (www.iranian.com) for sharing it.

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