« Old Words and New Ideas in Religion, Law, and Academia; Chesterton | Main | FERPA; Silly Education Records Privacy Rules »

January 23, 2005

The Liberal Consensus in Universities

There is a revealing quote from an article in New York magazine about Columbia University's Middle East Studies Department (MEALAC):
"The university should have looked at MEALAC five or ten years ago," says Richard Bulliet, a historian and colleague of Khalidi’s. "It’s become locked into a postmodernist, postcolonialist point of view, one that wasn’t necessarily well adapted to giving students instruction about the Middle East." He adds that politicizing a curriculum, or what some call "advocacy teaching," isn’t always a bad thing. "We’ve had advocacy in the classroom for a long time," he says. "But in the areas where it’s most visible, like black studies and women’s studies, the point of view tends to coincide with the outlook of the Columbia community--no one feels you have to give the slaveholder’s or male-chauvinist pig’s point of view." He pauses for emphasis. "But here," he concludes, "we have an area where no consensus exists. And that’s the problem."
What is revealing is that he takes it for granted that there is consensus about the positions advocated in black studies and women's studies. Maybe in universities, but not in America!

Posted by erasmuse at January 23, 2005 02:24 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.rasmusen.org/mt-new/mt-tb.cgi/400


Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)