Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another report from one of our playgrounds of political correctness (a.k.a. our colleges and universities)

Mary Grabar describes her experience as an adjunct English professor trying to teach, like, English--which is now apparently declasse in our higher re-education camps:
I’m an adjunct English professor. When the subject of adjunct faculty comes up, the predictable calls for unionization and “social justice” are often voiced by my tenured colleagues enjoying light teaching loads and by administrators enjoying comfortable salaries overseeing “multicultural” programs. But I know that I would not be among their intended beneficiaries were they made aware of my political views.

It’s not that I sought to be political when I returned to school in the 1990s to earn my Ph.D. I soon discovered, however, that political neutrality—even in literary studies—is suspect. In the academic world, the belief that great literature conveys universal, timeless themes is generally taken as evidence of an imperialistic outlook. The same holds for history, where the reliance on factual evidence and focus on major events are deemed offensive to women and those from non-Western cultures.

My fellow graduate students tailored their programs for the job market: studying African-American and gay writers, and applying the trendy postmodern, deconstructivist literary theories. Since 2002, when I earned my Ph.D. in English, the field has gotten even stranger, with such additions to the ideological postcolonial, African-American, and critical theory courses as “fat studies” and “trauma studies.” An upperclassman can enroll in “Introduction to Visual Rhetoric”—and then presumably in “Advanced Visual Rhetoric.” But how does my study of Plato and Cicero prepare me to teach these classes? ...
Read the rest here.


One Brow said...

Wow, that was truly a whiny, contentless, fuzzyheaded essay. With reasoning skills like that, I'm nor surprised the writer was turned down for jobs.

Martin Cothran said...

One Brow,

Is "whiny, contentless, fuzzyheaded" supposed to constitute a refutation of what she said? As far as I can see, she actually made a point and marshaled evidence for it. You just hurled pejoratives.

Maybe you ought to take her class.

Art said...

Actually, Martin, whiny is a pretty good description of Mary Grabar's piece. The only "evidence" she marshaled for her rant was a series of snide and unsupported insinuations and accusations.

While I was reading the essay, I had the feeling I had heard this before. Then it hit me - this is another Caroline Crocker episode in the making. If Grabar is as "competent" as Crocker in her chosen field, then she probably needs to think about going back to school, to re-tool for the 21st century economy (whatever that's gonna be).

Lee said...

Heh. When lefties complain about an injustice, they raise everyone's consciousness about an injustice. When conservatives do the same thing, it's whining.

All those feminists who have been complaining about the glass ceiling for years? Not whining? Sorry, no, that's raising our consciousness.

It's all in the characterization.

Particularly when there is no argument against Ms. Grabar. Of course she is on thin ice in academia as a conservative trying to keep a job.

Conservatives are, of course, dumber than liberals. Unless they're smarter, like Dick Cheney or Robert Bork, in which case they're evil.