Humanities Academia in Crisis

    ‘Bad History and Worse Social Science Have Replaced Truth’

    Daryl Michael Scott on propaganda and myth from ‘The 1619 Project’ to Trumpism.

    Prof. Scott of Howard University is interviewed on topic by Len Gutkin for The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 10. The article is free access but requires registration with the site. I have posted two very good excerpts after the jump which were tweeted by Wesley Yang. But I highly recommend reading the entire article as it is a very good summary of the troubles that have been going on in this area.


    An interesting article. The 1619 Project is viewed as controversial. Scott notes that Leslie M Jones, who was a graduate student at the same time that he was, did a review of the 1619 Project before it was published by the NYT. Her advise was not taken. 

    From Dr. Jones, who specializes in the history of slavery in the 1600s onward

    Weeks before, I had received an email from a New York Times research editor. Because I’m an historian of African American life and slavery, in New York, specifically, and the pre-Civil War era more generally, she wanted me to verify some statements for the project. At one point, she sent me this assertion: “One critical reason that the colonists declared their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery in the colonies, which had produced tremendous wealth. At the time there were growing calls to abolish slavery throughout the British Empire, which would have badly damaged the economies of colonies in both North and South.”

    I vigorously disputed the claim. Although slavery was certainly an issue in the American Revolution, the protection of slavery was not one of the main reasons the 13 Colonies went to war.

    The editor followed up with several questions probing the nature of slavery in the Colonial era, such as whether enslaved people were allowed to read, could legally marry, could congregate in groups of more than four, and could own, will or inherit property—the answers to which vary widely depending on the era and the colony. I explained these histories as best I could—with references to specific examples—but never heard back from her about how the information would be used. 

    Despite my advice, the Times published the incorrect statement about the American Revolution anyway, in Hannah-Jones’ introductory essay. In addition, the paper’s characterizations of slavery in early America reflected laws and practices more common in the antebellum era than in Colonial times, and did not accurately illustrate the varied experiences of the first generation of enslaved people that arrived in Virginia in 1619. 

    Both sets of inaccuracies worried me, but the Revolutionary War statement made me especially anxious. Overall, the 1619 Project is a much-needed corrective to the blindly celebratory histories that once dominated our understanding of the past—histories that wrongly suggested racism and slavery were not a central part of U.S. history. I was concerned that critics would use the overstated claim to discredit the entire undertaking. So far, that’s exactly what has happened.

    Her major concerns were about the significance of the role slavery played in the Revolutionary War and whether the original Africans were slaves or indentured servants. She felt those issues would lead to criticism of an otherwise important work. She did not dismiss the entire body of work.

    Scott published a book, "Contempt and Pity: Social Policy and the Image of the Damaged Black", criticizing both Liberals and Conservatives for viewing Blacks as damaged human beings who needed their advice to survive. 

    I was unaware of his Facebook page. I wasn't able to find on a quick glance tonight. I'll do a deeper search tomorrow.

    I think university professors argue that educational institutions have been falling apart since they were created.

    Here is the complicated picture of the Revolutionary era that the New York Times missed: White Southerners might have wanted to preserve slavery in their territory, but white Northerners were much more conflicted, with many opposing the ownership of enslaved people in the North even as they continued to benefit from investments in the slave trade and slave colonies. More importantly for Hannah-Jones’ argument, slavery in the Colonies faced no immediate threat from Great Britain, so colonists wouldn’t have needed to secede to protect it. It’s true that in 1772, the famous Somerset case ended slavery in England and Wales, but it had no impact on Britain’s Caribbean colonies, where the vast majority of black people enslaved by the British labored and died, or in the North American Colonies. It took 60 more years for the British government to finally end slavery in its Caribbean colonies, and when it happened, it was in part because a series of slave rebellions in the British Caribbean in the early 19th century made protecting slavery there an increasingly expensive proposition.



    Far from being fought to preserve slavery, the Revolutionary War became a primary disrupter of slavery in the North American Colonies. Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation, a British military strategy designed to unsettle the Southern Colonies by inviting enslaved people to flee to British lines, propelled hundreds of enslaved people off plantations and turned some Southerners to the patriot side. It also led most of the 13 Colonies to arm and employ free and enslaved black people, with the promise of freedom to those who served in their armies. While neither side fully kept its promises, thousands of enslaved people were freed as a result of these policies.

    Scott is arguing that universities don't discuss the 1619 Project controversy. He writes this from his seat as a professor at an HBCU. He links to the article of a colleague at another university who wrote an article that criticized the NYT Magazine for not taking her concerns seriously.

    Tacky's Revolt is written by a Harvard University professor, and The Negro in the American Revolution was written by the late professor of history at another HBCU. Benjamin Quayle's book was originally published in 1961. It is such a classic that it was re-published in 1996 and in ebook format in 2012. Universities are clarifying events.

    There is a Black history museum in Nova Scotia noting the arrival of Black Loyalists who fought for the British against the United States colonists.

    The view of the Revolutionary War as a disrupter of slavery is sugar-coating the issue 

    Both the British and the colonists believed that slaves could serve an important role during the revolution. In April 1775, Lord Dunmore (1732-1809), the royal governor of Virginia, threatened that he would proclaim liberty to the slaves and reduce Williamsburg to ashes if the colonists resorted to force against British authority. In November, he promised freedom to all slaves belonging to rebels who would join "His Majesty's Troops...for the more speedily reducing the Colony to a proper sense of their duty...." Some eight hundred slaves joined British forces, some wearing the emblem "Liberty to the Slaves." The British appeal to slave unrest outraged slave holders not only in the South but in New York's Hudson Valley. Later, Sir Henry Clinton (1738-1795) promised protection to all slaves who deserted from the rebels. Clinton's promise may well have contributed to the collapse of the British cause in the South. By suggesting that the Revolution was a war over slavery, he alienated many neutrals and even some loyalists.

    Slavery may have played a more important role than many are willing to admit.


    Argh, that's a largely irrelevant exceptional event that you like bringing up. Of course an enemy army will try to stir up slaves. But this anecdote detracts from the issues of slavery that Leslie Harris is trying to bring into play - not the "slavery was the all important topic" attitude of the 1619 crowd, nor the "slavery was largely not a thing until later" especially of the traditional north/prior traditional teaching, but "slavery was much more a pronounced issue in numerous colonial/early nation settings that should be recognized & discussed, existing in all 13 colonies and a significant factor even if not dominant". Not over-compensate,nor erase. Example:

    Yet Wilentz’s work largely ignored issues of race and black workers, even though New York had the largest population of enslaved black people in the Colonial North, the second-largest population of free black people in the antebellum urban North, and was the site of the most violent race riots of the 19th century. As I wrote in my own 2003 book, Wilentz created “a white hegemony more powerful than that which existed” during the era he was studying.

    In their subsequent works, Wilentz and Wood have continued to fall prey to the same either/or interpretation of the nation’s history: Either the nation is a radical instigator of freedom and liberty, or it is not. (The truth, obviously, is somewhere in between.)

    My statement was that slavery played a more important role, not that it was the sole factor.

    Edit to add:

    The other obvious fact is that people in the academy are challenging the 1619 Project. The Project did rollback the statement about slavery

    If the scholarship of the past several decades has taught us anything, it is that we should be careful not to assume unanimity on the part of the colonists, as many previous interpretive histories of the patriot cause did. We recognize that our original language could be read to suggest that protecting slavery was a primary motivation for all of the colonists. The passage has been changed to make clear that this was a primary motivation for some of the colonists. A note has been appended to the story as well.

    A more important role or sole factor in what?

    "A primary motivation" for roughly *how many* ("some") colonists?

    Note, "some people" drink their own urine for hygienic purposes. How many "some" equals certainly determines the importance of this observation.

    Have a nice day.

    Hmm, guess posting analogies after watching sitcoms on YouTube isn't always a good idea.

    more related of interest

    How class power works in elite U.S. institutions: in I think the same 24 hour period that Columbia announced that striking grad student workers would have to pay back the university, it also announced the $5 million grant it had received to study justice and democracy.

    — Sam Haselby (@samhaselby) March 13, 2021

    American faculty union condemns Prof. Gilley's research as a threat to democracy. Says it has right to police what people think about colonialism.

    — Bruce Gilley (@BruceGilley3) March 11, 2021

    "Race reductionist thinking is ahistorical because it treats racism as a timeless, ubiquitous force."

    In September, Rogers Brubaker made the case for putting class and economics back into debates over racial disparities.

    — Persuasion (@JoinPersuasion) March 5, 2021

    Learned a lot here, most surprising to me there’s no discernible difference in the genetics of ancient Etruscans and their Roman neighbors despite the wildly different languages.

    — Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) March 11, 2021

    The idea that different cultural communities in the ancient world were necessarily different racial groups vying for supremacy has badly warped our understanding of the past and says a lot about the 19th and 20th centuries, when this view of history really took off.

    — Clay (@Clay02716276) March 11, 2021

    An amazing thing of being a kinda dumb southern kid showing up in a big northern school was getting thrown in with blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Indians, Chinese, etc. was just feeling alive in the current of the world. I made a few faux pas, but nothing bad. I remember a table in the buffet where the inner city blacks sat, and i went up and talked with them, and... nothing happened - even went to one of their get togethers. A girl from Israel was oops, Palestinian (memo to self...), other tidbits, but it was just talking and learning. These new routines are so obsessive. Instead of learning new bands they're figuring out ideological associations? I mean, we had the wars in Central America to contemplate for the more radical, but not so many rules and categories.

    What you are talking about is exactly the problem with the elite prep schools that still feed the Ivy Leagues (somehow they still do that) and always was. That is why I included the City Journal article.even though it's about prep and not university.

    Also author Bari Weiss tends to be seen as an enemy by the pro-CRT and politically correct crowd,  she goes looking for the worst cases, so when one cites her one does get into the tit-for-tat two-sides propaganda thing on a meta level. "They" will just counter with "oh but that's Bari Weiss" and it won't be taken as seriously as criticism from

    But that story really gets across how far this ideology has infiltrated and how much fear some parents have as it just focuses on anecdotals and is usefull thought provoking that way.

    This part strikes me as the height of absurdity: one used to strive to get one's child into such a school to be part of a continuing a sort of elite white WASP ruling class of the northeast. And now to be part of that they have to be taught self-loathing and that the whole concept is evil. You are left with this conundrum--as a Woody Allen type mom would say--"for this you are paying all this money?"

    What you are talking about is also the gnarly problem of Asian-American admissions. If they went by the test numbers, the elite universities might be near majority Asian-American now.

    In the end, elite Ivy universities used to spit out a white ruling class but AT LEAST they taught intellectual rigor. If they don't got that, what have they got? "Nothing" is what Prof. Scott is warning. Either you're elite, no matter a tribe or mixed, or you're not. I mean WTF does "elite" mean anyways? As he points out: learning to learn the truth, so you can make money or power or connections using the truth. Propaganda is not going to help you. If you don't have that, you've got nothing.

    The big mixed culture university is a much better way to prepare for a good and rich life, mho. But there is something to be said for eliteness too, how else can you end up with geniuses working with each other, like at a MIT? It depends on the field, I guess. Humanities can be taught with rigor anywhere, though, and should be.

    speaking of "Ivy League", what an Irish Catholic guy who went to Univ. of Delaware and Syracuse Law School once said:

    ah one of the perps involved prep school curricula takeover has been I.D.'d:

    OceanKat may like...

    leifFraNorden6 days ago

    Mr. Howland’s essay cuts two ways: First he condemns idea of a university as a collection of professional programs. Second he condemns woke propaganda masquerading as education.

    We taught at private and public universities for 30 years, and our experience leaves a bit skeptical– even if we agree with many of his points.

    First, the kind of liberal arts education Howland advocates doesn’t fit a whole lot of students– society is not lacking for ‘cultural leaders’. Most of our students came from working class backgrounds, and sought skills to enter a profession. But our faculty saw their public university as a class one research institution– a fundamental mismatch with student needs. The school would have been much better off to redefine itself as a polytechnic. (And we suspect most ‘universities’ should do this as well.) Second, the liberal arts devolved into propaganda years ago. While there are legitimate programs at quite a few universities, few high school students are discerning enough to identify them. There are enough spoilt apples that they might do well to regard the entire barrel as rotten.

    What’s new in this essay? In the UofT Mr. Howland sees a seamless integration prof. ed. and propaganda. This is the kind of thing that Lenny Pier Ramos discusses in “Exploring ‘Other Ways of Knowing’: The New Religious Threat to Science Education” ( June 20, 2020) We find this trend quite disturbing– it’s as if university administrations are trying to apply Calvin’s concept of total depravity to education.

    At the same time, we have some reason for hope. Universities have been administratively incompetent for decades, and there is no reason to believe this new mission will change their modus operandi. Also as with the UofT, students just aren’t buying it. Why spend years paying off loans for a load of... apple sauce?

    Online ed, anyone?



      • Avatar

        C Miller  leifFraNorden4 days ago

        "Students just aren't buying it." You nailed it. I teach in a Chicago Public Schools H.S. - a regular school, not selective enrollment - and we've been awash in woke consultants and corporate thought partners since 2016. The pandemic has only made them more powerful! But most students could care less. High school students like learning facts and tangible skills. When orthodox teachers start orating about equity, dismantling systems and self-reflecting, students start furtively checking their phones.

      thread of interest:

      ^ this is really where it all comes from, this is the main source. I know it in my bones, I remember many ridiculing the same lingo (especially the whole anti-colonial thing) in the late 70's coming from these folks (especially as Postmodern theory ramped up) as we are hearing now. It has not changed that much! He is right it is a story to be stressed: how did it come to dominate the humanities in western educational institutions while no one was paying attention? (And while the Berlin wall was falling, yet...) Instead of just remaining one ideology of many?

      You saw Network, plus that snippet i just DM'd you: *what we make fun of is what comes to pass!*

      I remember as a freshman, there was this guy who made fun of someone who'd been in his dorm who said "Bummer" all the time, and he totally absorbed that guy's personality, so *he* became the guy who said Bummer all the time, and I'm sure he passed it on to new acolytes and new generations...

      yeah Network is like a foundational text of our whole current civilization, it's like the Bible. god, Chayefksy was such a genius, looks more amazing every day.

      Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins, Modern Intellectual History (MIH) Postdoctoral Fellow, Dartmouth Dept. of History

      Annette Gordon-Reed retweeted:

      #DanielWalkerHowe joins with @seanwilentz on 1619. Anyone see that coming?

      “This is a conscientious collection of criticisms...The documents expose the shortcomings in the Project and the extent to which the Times has withdrawn and minimized the most exaggerated aspects...”

      — Craig Bruce Smith (@craigbrucesmith) March 15, 2021

      Line is DWH’s advanced praise for “The New York Times’ 1619 Project and the Racialist Falsification of History”

      — Craig Bruce Smith (@craigbrucesmith) March 15, 2021

      hopefully along with Prof. Scott's voiced opinions in the Chronicle interview this is the start of a trend among American historians to defang the "propagandists".It's wise to step gingerly or it's likely to backfire; polemic is definitely the wrong tool, not the least of which because it would be a hypocritical tool.

      I see Wilentz did tweet the Chronicle interview of Prof. Scott to his followers:

      author is Batya Ungar-Sargon, the deputy opinion editor of Newsweek. Her book "Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy" is forthcoming from Encounter Books.

      McWhorter also tweeted a link to March 9 piece of his own, 4th in a series, which goes over some of the sad effects on the arts as well as the humanities


      Serial excerpt No. 4: They will object that they are "dismantling structures" - while enjoying making people cry and dismantling nothing



      "It’s important that we not resegregate ourselves and our narratives."

      Great interview with Ken Burns by @davidmarchese

      — Joe Hagan (@joehagansays) March 15, 2021

      excerpt that I think can be applied to American history textbooks as well, there is no need to do the complete postmodern tribal propaganda thing or competing histories via identity politics filters; there are still plenty of narratives that are held in common; he has shown that

      In this moment, when there has been such a fracturing of any common American identity, has the project that you’re engaged in — of exploring fundamental national stories that might speak to all of us — become quixotic? 

      That is really hard to answer. There was never a “project.” It was never like, Let’s do this. I’ve made films for more than 40 years on the U.S., but about “us.” All of the intimacy of that two-letter lowercase plural pronoun and all the majesty and contradiction of the U.S. But the thing that I’ve learned is that there’s no “them.” This is what everybody does: make a distinction about “them.” It’s just us.

      Brad de Long, showing how many economics peeps don't fall for the simple colonialist narratives, don't get him started:

      He seems stuck on Krugman 1995. Yes, agglomeration creates local hubs, which build resentment of surrounding exurbs and rural, but we also have internet, low form production, and other developments, but Amazon's the new global WalMart (until another arises), so UBI and similar wealth/consumption distribution will be needed to level the more and more monopolistic playing/living field, and by the way sub-Sahara, having 6-8 kids is a sure way to the economic cellar, might want to give that shit up and work on your industrial and programming and next-gen whatever skills.

      (all of these 2.4% and above yearly change need to go down quick:

      good example of the kind of crap academics in my field have to deal with, this is what the youngins write and get published and expect to be taught, or off with your heads, profs. It's a brave new world where the evil of western history must be exposed and expunged and totally revised:

      It's time to bust the Louvre myth, despite how alluring it is to romanticize the museum's origins.

      — hyperallergic (@hyperallergic) March 16, 2021

      one of the main problems succinctly well-put:

      hot related Yglesias-started discussion about how this all came about. (He was a philosophy major, if I recall correctly):


      hah, she's right, he really has become a jerk and way counter-productive:

      Chloe just snagged an anonymous admirer with some money, maybe no coincidence as Lindsey goes further off the rails:

      Schroedinger's Asian, here we come (though better not call it a Black Box test)

      Weighing in on l'affaire Gorman. Is her experience of white supremacy all she is? And as to "No one said that!", read on.
      by @JohnHMcWhorter

      — John McWhorter (@JohnHMcWhorter) March 20, 2021

      MoMA wants to cancel Philip Johnson – many who knew him do not | Michael Henry Adams

      — London Art News (@londonartnews) March 21, 2021

      throwing in a real nice Carl Jung message that just popped up on my feed from Lithuania:

      Happy #SundayVibes! Just two weeks until #Easter ✝️

      Remember to take care of yourself and stop complaining about the world around you!#5amwritersclub #fridaymorning #FridayThoughts #PositiveVibesOnly #abc #wgaw #blm #apega #pmi #Easter2021

      — ML Sund (@SundMl) March 21, 2021


      After the nearly 23-year-old poet spoke, i suddenly ram across praise for this unprecedented young poet, and i was amazed, cuz when do most poets and lyricists release their work? Sure, in the age where college is obligatory, it gets later, but a Percy Shelley was not going to wait til middle age before burning out too soon (he died at 23, while Rimbaud wrote "The Drunken Boat" at 16). Johnny Rotten launched the Sex Pistols at 19, and they self-destructed by age 22.

      Gil Scott-Heron did his 1st jazz/spoken-word album at 20.

      The soft bigotry of weird arbitrary expectations.

      (note, Sylvia Plath was already experimenting with suicide by age 20.

      Plath wrote poetry from the age of eight, her first poem appearing in the Boston Traveller.[4] By the time she arrived at Smith College she had written over 50 short stories and been published in a raft of magazines.[49] In fact Plath desired much of her life to write prose and stories, and she felt that poetry was an aside. But, in sum, she was not successful in publishing prose. At Smith she majored in English and won all the major prizes in writing and scholarship. Additionally, she won a summer editor position at the young women's magazine Mademoiselle,[4] and, on her graduation in 1955 (age 22), she won the Glascock Prize for Two Lovers and a Beachcomber by the Real Sea. Later, she wrote for the university publication, Varsity.

      evidence of serious fighting at Smith College:

      Ask about slavery, prostitution, other ways of subjugating the weak and conquered. Even foragers will rape a lone gatherer as needed - what else does this unobserved enchanted forest do we have to explain?

      The problem is if you wrote a paper on any of those topics, forget tenure, you wouldn't even get hired in the first place. Smart people who want to be successfully employed adjust their research to the narrative. Not because department heads and higher up administration believe it, rather, they don't want the grief if you don't. It's the same with corporate marketing, but humanities academia was always supposed to be an ivory tower where that didn't happen. (Same like with science with non-profit funding, same like with medicine diagnosing the whole patient via symptoms rather than  treating test results...,all bias verification systems.)

      You're discouraging me from presenting my "Health Benefits of Female Circumcision in Africa" paper? Shame on you. I feel cancelled.

      You got it.


      Here's a good one (I see them everyday on my feed, you notice the progression over time, where as others have already grabbed the easy marks on the colonialism front, all that's left is the harder cases, but if you are desperate enough for recognition, you manage to build a case regardless):

      [article] Debunking the Myth of Canada as a Non-Colonial Power (Liam Midzain-Gobin, Heather A. Smith)

      — The Syllabus (@syllabus_tweets) March 24, 2021

      Man, bad writing - can you imagine reading the whole thing?

      She has far more than earned a place on this blog; what took me so long?

      just another example of what I've been reading since Geo. Floyd protests started and statues started being pulled down, day in, day out:

      The whole elite millennial effect on media thing as catalogued in this thread is nothing in contrast to what is going on in the big museum world.

      Dylan Rodríguez about to speak & close out Abolitionist Imaginaries Symposium!

      — Vina Orden (@hyffeinated) March 26, 2021

      today i experienced the difference between a public exhibition space liberated for incarcerated/abolitionist artists (@MoMAPS1 in Queens, NY) and, uh, that OTHER MoMA (the famous one in Manhattan run by war grifters/ slavers/ colonizers and them).

      — Dylan Rodríguez (@dylanrodriguez) March 27, 2021

      Rodriguez self-describes on Twitter as Abolition is not an outcome, it's collective genius; 2020 Freedom Scholar; UCR prof; President, American St Assn; new book, White Reconstruction (Fordham UP) Southern California, USA

      UCR is University of CA-Riverside. Here's his university bio. Professor, 2020-2021 American Studies Association President, Media & Cultural Studies....

      Universities and Identity Politics What's the link? And what can donors do?

      @, fall 2020 issue

      (the ugly truths; after all the intended readers are thinking of laying out cold hard cash. Mho, the first essay is best)

      Are college campuses training young Americans in balkanization and grievance politics—and thus functioning as the fountainheads of national division? Philanthropy asked experts and donors. Here’s what they said. 

      Peter Wood

      President, National Association of Scholars


      Heather Mac Donald

      Thomas W. Smith Fellow, Manhattan Institute


      Karith Foster

      Speaker, author, humorist
      Founder, Foster Russell Alliance for Meaningful Expression


      Greg Lukianoff

      President, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education 


      Ayaan Hirsi Ali

      Author: Nomad—From Islam to America
      Founder, AHA Foundation


      Jack Miller

      Founder, Jack Miller Family Foundation


      William Mattox

      Director of the Marshall Center for Educational Options, James Madison Institute


      Leo Linbeck

      CEO, Aquinas Companies


      Walter Olson

      Senior Fellow, CATO Institute


      Just to add to the mix, there is a new study out of socio-economics of current academics themselves:

      Not Humanities and not about curricula. But real important and I don't know where else to put it:



      "There is a legal rule Ms. Bilek is undoubtedly familiar with called the "egg shell rule", which says, more or less, that the fragility of the injured person is not a valid defense to the seriousness of any injury caused to them. This rule it turns out applies not just in tort cases but in many fields, especially academia. As applied there, the rule is that the seriousness of the transgression is irrelevant where it involves "racism". The only thing that matters is how loud the aggrieved yell. The only way that social justice can be served in such cases is cancellation."


      "I recently finished a terminal degree graduate program at an R1 university. And, not that it should matter, but am Elizabeth Warren levels of left leaning. By the time I was finishing, I couldn't get out soon enough. The atmosphere in academia is utterly stifling, cynical, humorless, unforgiving, inhumane - but worst of all, not conducive to inquiry outside of a very narrow scope - and even within that scope the inquiry is hardly genuine anymore. It's anti-academic in the classical sense. My colleagues at other institutions report the same thing, though most dare not say it because the environment is becoming akin to that of a fundamentalist church. Good people are getting out and the academies will be worse off for it, left with complacent people who know longer need to practice articulating their arguments because theory is taken as truth and they won't be challenged - the entire academy will become a "Safe space" and therefore breed complacency by nature. Intention seems to longer matters, and minorities who do not self identify as the appropriate type are even ostracized. They are starting to eat their own, and if I, for one, were in the dean's shoes, would take any opportunity to get out now. No toxic workplace is worth it. Someone else can get paid to make the hard decisions that will inevitably fire up protests and demand letters."

      By Randall Kennedy, Michael R. Klein Professor at Harvard Law School.

      Oof, more please.

      Whew, the comments on this one are a bummer.....Decolonizing the Hunt for Dinosaurs and Other Fossils

      — Lab of Spec (@LabSpecEth) March 27, 2021

      Ryuko Kubota @fumi123chan talking about Decolonizing and Enacting Antiracism in Applied Linguistics #AAAL2021

      — Laxmi Prasad Ojha (@laxmiojha99) March 20, 2021


      Writing my ultra radical anarcho-communist magnum opus about decolonizing urban planning from my three story villa in a gated community in Palo Alto, CA.

      — (@boredaesthete) March 26, 2021



      uh oh

      When Foucault was in Tunisia in the late 1960s, he regularly raped boys aged roughly 8- to 10-years-old on the gravestones at a local cemetery, according to Guy Sorman, who met Foucault and saw him paying the children to arrange this.

      — Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) March 28, 2021

      Yet unsurprising in the vein of 60s heroes who were leches for young groupies (even seeing Ginsburg late in the day, there seemed to be some post-reading flurry over some young potential "adepts"), while Esalen is full of sexualized psychological "research" - how young is young perhaps a question no one asked, and for females entertaining the rock stars like Bowie and Jimmy Page in Hollywood, the lower end prolly hits around 12-13 - some Grecian ideal of innocence, no doubt, which makes the graveyard accusation somewhat metaphorical if no less sordid and unethical.

      separate from that thread:

      a hopeful sign is that these guys actually got published! (now I am as much a skeptic about a lot of the supposed "science" of psychology as anyone, but the simple fact of publication rather than cancellation, and that people are able to work on this topic, that is very hopeful to me!)

      Very important Yglesias thread related to the effect of the 1619 project and the field of history. He's not making this up, it's standard now in the history field, actually. A scholar might feel okay challenging the NYTimes, but the Pulitzer Prize? It's a "you can't fight city hall attitude". You have to be recklessly brave or very powerful and successful to challenge Woke theology, basically because activist students currently have so much power over who gets canceled. And not a one wants to be labeled a racial controversialist for the rest of their life, they want to be a scholar of history.

      BUT I am much more upset about this situation than he is. Politicization is one kind of transgression in a field like sociology or philosophy. But in the field of history, it's sacrilege, it's straight out of Orwell, might as well just trash the whole field.


      Yeah, not into memory tube history, or trying to blow up every historical minority contribution into a major event. I *am* concerned about the future, and ahistorical black-washing only serves to distract from real economic, scientific/engineering, other participatory hurdles that need to be overcome. It's not so much that The Man was bad - it's that most of the world - including women - didn't have a chance to be The Man. Now they do, if we handle things well. We even largely solved that Malthusian population explosion, which was a much bigger challenge than global warming. Largely we did it by accident - wealthier families with more options have much fewer kids - who knew? (it also helps not to have a Mao cheerleading his population to breed themselves up to global relevance - China's paying for that mistake for a century).

      Scientific American blog - I'm shocked that something like this opinion piece would appear there, it's so far from hard science, however you feel about the trial and autopsy, etc. - there are ways we approach scienc, and this doesn't seem to be the way. (so, maybe not just humanities suffering a crisis? Hope not)

      If you can't put "colonialism" in the title, you might as well fuggeaboutit:

      Save the date! Delighted to announce the program of our session "Ecologies of Colonialism: Entangled Environments, Knowledge Systems, and Aesthetics" on July 1, 2021 as part of the @esehtweets ESEH Environmental History Today Seminar series!

      Free registration!

      (See thread)

      — Vera-Simone Schulz (@VeraSmnSchulz) April 4, 2021

      interesting convo, only because it is basically average college students and college educated people talking about the effects

      beginning of manifesto of "Strike Museum of Modern Art" group, basically current standard Woke lingo in the arts area. They held a rally today across from the museum:

      Strike MoMA:

      Framework and Terms for Struggle

      We are writing from the unceded territory of the Lenni Lenape. We stand in solidarity with Native American and Indigenous peoples leading the movement for resurgence, decolonization, and reclamation of their homelands. These lands were stolen to create settler-colonial states, and those who were dispossessed continue to live under conditions of siege, surveillance, and extractivist violence. We support land back, an imperative addressed to all settlers and settler-institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the City of New York. At its foundations, this city was established on stolen Indigenous land, and shaped and cultivated by enslaved African peoples. We support the undying fight for Black liberation and its many manifestations here and across the planet. 

      Subsequent layers of the city have been built by generations of migrants and refugees from other zones of the world violently impacted by colonial-capitalist modernity. Think of the Mohawk skywalkers whose labor made possible the Manhattan skyline, and the Black, Latinx, and Asian workers who maintain the urban infrastructure today even as they are displaced by real-estate developers in Chinatown, Mott Haven, East New York, and beyond. We support sanctuary for all migrant communities, and the allied movement for degentrification. We support the self-determination of oppressed peoples everywhere fighting against the imperial states, repressive regimes, occupying powers, comprador elites, and global corporations whose calculations have forced so many people from their homes in places like Puerto Rico, Haiti, Honduras, Palestine, Iraq, and Kashmir. From within the belly of the beast of U.S. empire, we acknowledge our responsibility, and act in solidarity with struggles to get free.

      From the Dutch West India Company to the Rockefeller dynasty to the bankers, speculators, and warmakers who sit on the board of MoMA today, their accumulation has only been possible through our dispossession. A system of imperialism, colonialism, and racial capitalism with gendered violence at its core. We stand in solidarity with all those who strike against patriarchy every day, at work, at home, in the fields, in the prisons, in the detention centers, in the streets, in the shelters. Stolen land, stolen people, stolen labor, stolen wealth, stolen worlds, stolen horizons. This is the modernity to which MoMA is a monument.

      When we strike MoMA, we strike its blood-soaked modernity. The monument on 53rd Street becomes our prism. We see our histories and struggles refracted through its crystalline structure, and foreclosed futures come into view. The museum is converted into a theater of operations where our entwined movements of decolonization, abolition, anti-capitalism and anti-imperialism can find one another. Why strike MoMA? So that something else can emerge, something under the control of workers, communities, and artists rather than billionaires.

      I. The Case Against MoMA

      Any day now, hedge fund billionaire Leon Black is likely to resign as the chair of the board of MoMA. It has been six weeks since the deep financial ties between Black and Jeffery Epstein resurfaced in the headlines. Black has already announced that he is stepping down from Apollo Global Management, but MoMA remains silent about his ongoing role at the museum. Artists and community groups have demanded that Black be removed, and calls for action have been circulating publically for a month. Last week anonymous sources confirmed to the media that Black is facing pressure from other members of the board to step down. They know his  continued presence on the board is a recipe for crisis, but getting rid of him could set a precedent and put at risk MoMA’s use of his priceless art collection. The museum administration is in a classic decision dilemma.

      Whether Black stays or goes, a consensus has emerged: beyond any one board member, MoMA iself is the problem. MoMA Divest offered a summary of its reasoning as follows, "Five MoMA board members — Steven Tananbaum, Glenn Dubin, Steven Cohen, Leon Black, Larry Fink — have been identified and targeted by different groups over the last year for their ties to war, racist prison and border enforcement systems, vulture fund exploitation, gentrification and displacement of the poor, extractivism and environmental degradation, and patriarchal forms of violence. Board members also have ties and donate to the NYPD Police Foundation. In short, the rot is at the core of the institution, which includes PS1." We agree, and also point to Honorary Chair Ronald Lauder, the cosmetics billionaire who is also president of the Zionist lobbying group World Jewish Congress and a major Trump donor. Deserving of recognition as well is board member Patricia Phelps Cisneros, whose billions come from the right-wing Grupo Cisneros media-industrial empire in Latin America. Speaking of Latin America, let's shine a light on Steven Tananbaum, Jeff Koons enthusiast and chief investment officer at Golden Tree Assets, one of the hedge funds involved in extracting wealth from the people of Puerto Rico through the PROMESA debt-restructuring program. And how could we forget Paula Crown and James Crown of the General Dynamics armaments fortune, whose Crown Creativity Lab on the second floor of the museum hosts The Peoples Studio, an “experimental space where visitors can explore the art and ideas of our time through participatory programs.” This is the condition of modernity that we find at Modernism Central: death-dealing oligarchs using art as an instrument of accumulation and shield for their violence.

      At the ground level, MoMA is also a messed up workplace. Elitism, hierarchy, inequality, precarity, disposability, anti-Blackness, misogyny. Remember the back-end workers who were furloughed and fired last year while the high-ups have carried on in luxury. As an estimated two thirds of the arts and culture jobs of the city have been lost, MoMA’s “David Rockefeller Director” Glenn Lowry continues to take home 2.3 million dollars a year, or 48 times the amount earned by an educational assistant. Sources have confirmed that just before the pandemic, MoMA management dis-invited unsalaried contract workers from the 2019 Christmas party, including people who had been there for decades. HR posted a memo in the Operations Room. A small detail, but it says a lot. Shout out to the O Room!

      This document comes from a movement perspective that de-exceptionalizes the museum. We refuse to acknowledge the separation of the museum from the rest of society. We see MoMA as existing on the same plane as the violence of the ruling class that has controlled it since its inception with the oil wealth of the Rockefellers in 1929. No more rationalizing the regime. They have long enabled the killing of our people and non-human relations and they have always expected us to thank them for their philanthropy. Yes, we know that Aggie Gund read The New Jim Crow and sold a Lichtenstein to fund the Art For Justice Fund. It was a project in collaboration with Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. The man who declared “it would be a grave error to demonize wealthy people'' following the ouster of Kanders from the Whitney, and who called the cops on Ford Fellows and their friends when they protested his “nuanced" support for new jails. If any doubts remain about the connection of the Ford Foundation, liberal philanthropy, and counterinsurgency, we direct you to this classic study.

      What about the art? We love art, but we have zero allegiance to the art system of which MoMA is the epicenter. Art exists beyond MoMA. Art is not a luxury, and it is a vital part of our communities and movements. Art is one of the few means of production available to oppressed peoples for the creation and sustaining of worlds in the face of death and destruction. The aesthetic forms and imaginative powers of art require material support: economies of solidarity, platforms of cooperation, infrastructures of care and mutual aid. But the political economy of the art system is antithetical to these life-affirming practices. It is predicated on property, scarcity, competition, and assimilation. One canon. One center. One meta-narrative of modernity, however diversified and globalized it may have become. It is governed by gatekeepers, critics, and canon-makers who try to create the measure by which art lives or dies, giving access to a select few while leaving the rest with the false choice between eating and making art. It doesn't have to be this way.

      As 150 artists and art workers put it in their open letter last month, “we must think seriously about a collective exit from art’s imbrication in toxic philanthropy and structures of oppression, so that we don’t have to have the same conversations over and over, one board member at a time. This thinking can only catalyze action once we state plainly: We do not need this money. Museums and other arts institutions must pursue alternative models, cooperative structures, Land Back initiatives, reparations, and additional ideas that constitute an abolitionist approach toward the arts and arts patronage, so that they align with the egalitarian principles that drew us to art in the first place.” Such calls for collective exit change the terms of the conversation, and point in the direction of something beyond MoMA.

      There is no blueprint for dismantling MoMA, but here is the starting point [....]

      Unteaching hidden 'White Ways of Languaging'

      Megan Weaver is a collegiate assistant professor of rhetoric and writing in the English department at Virginia Tech. In her teaching and research, Weaver enacts and advocates for equitable and antiracist praxis to promote pluralism in the teaching of writing. She teaches courses in first-year writing, advanced composition, and writing pedagogy.

      Weaver has published in Linguistics and Education and has presented her research at numerous national conferences including [....]

      throwing in this "energy research" publication, even though it's not Humanities, because it certainly sounds like lots of Humanities "research".


      When unravelling one twitter injustice runs into another, like Russian dolls, intrigue within intrigue...

      rack your brain so that you too can have a paper with "colonialist" in the title:

      Colonic Therapy: Purging the Past of Unwanted Elements?

      see whole thread:


      Ok, maybe forget all that. Here's a major twitter thread with lots of story links backing it up on 3rd order impact of Covid-19: the end of the University as we know it.

      Oh shush, we already established gen-z doesn't know how to get laid, so they'll be back - college is the only breeding ground they have. Tho we'll still have to pretend it's for a noble purpose like stopping global warming.

      a glimmer of hope!


      Bigger crisis in Academia

      UK gov opposes woke revisionism in the arts - which makes them fascist and Trump-like?

      The lines have been drawn - and apparently I'm on the sidelines, desotue thinking i was advocating the "well-reasines person" litmus test.

      Should Admiral Nelson or Disraeli be cancelled next?

      I sense that lines with woke culture warriors are clearer cut there than here and is why Boris and the Tories are not suffering from scandals galore. There decolonzing culture warring is just self-flagellation for everyone, either you're British or not, you just can't erase the whole frigging history, it's everyone's identity.

      They never were "multi-culti", they were an empire, it's part of their identity; you either assimilated other countries and cultures or let them go when it didn't work out (most notably 13 colonies who decided they just couldn't go whole hog). You may have different skin color but you speak with a Brit accent and don't celebrate your supposed heritage going back four generations in Pakistan or wherever. You're either a Brit or you're not! Vs. like the Roman empire, which didn't require you become Roman to take you over, once you're British, you're British and not embarrassed of it. No they don't want all the statues torn down nor some estate in Cheshire just because some slave owner furnished some of the building materials, that symbolizes what was then, this is now, now is different, it's all part of being a Brit.

      Labour has to kowtow to the woke and it hurts them with the middle. Most aren't masochists and don't like having to self-flagellate as supposed part of an evil enterprise. Cleansing their history is like committing suicide.

      Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones will join the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s journalism school in July as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism.

      Hannah-Jones, who covers civil rights and racial justice for The New York Times Magazine, won the 2020 Pulitzer for commentary for an essay she wrote as part of The 1619 Project, which highlights the long-term consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans.

      The appointment marks a return to the university for Hannah-Jones, who earned a master’s degree at its Hussman School of Journalism and Media in 2003.

      The above announcement is off-topic to this thread. It is, however, extremely appropriate content as to my other blog thread titled CREATING A NARRATIVE AND PROMOTING IT FOR A POLITICAL AGENDA

      The announcement is not about a scholarly appointment in Humanities academia. It is about an appointment of someone with practical journalist experience to train others in how to practice activist journalism, creating narratives that might inspire societal change.

      I copied your comment there and explain why there as well.

      I appreciate you making us aware of it, it is actually very illuminating about Hannah-Jones' work. She is DEFINITELY not a historian, quite the opposite.

      (Also it is quite controversial to place the fields of "Mass Communications" and "Journalism" within the category of "Humanities", though some universities might do that, those would be the ones that are not top tier, make-do-with-the-faculty-that-you-have-rather-than-what-you wish-you-had places.Both fields would, however, properly go under the umbrella of "College of Arts and Sciences". I.E, some colleges will have a few professors teach both studio Art and Art History, because they cannot afford separate departments, even though they are totally different fields, one teaching a skill, the other a subset of history scholarship. )

      It will be interesting to learn what the heck she is talking about:

      Meaningg is dead. - Kierkegaard

      her self description doesn't help in that regard

      english associate prof, 18c lit and med, unapologetic Filipinx, optimistic misanthrope, inclusivity warrior. Opinions my own. She/her. No Sidewalks, New York

      She was supposed to be teaching "English". But I do note that the link to her vita at Queens Community College is a "404", so there's that. Maybe in the process of reinventing herself, moving on. I do wonder, though, what Andrew W. Mellon would think about how his endowment worked out in this case. Times they are achanging....

      Amna Khalid is Associate Professor of History at Carleton College and has her own "uncensored" website here:

      the meme that's all the rage with curators around the world, at museums large to small, anything that they can dig up that can be squeezed to fit the meme, just so they can say they did a show:

      Fool in German is "Narr", so ship of fools is "Narrenschiff"
      Perhaps Narrative or "Narratif" takes after this tradition - all aboard?

      Americans never dropped the main features of the system tho, even though they fought a frigging revolution so as to no longer be a colony. laugh

      Bible nut, no thanks

      1776 Unites is a mix of personal stories of how Christianity and self help saved these Black Conservatives 

      The working to overcome racism stories are no different than stories told by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Bakari Sellers, Tiffany Cross, etc. on how they overcame obstacles.

      The difference is that 1776 Unites' "Red, White, and Black" is a depressing and condescending lecture.

      The stories told by the Coates, et. al. are uplifting  

      There are still 0 "Red, White, and Black" reviews on Amazon or Goodreads.

      Another bit of evidence that U Chicago continues to be one safe harbor for the study of History:

      "Strike MOMA" is still at it:


      Why does the West hate itself?

      ugh, Hannah here writes the typical elite white woke youngster screed:

      I really want to slap her out of it, really. Come back when you live some actual life.

      in the arts, not humanities:

      does this guy have a way with words or what? smiley

      He's not picking a fight, he's just sayin

      btw he's a real person trying to break into politics, maybe starting with a little too high aspirations...

      then there's what media overkill might getcha from suspicious minds:

      The excellent essay by @aaronsibarium linked below echoes the conclusion of my @ChronicleReview essay from earlier this year: social justice rhetoric and corporate downsizing are now inseparable partners in the philistine demolition of what’s left of the American university.

      — Geoff Shullenberger (@daily_barbarian) June 9, 2021


      smart white woman who knows how to pick the right theses topic to have a crack at a tenure track job and it worked!

      bottom of the hill college but it's a start, better than nothing. all those kids in Waterville, Maine, just chomping at the bit to learn how bad France really is!


      thought-provocation thrown in the mix:

      It's like every funder has to do something on topic or they will get grief for it; it's almost like an epidemic, there's no other history that needs research:

      good lord, arguing  that the Jane Bronte archives needs to be decolonized so the poor colonized peoples (born in the USA) can understand them-- the horrors in pursuit of approval of The Woke will never cease:

      Helen Kapstein: “Any archive is only accessible to those who know it’s there, know how to find it, and know how to use it. Decolonizing the archive includes mobilizing students like mine to be the decolonizers.”

      — hyperallergic (@hyperallergic) July 13, 2021


      Raiders of the Lost Ark or Beneath the Planet of the Apes?

      In John Jay’s special collections room, we’d been told that the card catalogues remain only for decoration. But after the Berg visit, where they are still in use, one student (originally from Haiti) wrote, “Seeing the card catalogs took me back. In that moment, I realize that [they] were not foreign to me. I had referred to [them] in my younger years in my home country. It all came back to me: the knowledge and a memory I had long since forgotten.” For her, the archive became a place of postcolonial recovery and remembering.

      good question. hope we can get real scholarship back no matter how they are accessing primary sources

      Annette Gordon-Reed just retweeted this, these are among this years' awardees of SHEAR, Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) is an association of scholars dedicated to exploring the events and the meaning of United States history between 1776 and 1861.

      And while they were at it, @SHEARites celebrated the #SHEAR2020 Book, Dissertation, and Article Prize winners, too: #SHEAR2021

      — The JER Pano (@TheJERPano) July 17, 2021

      If you look at the link, you will see how all of them are focused on histories of people of color (while Annette herself is a scholar noted for her knowledge of the founding fathers, in particular she is an expert on Thos. Jefferson, and now she has come out with a book on Juneteenth, long an interest as well.) The point:this is: if you have talent at history, this  is what you have to write on now to get attention, a jo, tenure  and to get an award.

      Don't get me wrong, these all sound like fine scholarly tomes (and not at all like the sloppy 1619 project which is a journalism project meant for a mass audience and not true practice of history, more like half journalistic op-ed, half school textbook..)

      BUT HERE'S THE THING: WHERE'S THE SUPPOSED LAUDED DIVERSITY of knowledge and topics? HUH? I know, I know, they are making up for topics supposedly ignored in the past. To me, that doesn't sound like looking for truth, that sounds like an agenda. And they are all happy to comply if it means approval from the right people. (Which looks glaringly absurd to this boomer with an M.A. in art history and with many friends and acquaintances with PHD'S. And which is exactly what tenure was created to avoid, looking for approval from the people with the power.)

      From comments on The Real Cuba Isn't a Potemkin Airbnb

      Antonio García Martínez on what people taking to the streets are protesting, Jul 14

      NCmom·Jul 15

      I cancelled my WSJ subscription over the comments being censored on the Cuba articles. Lots of "don't mistake Cuba for Marxist/ Communist" allowed to run wild. My comment got censored for responding "so we are supposed to ignore that the Castro's and Canel are very vocal that they are Revolutionaries for Marxism and the Communist regimes they run??" WSJ found my comment violated their terms. I can only imagine how much overtime their 25 year old censors making $45K a year were working to promote a narrative they blindly follow.

      I'm embarrassed to be a millennial. Bubble test ruined my generation. Critical thinking, nuance, objective facts, scientific debates, learning the why and how of history - none was taught in school and only a few of us have developed those skills as adults. We bought the degrees we wanted - we were clear on this a decade ago. But as we approach 40, most of my "friends" haven't matured a bit - they still feel entitled to everything simply because of pieces of paper ("degrees") we all bought in our early 20's with minimal effort compared to those with an actual job learning a genuine trade. They embrace CRT because it boosts their egos, which their limited accomplishments in life have failed to do. Those of us with an appreciation for all we have, who volunteer our time and willingly give our treasure to actual charities improving lives, and who raise our children with a timeless western values based in faith, are seen as an outcast minority. We are a happy, successful and fulfilled minority, but we are still a minority.

      My generation often supports Marxism because most my age don't actually know anything about it. They literally couldn't name 10 Marxist regimes or dictators. They don't know who the Bolsheviks were, much less what they believed. They haven't a clue how many people starved in China, or died in the gulags, much less anything about Castro and Cuba. They put BLM signs in their front yards because they think its trendy, not because they want equity (or even equality for that matter). None of this wokeness cost them any actual time or money. It's like they never matured beyond middle school. They certainly don't have an appreciation of long term consequences that exceeds that of the average 11-year old.

      this seems very true; I see evidence every day from related accounts on Twilter: in announcements of new positions needing to be filled that have replaced old obliterated positions and in announcement of new appointees to those new positions

      they are make work jobs that in most cases are not accomplishing a thing,aggravating staff with lots of news behavior rules rue in the end, going for the fad of hiring a legion of Black bureaucrats which really shouldn't be a priority just like a football team and coach shouldn't be

      On point I found the above thread retweeted by Wesley Yang

      It is also quite true in UK academia and there has been lots of contentiousness concerning the same. Keep in mind descendants of afro people chose to be immigrant citizens there, they ae not bitter descendants of slaves.

      I think there has never been a better time for Black people to be hired to affect university policies to favor the handicaps built into Afro-American culture. And  other minorities are vey agitated and/or outright outraged that they are into doing away with meritocratic policies, the potential of the exact western polices that attracted their families in the first place.It is seen as a great unfairness, built to favor Black minority, a small portion of the 13% of the population in the U.S

      The Society of Cultural Anthropology’s Campaign to Present American Populism as Fascism

      by Matthew Porter @, Aug. 5

      Earlier this year, the Society of Cultural Anthropology (SCA)—a subdivision of the American Anthropological Association (AAA)—published a series of essays exploring the topic of American Fascism. The project was run under the SCA’s “Hot Spots” category, which editors at the SCA’s journal, Cultural Anthropology, dedicate to writing that “goes beyond the headlines to consider current events and pressing global issues from the perspective of anthropologists and others on the scene.”

      The 18 essays, published on April 15th, explored the concept of fascism in relation to the January 6th United States Capitol attack, in which a mob of Donald Trump supporters violently disrupted the session of Congress assembled to formalize Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Given these events, and the broader political developments leading up to them, the series seemed timely and necessary. But the actual contents were intellectually disingenuous, with most authors watering down the definition of fascism in order to fit an identifiably partisan narrative [....]

      res ipsa loquitor, I see an ad like this every week:

      you have to of course have published something on topic and have a PHD in history, SOOOOO lotsa openings fighting over the same people

      hmmm, may be a small sign of hope (if they still have "something the matter with them in Kansas," that is)


      Using this measure, Norris found that “American scholars on the moderate right and far right report experiencing worsening pressures to be politically correct, limits on academic freedom and a lack of respect for open debate,” compared with the views of moderate and more left-wing scholars:


      dupe post for my records, so I can find it later:

      I don't even know what she said to get the reaction, this is all that matters, kudos to her for using tenure as it's supposed to be used instead of being a scaredy cat of the mob:

      Here it comes. I knew it would but it still sucks. My words being twisted and taken out of context, the tweets and emails ridiculing my point of view. But what is tenure for if not this?

      — Dr. Phoebe Cohen (@PhoebeFossil) October 20, 2021

      She self-describes as Paleontologist & liberal arts prof. Posting about science and the things that make me smile and/or scowl. she/her/hers @makeaplanetpod Vermont, USA

      the horror, so ignorantly Amero-centric (as bad as any "ugly American" in the 50's but zero self-awareness about that) and so so utterly racist:

      I looked her up. Brittney Cooper Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

      no shit sherlock; the minds of a generation of college graduates in the humanities are ALREADY "severely diminished" by a lot of the one-sided crap narratives that were their only syllabi

      There's a word nobody uses much any more: scholarship

      "severely diminished"

      I agree with this!

      This is what the destruction of the Humanities Depts at colleges wrought. A whole generation of B average college graduate millennials indoctrinated in totally one-sided, often propagandistic views. Many who became K-12 teachers.

      Others in with majors in like, say, Mass Comm, going into journalism. publishing and social media, becoming more and more virulent "cancellers" to the point where their Gen X superiors, most of them properly educated with across the spectrum perspectives, and especially the best minds, couldn't stand it anymore and left jobs just so they didn't have to work with the American 21st-century version of the Red Guard anymore.

      I just didn't see it until too late because I really was crucially busy with. first, being a news junkie ignoring my own field and it's developments on purpose, and after that, personal life and death matters I simply couldn't ignore without dying myself or at minimum, becoming homeless on the streets.

      That gap of years in paying attention made the change appear much more shocking when I finally got back to it! Same with my litte GenX bro, who majored in history but then went into coaching sports instead part time and being a part-time slacker & parent caretaker in the midwest. He was totally shocked by the iconoclasm set off by Geo. Floyd protests. I had to school him on what he had been missing.

      Just goes to show how things can go topsy-turvy in one quick generation.



      like a giant squid with 20,000 tentacles reaching everywhere and everything:

      found retweeted by Yglesias

      Professor Maria DeLongoria unironically finds value in the insane “8 white identities” concept.

      Academia is broken.

      Maria is also the Chair of the Social & Behavioral Sciences at Medgar Evers College.

      — Mythinformed MKE (@MythinformedMKE) November 12, 2021

      reminds me of phrenology

      that's actually a good sign

      I remember a Yugoslav Macedonian, a professor, telling me, "we were occupied by the Ottomans 500 years - it's a miracle our language survived." "But they let you speak your own language." Crickets. Balkan history is always fungible and usable for one's own interests.

      And yes, apparently Salonika (Thessaloniki) under the Turks was a refuge spot for Jews not welcome anywhere else (including Spain). Also remember the Greeks are quite good at PR, and there are more of them mixed into our culture than Turks - just to say history is not just written by the winners, but also where you get your gyros and ouzo. There's a lot of similarity in various cuktures' versions of hummus and stuffed grape leaves - Israeli, Lebanese/Syrian Turkish... but we file most of it under "Greek food". We don't have time for too much complexity.

      1 more (kicker) in thread

      Decoloniser heal thyself

      Decolonisation is a new form of Western elitism that risks turning campuses into ideological bootcamps

      The Poetry Vs Colonialism team are delighted to invite you to an anthology launch party at the Museum of London on Feb 22 - 18:30 (in person) or 19:00 (online) (times in GMT). With thanks to @lailanadia for sharing this news with us. More info & book here:

      — Keats-Shelley Assoc. (@KSAAcomm) January 31, 2022

      sounds painful. poor peers had to read the whole thing!

      Auf Deutsch no less. 

      In the long tradition of nitpicky German scholarship uber alles, to the point of meaninglessness. (Speaking of organizing file folders and archives on another thread, the culture does have a reputation for doing that to the max, too.)

      yes, they have even infiltrated elite institutions in Montgomery, Alabama:

      If you're going to continue to do history by skin color, the work more academics in history should be doing in having a REAL Black History month, warts and all:

      REFRESHING interest in doing real history the way real old time historians do, by Jamelle Bouie, in the very same publication that published The 1691 Project. Even though it's just a newsletter for subscribers only, maybe it's a very tiny example that the tide is turning against starting with narratives created for political reasons and then filling those narratives in with cherry-picked historical incidents. My underlining:

      The Slave Trade Didn’t Come Out of Nowhere

      By Jamelle Bouie, Opinion Columnist, Feb. 12

      In my Jan. 29 newsletter, I wrote a little about the development of the domestic slave trade in the United States, apropos of my Sunday Review story on the SlaveVoyages database and the effort to measure and quantify the trans-Atlantic slave trade. That newsletter focused on the economics of slave-based cultivation and how it led inevitably to a surplus of enslaved people who could be sold at great profit after the United States ended its participation in the trans-Atlantic trade.

      Because that particular story begins in the late 18th century, it takes the existence of chattel slavery for granted. But it occurred to me this week that it would be worth saying a little more about how the enslavement of Africans developed in the English colonies of the New World, if only to underscore the fact that a thorough grasp of this history must rest on the foundation of an objective analysis of class, labor and property relationships. I won’t hit every detail, but you will get the gist.

      “Slavery in the Caribbean has been too narrowly identified with the Negro,” wrote the Trinidadian historian and political scientist (and later politician) Eric Williams in his 1944 book “Capitalism and Slavery.” “Unfree labor in the New World was brown, white, black and yellow; Catholic, Protestant and pagan.”

      Williams goes on to note that the first instance of slave trading and slave labor during the European colonization of the Americas involved Native people. “The Indians rapidly succumbed to the excessive labor demanded of them, the insufficient diet, the white man’s diseases, and their inability to adjust themselves to the new way of life.”

      “The immediate successor of the Indian,” Williams continues, “was not the Negro but the poor white.” In the English colonies, most of these laborers were indentured servants. Some were “fleeing from the irksome restrictions of feudalism”; some were “Irishmen seeking freedom from the oppression of landlords and bishops”; others simply had a “burning desire for land” and an “ardent passion for independence.” Some were kidnapped by unscrupulous traders; others were convicts forced into servitude.

      The conditions of servitude were bad to begin with, from the dangerous voyage across the Atlantic to the difficult work on small farms and plantations. They became worse as servitude itself became a “property relation which asserted a control of varying extent, over the bodies and liberties of the person during service as if he were a thing.” Even still, as Williams points out, “The master at no time had absolute control over the person and liberty of his servant as he had over his slave” and “the conception of the servant as a piece of property never went beyond that of personal estate and never reached the stage of a chattel or real estate.”

      Most important, a servant’s term of service could eventually come to an end. When it did, he often demanded land. That’s one reason the importation of white servants became politically untenable. It was also true that “the need of the plantations outstripped” the supply of servants. There were only so many convicts England could send, only so many people to kidnap, only so many who would willingly make the journey. African slavery, then, emerges within the context of the instability of white servitude.

      “The Negro, in a strange environment, conspicuous by his color and features, and ignorant of the white man’s language and ways, could be kept permanently divorced from the land,” Williams explains. “Racial differences made it easier to justify and rationalize Negro slavery, to exact the mechanical obedience of a plough-ox or a cart-horse, to demand that resignation and that complete moral and intellectual subjection which alone make slave labor possible. Finally, and this was the decisive factor, the Negro slave was cheaper.”

      It was more cost effective, for merchants, to purchase captives from the Atlantic coast of Africa and ship them to sites in North America and the Caribbean: “The money which procured a white man’s services for ten years could buy a Negro for life.” For kidnappers, it was easier to steal an African man or woman than an English one. And the experiences of the servant trade informed the emerging slave trade: “Bristol, the center of the servant trade, became one of the centers of the slave trade. Capital accumulated from the one financed the other.”

      “The features of the man, his hair, color and dentifrice, his ‘subhuman’ characteristics so widely pleaded, were only the later rationalizations to justify a simple economic fact that the colonies needed labor and resorted to Negro labor because it was cheapest and best,” Williams writes. The planter, he continues, “would have gone to the moon, if necessary, for labor. Africa was nearer than the moon, nearer too than the more populous countries of India and China. But their turn was to come.”

      One thing I’d like you to consider, and this is something I will return to in the future, is the extent to which racial distinctions and racial divisions are rooted in relationships of class, labor and property, even when they take on a life and logic of their own. And if that’s true, I would like you to think about what that means for unraveling those divisions and distinctions, and consigning the ideology of “race” to the ash heap of history.

      Here's the only kind of job in Art History that you see advertised:

      Slowly dying...and why not...CRT & colonialism can only be done so many times in so many departments...why spend double or triple or quadruple on the same ideology?

      Iowa State is basically shutting down its history department, ending grad study and merging it with other programs. Public intellectuals at private universities, doing public humanities, will prove a very poor substitute for public education.

      — Sam Haselby (@samhaselby) March 10, 2022

      Heck, cut a lot of courses all together by eventually maybe just passing out a new version of Mao's Little Red Book?

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