‘Race,’ ‘Diversity,’ and the University

If this was a good time for Canadian academia, you would not be able to tell from the blanket of almost absolute silence that has been pulled over universities. There is no euphoria, no celebratory mood, no applause for the changes that are happening. There is, however, a degree of infighting, mutual suspicion, recrimination, and […]

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After a Year of Being Locked Down

Nobody (as far as I know) has commented on how hard this year of lockdowns has been on university professors. That’s good: nobody should. Many millions of workers at home and abroad, and those who have lost employment, or their health, have had a far worse time. In part because of COVID-19, and in even larger part because of the disproportional political responses that were rooted in neither science nor logic, but rather an effort to criminalize and distract populations, the world has experienced an infernal year. It is not yet over, even as a couple of countries in the Centre/the First World/the Global North begin to reopen. In most other countries, the situation remains dire, and in quite a few it is even worsening. New states of emergency, new curfews, and some particularly virulent strains of the virus (particularly the Brazilian and Indian mutations), combined with porous borders and inept state management, result in Year Two of misery. If one has faith in the efficacy and safety of mRNA treatments called vaccines, then one should note how uneven and unequal the global distribution of these products has been, a fact that brings back to life what never really went away: a worldwide division between Centre and Periphery. “The coming year could be a story of two worlds undermining each other,” as explained in an article in The Atlantic. It will be 2022 already when vaccines will become available to more than just 20% of the world’s population, and in the meantime populations in most of the world are dealing with sometimes monstrous mutations.

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Publicity or Marginality? On the Question of Academic “Silencing” in Anthropology

Abstract What is “silencing” and is it out of place in the contemporary North American university? How do “silencing” and “public anthropology” intersect? What are the roles of academic power and academic capital? Readers are invited to explore the proposition that “silencing” is really about the political economy of value—the destruction or creation of value, […]

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This Does Not Represent the Views of the University

I know that I am not the first person to ask this, but when did universities start having “views”? When some professors indulge their rights to free speech or put academic freedom into practice, they can sometimes express views that some members of the public find controversial, distasteful, or reprehensible. In such cases, one frequently reads their […]

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Ward Churchill and American Justice

For those who do not already know, on Tuesday, 07 July 2009, the judge in Ward Churchill’s case (which we followed closely in the months of April and May) finally delivered his ruling on whether Churchill should be reinstated in his position or awarded a lump sum. Judge Larry Naves decided against both — Ward […]

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Summary for May 2009

While May was one of the “quieter” months on this blog, with a much lower than usual number of posts, and a reduction in the number of visitors (slightly more than 17,000 for the month), it was nonetheless one of my overall favourite months in terms of what was actually posted. I will not do […]

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When it comes to Israel, there can be no academic freedom or dissent? The case of William I. Robinson and UC-Santa Barbara

Another allegation of “anti-Semitism”? Another tale of a “racist” professor? Another professor who “violates students’ rights”? Another university administration “investigates” a professor? One would have thought that, in a post-Churchill context, university administrations would have been more circumspect, less willing to rush in and stifle free speech, as if only certain opinions were authorized and […]

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American Association of University Professors Calls for Ward Churchill’s Reinstatement

On 7 April 2009, the National Council of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) supported Ward Churchill’s pursuit of reinstatement at the University of Colorado (CU). The AAUP approved the following resolution: “We believe the disputes over Ward Churchill’s publications should have been allowed to work themselves out in traditional scholarly venues, not referred […]

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Ward Churchill’s Victory is Our Victory

Continuing from the last post… Not to worry, when Ward Churchill comes to join us at Concordia University on April 15, like magic we will turn that $1 award into many times that amount. In the meantime, the University of Colorado (CU) is obligated to pay Churchill’s legal fees, which at the moment are estimated […]

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