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SOURCE: frontpagemag.com (3-22-06)
In March 2003, I gave a lecture in the Department of Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures (MEALAC) at Columbia University. It was a job talk: my partner of a quarter century lives in New York, my hometown, and I figured I might as well apply for the long-vacant chair in Armenian Studies that was once more being advertised. My lecture presented a small philological discovery—that a pig-herder and rapist named Argawan who debuted in an Armenian epic poem dating to the time of Christ reappeared in a much later Ossetic epic, Nartae. An interesting, if not earth-shattering, study— but I was not prepared for the passions of a few members of the audience. One professor declared that such scholarship, with its implication that one culture might influence another, was a deplorable relic of imperialism, hegemonistic in essence. I replied that the comparative method, though susceptible to misuse, is indispensable to philology and is not intrinsically conspiratorial. As we were leaving, another professor came up to ask me whether I was a Dumezilian—that is, a follower of Georges Dumezil, who thought there was broad continuity in social structures between Indo-European cultures— and expressed her relief at my assurance that I was not. ("Senator, I am not, nor have I ever been, a Dumezilian.") For that would be, she said, hegemonistic. Now, how many times, gentle reader, do you hear the word "hegemonistic" in a day? I'd just heard it twice in an hour.
The rest of the day passed pleasantly enough, as one strolled down corridors festooned with posters depicting a map of Israel dripping blood or inviting one to celebrate the legacy of Edward Said; I conversed with postgraduates in a student lounge decorated with a poster of a kaffiyeh-swathed Hamas terrorist (sorry, I mean, "militant"). Only two members of the search committee came to lunch; and on the way back to Kent Hall from the Faculty Club one wondered aloud to me why I'd bothered to apply for a job in a place where anti-Semitism had become "mediaeval." In the end, MEALAC nominated for the job a junior faculty member who had been refused tenure by an ad hoc committee several years earlier. The search had been a charade. The nomination was rejected again, no appointment was made, and to this date no applicant has heard from Columbia. In the year that followed one's lecture in the through-the-looking-glass world of Columbia's Stalinism without Stalin, MEALAC made the headlines. One professor told a girl she couldn't be a Semite because she had green eyes. He later denied saying anything, but it sounds true to form: years before, he'd told me after the assassination of Anwar Sadat that the Egyptian president had met the fate of a traitor; and through the Gulf War, he had harangued his colleagues on how Israel should not exist. Another professor made an Israeli student stand up in class to be verbally abused. The press reported one such incident— a student whose boyfriend was in the class has told me that there were in fact several. Yet another professor in the department made violently inflammatory remarks about Jews in Al Ahram. Columbia's administration eventually was forced to take note of the scandal. It placed the MEALAC department in receivership, but under the tutelage of professors in other departments who were close to the faculty members accused of these offenses and shared their views. An investigatory committee, likewise weighted with left-wing and anti-Israel extremists, exonerated the accused: A New York Times editorial condemned the committee's work as a whitewash.
My association with Columbia goes far back. My father is a graduate of the College and Law School; my mother, a Columbia Ph.D. in Chemistry. I was Salutatorian of the Class of '74 and a Kellett Fellow; and I taught for twelve years in MEALAC as Lecturer, then Assistant Professor, then Associate Professor. Two of my courses were listed among the top ten for 1991 in the Columbia-Barnard Course Guide. In 1992 I was denied tenure: since I was offered the Harvard chair in Armenian Studies a year later, I do not think my scholarship or teaching were at fault. Two senior colleagues told me that I simply belonged to the wrong race.
David Horowitz's The Professors
I also thought my experience was unusual; but as we learn from David Horowitz's superb book, the inmates have taken control of the lunatic asylum that is academia today. Misery loves company: if you're a sane scholar in this business, the book will at least cheer you up, at least at first, until you remember this is a book, not about Heidelberg in 1934 or Moscow State University in 1937, but about America in 2006. The book begins with an account of Hamilton College's invitation to Ward Churchill to deliver a lecture (for $3,500 plus expenses). Churchill is a tenured professor at the University of Colorado and was chairman of his department. He does not hold a doctorate. He claimed to be an American Indian—that was a lie. The Rocky Mountain News maintains he has plagiarized the work of others. In the 1970's he trained the Weather Underground in the use of weapons and explosives. He regards the 9/11 terrorist attack as a just penalty visited upon "the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers". Hamilton, after immense pressure, including the protests of one student whose father died in the World Trade Center, withdrew its invitation. The AAUP has declared its official support for Churchill, and he has since toured many campuses, receiving everywhere a hero's welcome from large crowds.
This is not an extreme example. Horowitz demonstrates that it is routine for American universities to grant tenure to people who are under-qualified or unqualified, provided they meet an ideological standard imposed upon various disciplines in the humanities. It is de rigueur to decry America as the fons et origo of every evil, from the oppression of Blacks, women, gays, and Native Americans to the fouling of the planet and the fomenting of war and misery around the globe. Israel, too, must be derided as the sole villain in the Middle East conflict: as the Israel-bashers have gained confidence, their imagery and rhetoric have assumed the features of old-fashioned anti-Semitism. Correspondingly, one may not criticize Islam or the Arabs for offenses inexcusable in others: I recall a poster of the Arab students' society at Columbia around 1990 depicting a hook-nosed Israeli soldier bayoneting a crucified Palestinian. It hung in the MEALAC office for some days before I removed it, to the consternation of the staff—and, doubtless, to the detriment of my future career on Morningside Heights. (It did not matter that some years before I had asked my Literature Humanities students not to use an assigned edition of the Inferno that contained a crude modern drawing of Muhammad dismembering himself. I did not want to hurt the feelings of a Muslim pupil and friend. But Islam was not the cause of the day then. You can't win.) It also harms one's chances of employment if one is an overtly devout Christian, or a political conservative. How things have changed! A teacher of mine recalls that in the early 1960s, candidates for positions at Smith were interviewed on Friday and served pork at lunch, to weed out Jews and Catholics. I wonder which foods are verboten to Hegemonists. And academic writing itself has come to reify these political positions: the impenetrable jargon of "gendered" studies decrying "patriarchal" phenomena and so on. The purpose of such "cultural studies" is to make what is disputable opinion look like the hard technical data of exact and indisputable scientific research. It is a way of imposing orthodoxy and stifling dissent. That is not really new, in a roundabout sort of way: in the early 1950's, the Soviets decided "Western" genetics (scil. science) wasn't Marxist, so Trofim Lysenko obligingly cooked up a set of irreproducible experimental results showing that genetic traits could be acquired during one's life and passed on. The Russian mistake was to dress up bad science in political jargon. Nowadays it is fake scholarship in the service of a vicious political agenda that is gussied up with the borrowed terminology of science.
The body of Horowitz's book is a kind of rogues' gallery. As a professor of Armenian studies, I've met over my lifetime hundreds of survivors of the Armenian Genocide and have read scores of testimonies in Armenian and other languages. I've also traveled to Eastern Anatolia and spoken with Turkish and Kurdish farmers who spoke freely of the massacres. Often the ruins of Armenian villages and even quarters of whole cities are untouched. So I note with appreciation the inclusion of Hamid Algar, a professor of Persian and Islamic studies (and, for the record, a superb scholar) who in 1998 spat on members of the Armenian Student Association at UC Berkeley. He is quoted as having said to them: "It was not a genocide, but I wish it were, you lying pigs...You stupid Armenians, you deserve to be massacred!"
Juan Cole of the University of Michigan is criticized for his anti-Zionist conspiracy theories, but that scarcely exhausts Ann Arbor's charms: a colleague who applied for a job in Armenian studies there recalled to me being told they would not hire anyone planning to talk about the Armenian Genocide. Rejecting a number of fine young scholars with training in Armenian language, literature, and history, they hired a scholar of anthropology whose Ph.D. dealt with UFO sightings in the Soviet Armenian republic. If the little green men land in Michigan, though, they'll either have a lot of fun or, more likely, run for their flying saucers and leave this galaxy at warp speed: Professor Gayle Rubin (p. 307), 1988 Woman of the Year of the National Leather Association, has written thoughtfully about "boy-love" and "fistf**king", and has deplored women's lack of phallic power (a problem easily remedied, I should imagine, by a visit to Hubba Hubba on Mass Ave.).
And then, there is Prof. Amiri Baraka, poet laureate of New Jersey (the bard of Camden must be spinning in his grave like a top), Professor at Rutgers and Stony Brook and author of such immortal musings as these: "Most American white men are trained to be fags." "Rape the white girls. Rape their fathers. Cut the mothers' throats." Columbia's Middle East Studies program held a gala for Baraka's 70th birthday— presumably in recognition of such strophes as "I got the extermination blues, jewboys. I got the Hitler syndrome figured." The relatively long section on Hamid Dabashi, Professor of Iranian Studies at Columbia's MEALAC, with its catena of violently racist rants against the Jews, Israel, and America, is horrifying enough. What makes it worse is the background Horowitz does not provide: Columbia was once a great center of Iranian studies. Professors A.V. Williams Jackson and Louis Gray taught the Zoroastrian high-priests, Ervadji Pavry and Dhalla. Dale Bishop, Chris Brunner, Ehsan Yarshater, Prods Oktor Skjaervo, your obsedient servant— we were Columbia's Iranists. Dabashi was a respectable scholar once, too, and I thought him a friend. But It would be unfair to single out MEALAC: Horowitz devotes an entry to Columbia's feisty anthropologist Nicholas De Genova, who has called for "a million Mogadishus" and explained that "the only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military" (p. 123).
At Syracuse, where once Delmore Schwartz held court to Lou Reed, you can now take an accredited course on Lil' Kim and parse such texts as "Niggas... betta grab a seatgrab on ya dick as this bitch gets deep,/ Deeper than a pussy of a bitch 6 feet stiff dicks feel sweet in this little petite." Nathaniel Nelson reports that the instructor announced on the first day of the course "Political Philosophy: Plato to Machiavelli", "My name is Michael Vocino and I like dick" (p. 346). The candid Mr. Vocino, a tenured full professor in his fifties, is writing a Ph.D. dissertation on the TV series South Park. Ann Arbor, we've got a phallic power problem.
On page 365, Horowitz reaches Chapter 2, which deals with background to the no-confidence vote against President Larry Summers of Harvard in March 2005. He reviews the case of Cornel West and African-American Studies and the controversy over women in science and concludes: "the entire purpose of the censure was to suppress a politically objectionable (but scientifically grounded) idea." The affair "demonstrated the chilling power of a radical minority on the university's faculty." The chapter does not consider Summers' condemnation as anti-Semitic in result if not intent of a petition for Harvard to divest from Israel; but I think this statement galvanized radical faculty opinion against him. The book was published before Summers' resignation: it records only his attempts after censure to rectify the errors of which he had been accused. But it is now plain that nothing he could have done would have saved his presidency.
As I understand it, liberalism has to do with freedom. As a boy I marched for civil rights: that meant equal opportunity and integration, not affirmative action, Black separatism, and the licentious advocacy of violence. When as a college student I fought for gay rights, I wanted homosexuals to be able to express the love we naturally feel without fear of violence, ridicule, or condemnation; I did not have in mind the imposition of "queer theory" on the study of literature, or the accreditation of college courses on, well, on the stuff you have just read. It has been distressing to witness the Left's misguided take on foreign affairs morph into full-blown, murderous anti-Semitism, coupled with an utterly illogical worship of political Islam, which is anti-homosexual and misogynist just for starters. But the Left has always flirted with totalitarian violence and has indulged in an easy demonization of America that relieves one of the need to think with greater complexity and depth about the problems of our world. Most of the 101 academic rogues of Horowitz's list would probably describe themselves as liberals, but nothing could be more illiberal that their censorious intolerance. They abuse their position of authority and the captive audience of the classroom to impose their views on students, often neglecting at the same time to teach the subjects for which they are paid. They abuse academic standards to hire and promote those who think as they do: as Horowitz shows, professors with little or no scholarly merit are often at the top of their departments, even of professional associations. And God help those of us who do not think as they do— or who do not meet other criteria. I once applied for a job at CCNY. My application was never acknowledged. When my mother, who worked there, inquired, a colleague replied "Why did he even bother? He's the wrong color." Of course one of CCNY's stars at the time was the estimable Prof. Leonard Jeffries: "Jews are a race of skunks and animals that stole Africa from the Black Man" (Horowitz, p. 234).
A problem we face is that of terminology. Words like "liberal" and "Left" actually mean today the opposite of what they once did; while "conservatives" on American campuses are a dissenting, often disenfranchised minority who believe in freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, fair hiring practices, and so on. They tend to oppose the murder of Jews, the practice of slavery, female circumcision, and, of course, destroying office buildings full of working people with airplanes full of more working people. (Among the "little Eichmanns" working at the WTC when "the chickens came home to roost" were men and women from my old neighborhood, Washington Heights: Dominican immigrants who worked as janitors, as cooks at Windows on the World.) Let's start by calling things by their right names: Horowitz's 101 professors are bigots, racists, apologists for murder, fascists, traitors to this country.
And what is to be done about them, once the public is informed about them? Do America's lawmakers want public money (that is, our income taxes) to go to pay the likes of Ward Churchill or Amiri Baraka? Do parents and alumni want to fund private universities that hire people like Hamid Dabashi and Joseph Massad? There are students who are sick and tired of relentless indoctrination, of bogus scholarship and silly courses that take the place of real learning. Their voices should be heard.
After my lecture at Columbia in 2003, I returned to Cambridge. I am fortunate to have an academic job: I know a number of people who, because they were Jews, or white men, or conservatives, failed to secure professorships and their careers were truncated or destroyed. Horowitz in his final chapter describes how he collected his data, and avers he could have written a book about a myriad, rather than a hundred. But what disturbed me most, and what convinced me New York was no longer my home, was not the derision within the gates of Columbia University, but the banality of indifference outside.
SOURCE: Princeton University (3-22-06)
Twitchett was the first Gordon Wu '58 Professor of Chinese Studies at Princeton when he was named to the professorship in 1980. He is perhaps best known for "The Cambridge History of China," the largest and most comprehensive history of China in the English language. He conceived the 15-volume series, published by Cambridge University Press, with John Fairbank of Harvard University and served as editor of several of the books.
"Professor Twitchett was a force that shaped the study of Chinese history in the West for the past 50 years," said Yang Lu, an assistant professor of East Asian studies at Princeton who studied under Twitchett while earning his Ph.D. from the University. "[He was] the most eminent historian of medieval China, and his scholarship touched on many key aspects of Chinese history between 500 and 1000 A.D. Most of these works remain the standard readings of the period. His works had far-reaching influence over methodologies employed particularly in the studies of social and economic history of China. His conceptualization and approaches in these areas inspired and challenged generations of historians to develop their own."
Born in London on Sept. 23, 1925, Twitchett began his academic career as a student of geology and geography. An interest in Asian studies took hold during World War II, when he served in the Royal Navy and was trained in Japanese language.
He earned his B.A. in Chinese studies in 1949 from Cambridge University and completed his Ph.D. there in 1955. In 1953-54, he worked under the noted historian of Chinese legal studies Niida Noboru at Tokyo University. Twitchett's first major book, "Financial Administration Under the T'ang Dynasty," was considered a monumental contribution to medieval Chinese history.
His teaching career began at the University of London, where he lectured from 1954 to 1956. Returning to Cambridge, he was a lecturer there for four years before becoming head of the University of London's Department of Far Eastern Languages and Literatures in 1960, a post he held for eight years. Twitchett became a professor of Chinese at Cambridge as well as a professorial fellow of St. Catherine's College in 1968. He was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1967.
In 1973-74 and 1978-79, he was a visiting professor at Princeton and joined the faculty in the Department of East Asian Studies permanently in 1980. He taught undergraduate courses on various aspects of Chinese history from ancient times to the 18th century and led graduate seminars on a range of topics. He transferred to emeritus status in 1994.
While much of his writing efforts were devoted to "The Cambridge History of China," Twitchett also was one of the general editors of the six-volume "Cambridge History of Japan." He wrote and edited more than half dozen other books on Chinese historiography, the history of Chinese printing, and T'ang culture, in addition to producing "The Times Atlas of China." For many years, he served as editor of the journal Asia Major.
SOURCE: NYT (3-21-06)
Mr. Rushdie, who is credited with having helped to reshape the PEN American Center's role in defending freedom of expression and open cultural exchange after Sept. 11, proposed Mr. Chernow as his successor.
"I felt that with the enormous increase in interest in nonfiction, it would be good to have a major nonfiction writer," Mr. Rushdie said in an interview at the organization's offices on lower Broadway in SoHo, "especially in view of the problems we've seen arise there recently. And his Alexander Hamilton biography constantly reminded me of a time when the best writers in America were also changing American history."
Mr. Chernow's wife, Valerie, died in January, and he declined to speak about the election while planning a memorial service for her, though he did comment by e-mail. On the prospect of taking over from the internationally famous Mr. Rushdie, he wrote, "As Thomas Jefferson once said of Benjamin Franklin in Paris, you don't replace Franklin, you only succeed him."
SOURCE: NYT (3-21-06)
The cause was complications of a stroke, said Joerg-Henner Lotze, Mr. Hoopes's friend and executor.
In books and articles, Mr. Hoopes, an art historian, wrote extensively about the watercolors of artists like Sargent, Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins, characterizing their work as "the American medium."
Donelson Farquhar Hoopes was born in Philadelphia and attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. After service in the Army he studied at the University of Florence and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1960, when he was named director of the Portland Museum of Art in Maine.
SOURCE: Jennifer Howard in the Chronicle of Higher Education (3-24-06)
The term often evokes images that are even uglier: Green space lost to an asphalt desert of strip malls and highways. Citizens trapped in cars and a fast-food lifestyle that leaves them tired, stressed, and overweight. Pollution and global warming devouring habitat and community. Anonymous commuter suburbs where the people and the architecture all look the same.
That's a common view among urbanites and scholars. But over the past decade, a revisionist-minded, crossdisciplinary group of researchers has been complicating that view of sprawl and the metropolitan geography of which it is a part. They are rereading the suburban landscape in ways that unsettle much of the received wisdom about its history and its political economy.
As one of those scholars, Andrew Wiese, an associate professor of history at San Diego State University, puts it in his book Places of Their Own: African American Suburbanization in the Twentieth Century (University of Chicago Press, 2004), "With a few exceptions, historians have focused on suburbs of elite and middle-class whites, and they have defined suburbs according to the attributes of these communities." He says that "in addition to recovering black history in the suburbs," his project "challenges historians to think and write about suburbs in a different way."
Researchers like Mr. Wiese are not oblivious to the problems that can go hand in hand with suburbanization — some are highly critical of aspects of it — but they share a certain respect for its complexities. As another revisionist, Robert Bruegmann, a professor of art history, architecture, and urban planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says, "There's nothing simple about the suburbs."
Take sprawl. The problems that Mr. Bruegmann has with the idea begin with the term itself. "'Sprawl' is such an impossibly bad analytical tool," he says. "You can and should have a policy on species habitat or on global warming or cost of infrastructure or transportation. But sprawl itself is hopeless as a catchall for a whole lot of things people dislike."
Most attempts to define sprawl begin with a negative. In A Field Guide to Sprawl (Norton, 2004), Dolores Hayden, a professor of architecture, urbanism, and American studies at Yale University, calls it "unregulated growth expressed as careless new use of land and other resources as well as abandonment of older built areas." In a know-the-enemy gambit designed to help antisprawlers understand what they are up against, she uses aerial photographs to break sprawl into its constituent elements: big-box retail spaces, starter castles, boomburbs, etc. Ms. Hayden is also the author of a recent major study, Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000 (Pantheon, 2003), and several other books on urban history.
Mr. Bruegmann begins with the same tools — close observations made from the air and on the ground — to get a handle on sprawl. But the way that he wields those tools yields wildly different results.
In Sprawl: A Compact History (Chicago, 2005), Mr. Bruegmann describes the staggering variety of human settlement one sees from an airplane flying over New Jersey en route to New York's LaGuardia Airport. It's an exercise in what he describes as "the difficulty of pinning down a common definition or linking it to realities on the ground."
Does sprawl include exurbia, "the outmost band of development, ... the very low-density urban penumbra that lies beyond the regularly built-up suburbs and their urban services?" he writes. "Or is it the newly emerging suburban band of conventional subdivisions, golf courses, schools, and strip malls located closer in toward the city? If the latter is sprawl, is it logical to exclude older suburbs?
Certainly at one time these older communities, even many of the most densely packed inner neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Manhattan, were themselves relatively low in density and suburban in character compared to what was the core of the city. Why wouldn't they be considered historic sprawl?"
Attaching the word "historic" to sprawl underscores that the phenomenon has been with us far longer than many of us realize. In his book, Mr. Bruegmann makes the useful point that sprawl — and resistance to it — goes back decades, even centuries. Nor is it a peculiarly American affliction, even if it's widespread in this country.
Residential and industrial development in ancient Rome spilled past the city walls into suburbium, while the wealthy carved out retreats in the exurbs just as they do now. Centuries later, in 1920s Britain, one antisprawl activist howled that "we are making a screaming mess of England. ... A gimcrack civilization crawls like a gigantic slug over the country, leaving a foul trail of slime behind it."
Humans have left that "foul trail" for almost as long they have been building cities.
Postwar American critiques have focused on the crushing uniformity the suburbs were supposed to represent. In 1961 the urban historian Lewis Mumford indicted suburbia as a leveler of the worst order, infusing his definition with a moral judgment of sorts: "A multitude of uniform, unidentifiable houses, lined up inflexibly, at uniform distances, on uniform roads, in a treeless communal waste, inhabited by people of the same class, the same income, the same age group, witnessing the same television performances, eating the same tasteless prefabricated foods, from the same freezers, conforming in every outward and inward respect to a common mold."
In a forthcoming collection, The New Suburban History (Chicago), scheduled for publication in July, the historians Kevin M. Kruse and Thomas J. Sugrue point out that Mumford's critique, and others in the same vein, defined the limits of the first 25 years of suburban historiography: "Seeing postwar suburbia through the eyes of postwar critics like Mumford, many observers painted a monochrome picture of the suburban world as white, affluent, and conformist."
Mr. Kruse, an assistant professor of history at Princeton University, and Mr. Sugrue, a professor of history and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, note that "many early suburban historians chose to study only those suburbs that fit that stereotype and, in so doing, reified it."
Academic and popular attitudes have, on this subject, fed off one another. Since the 1970s and the rise of the environmental movement, a coalition of forces — not just environmentalists but also planners and preservationists and concerned citizens — has taken Mumford's image of American Beauty uniformity and linked it to the worst kind of sprawl in a powerful negative-spin campaign....
SOURCE: New Orleans Times-Picayune (3-21-06)
In books, articles and at an Emory University conference this week under the banner "The End of Southern History?" these rising academic stars -- Lassiter at the University of Michigan, Crespino at Emory and Kruse at Princeton University -- challenge the prevailing view.
Believers in a distinct South "came of age during the civil rights movement, and that profoundly shaped their orientation," said Lassiter, 35. "Now there's a younger generation who grew up in the South and came of age in residentially segregated suburbs of cosmopolitan cities that seemed to have as much in common with Chicago or Los Angeles or Boston as with rural Mississippi."
Unlike earlier white Southerners who invoked an "everybody-does-it defense" to expose Northern hypocrisy, this new generation is examining how massive resistance to desegregation morphed into racially exclusive suburbanization across the United States.
The result, North and South, is what Lassiter calls an "intractable landscape of racial apartheid" where whites can avoid integration under cover of "color-blindness," their racial "innocence" intact.
The silent majority
The new scholars focus not on the provocative name players of the 1960s and '70s, but on the "silent majority" of Southern whites -- those who opposed both desegregation and violent resistance to it. They became the bulwark of a new conservative movement and an ascendant Republican Party that transformed American politics.
"It's not about can we take race out of the story of the South, but can we put the South back into the national story," Lassiter said. ...
SOURCE: dailypress.com (3-20-06)
"I was a bit irritated at that," says Noel Hume in his characteristic forthright manner, "because I thought I was always doing something interesting."
And he was. CW's chief of archaeology and his staff had found something intriguing while digging on the grounds of the Carter's Grove plantation: evidence of a settlement dating way, way back to the early 17th century, near the very beginning of English America. What Humelsine was looking for was something to entertain a National Geographic Society bigwig who'd be visiting that weekend. That visit wound up as part of one of the biggest stories in Tidewater Virginia's uncovering of its Colonial past - and in the career of Ivor Noel Hume.
Noel Hume, Williamsburg's premier archaeologist from the 1950s through the 1980s, has had plenty of highlights in that career. He established historical archaeology as an important discipline in this country, made numerous discoveries about people and places past - while disproving a couple of things we thought we knew about them - and mentored a generation of noted archaeologists now in the field.
He's also popularized the business of digging into the past to a wider audience through his writings: 15 books so far, not counting the several specialized archaeological works he produced for CW.
Come June, it will be 50 years since Noel Hume first came to Virginia from his native England. At age 78, with his trim moustache now gray but his British accent lingering, he's still an imposing figure. In the living room of his home, its bay window overlooking the James River that has figured greatly in his work, he sat down recently to reminisce about that half century - and offer a few opinions on what it's all meant....
SOURCE: Press Release -- Network of Concerned Historians (NCH) (3-20-06)
MERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE HUMAN RIGHTS ACTION NETWORK (AAASHRAN)
AYMARA HISTORIAN DENIED VISA
20 March 2006
Case number: bo0603_ari
ISSUES: Academic and scientific freedom; Right to travel
**Visit the AAASHRAN website (http://shr.aaas.org/aaashran) to read this alert online and compose letters of appeal.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
An indigenous Bolivian scholar hired by the University of Nebraska at
Lincoln has been unable to take up his post because the US federal
government has withheld his visa. The State Department has given no
reasoning behind the delay.
Last year, the University of Nebraska Department of History and
Institute for Ethnic Studies hired Dr. Waskar Ari, a promising
indigenous scholar from Bolivia, to teach Latin American
History/Studies. Dr. Ari is the first Aymara person to receive a PhD
from a US University (Georgetown) and get a job at a major US
research institution. Unfortunately, the US government has refused to
grant Dr. Ari a visa to go to Nebraska and teach. His job was to have
begun last August.
Dr. Ari, a member of the Aymara people of Bolivia, is a scholar of
the religious beliefs and political activism among indigenous
Bolivians. He has served as a consultant on social and economic
issues facing the Aymara with the World Bank, the Inter-American
Development Bank, and other organizations. In a letter to Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice, the American Historical Association wrote,
"We recognize that there may be individuals who pose a genuine
security risk... However, in Dr. Ari's case, we feel there are no
perceptible grounds for such treatment. Within the Aymara community
of Bolivia, he is widely recognized as a voice of moderation" (the
full letter and press release can be read at
Last December, Bolivia elected its first indigenous president, Evo
Morales, a leftist who has opposed US-backed efforts to eradicate the
cultivation of the coca plant. Coca is the main ingredient in
cocaine. Mr. Morales is also an Aymara.
In a similar case, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit
last month challenging a provision of the USA Patriot Act that was
used to deny a visa to Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Swiss Muslim
scholar, despite his being appointed to a tenured professorship at
the University of Notre Dame in 2004. In the lawsuit, the ACLU said
the government was using the provision broadly to exclude from the
United States people whose views it disfavors.
(Sources of information for this case include: Personal Correspondence from Dr. Patrick Jones, Professor of History at the University of Nebraska, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The
RELEVANT HUMAN RIGHTS STANDARDS:
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
**Article 12(2): Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
**Article 12(2): Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.
**Article 15 (3): The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to respect the freedom indispensable for scientific research and creative activity.
**Article 15 (4): The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the benefits to be derived from the encouragement and development of international contacts and co-operation in the scientific and cultural fields.
Please send faxes, letters, or emails:
**Requesting that Dr. Waskar Ari's visa be granted so that he can begin at his post at the University of Nebraska; and
**Expressing your concern that the seeming arbitrary denials of visas for scholars appears to support arguments that the United States
government is using visa denials or delaying the visa process to exclude people whose views it disfavors.
APPEAL AND INQUIRY MESSAGES SHOULD BE SENT TO:
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
**Secretary of State
**Department of State 2201 C Street , NW Washington DC 20520
**Fax: (202) 647-4000 (TEL)
**Salutation: Dear Madame Secretary
Mr. Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.
**Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Department of State, Room 6262
2201 C St. NW Washington, D.C. 20520
**Salutation: Dear Mr. Assistant Secretary
Mr. Michael Chertoff
**Secretary of Homeland Security
**Department of Homeland Security Washington, D.C. 20528
**Salutation: Dear Mr. Secretary
Ms. Maura Harty
**Bureau of Consular Affairs Department of State, Room 6811 2201 C
St. NW Washington, D.C. 20520
**Salutation: Dear Ms. Assistant Secretary
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Dr. Patrick Jones
**University of Nebraska-Lincoln 612 Oldfather Hall Lincoln, Nebraska
**Fax: (402) 472-8839
Dr. James Garza
**University of Nebraska-Lincoln 639 Oldfather Hall Lincoln, Nebraska
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SOURCE: Campaign Website (3-20-06)
Accordng to his website:
"This humorous and edgy ad literally shows the difference between the minor ripple of conventional politics and the big splash that Allan will make in Washington. It will air for a week in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties and Baltimore City beginning on Friday, March 10, 2006. It will be televised on CNN, Headline News, Comedy Central and BET."
SOURCE: Tony Judt in the NY Review of Books (3-23-06)
The cold war in Gaddis's account was both inevitable and necessary. The Soviet empire and its allies could not be rolled back but they had to be contained. The resulting standoff lasted forty years. A lot of time and money was spent on nuclear weapons and the cautious new strategic thinking to which they gave rise. Partly for this reason there were no major wars (though there were a number of nerve-wracking confrontations). In the end —thanks to greater resources, a vastly more attractive political and economic model, and the initiative of a few good men (and one good woman)—the right side won. Since then, new complications have arisen, but we can at least be grateful to have said goodbye to all that.
Gaddis is most comfortable when discussing grand strategy, and the best parts of his new book are those that deal with the impact of the nuclear arms race on American policymakers. He discusses at length, and with some sympathy, Washington's decades-long preoccupation with "credibility": how to convince the Soviets that we would indeed be willing to go to war over various parts of Europe and Asia while insisting with as much conviction as possible upon our reluctance to do so. If the cold war "worked" as a system for keeping the peace it was because—albeit for slightly different reasons—Moscow had parallel preoccupations. These tense but stable arrangements, based on the apposite acronym MAD (mutually assured destruction), only came near to breaking down when one side temporarily lost faith in its antagonist's commitment to the system: over Cuba in 1962, when Khrushchev miscalculated and Kennedy initially misread his intentions; and in the early Eighties, when Ronald Reagan's huge rearmament program and reiterated rhetorical challenges to the "Evil Empire" led Moscow to believe that the US really was planning a preemptive nuclear first strike, and to prepare accordingly.
Any history of the cold war that pays sustained attention to such issues of high strategy is likely to have its gaze firmly fixed upon the Great Powers. So it is with Gaddis. However, his close familiarity with the history of American foreign policy is not matched by a comparable expertise in the sources and psychology of Soviet strategic calculation. Gaddis's account of American statesmen and their doings is detailed and lively. His coverage of Soviet behavior, by contrast, is conventional and two-dimensional. What emerges is a history of the cold war narrated as a superpower confrontation, but largely from the perspective of just one of those powers....
SOURCE: cronaca.com (3-17-06)
John James Wymer was born in 1928 and brought up in southwest London, near Kew Gardens. He was introduced to the quest for ancient flint implements by his parents whom he accompanied on many visits to nearby gravel pits where flint implements and the bones of extinct animals were to be found.
He began his career as a teacher. However, at the age of 27, while working at Swanscombe in Kent, he found part of the skull of a fossil hominid — it turned out to be the oldest human cranium from Britain — and he soon turned to archaeology full-time. In 1956 he was appointed to the staff of Reading Museum, from where he continued his search for Palaeolithic implements in the quaternary sediments of the River Thames.
SOURCE: NYT (3-19-06)
The cause was complications of scleroderma, a chronic disease of the connective tissue, her family said. Ms. Cosman, who moved to California in the late 1990's, was for decades a resident of Tenafly, N.J.
A longtime faculty member at the City College of New York, Ms. Cosman founded the Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies there in 1968 and was its director for many years. The institute closed in 1993, when Ms. Cosman retired. In the 1970's and afterward, she helped organize the annual medieval festival at the Cloisters in Upper Manhattan and spoke frequently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and elsewhere about daily life in the Middle Ages.
The author of nearly a dozen books, Ms. Cosman was best known to popular audiences for "Fabulous Feasts: Medieval Cookery and Ceremony" (George Braziller, 1976). An illustrated study of culinary practice in the Middle Ages, it also included recipes for dishes like roseye (fried fish in a rose-petal sauce), mulled wine and peppermint rice.
SOURCE: Deborah Solomon interview in the NYT Magazine (3-12-06)
So your generally left-leaning colleagues are willing to talk to you? People listen to me, but they don't pay attention to what I say. I should punch them out, but I don't.
In your latest book, you bemoan the disappearance of manliness in our ''gender neutral'' society. How, exactly, would you define manliness? My quick definition is confidence in a situation of risk. A manly man has to know what he is doing.
Hasn't technology lessened the need for risk taking, at least of the physical sort? It has. But it hasn't removed it. Technology gives you the instruments, and social sciences give you the rules. But manliness is more a quality of the soul.
How does someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger stack up? I would include him as a manly man.
But doesn't he exemplify the sort of man whose overdeveloped muscles are intended to mask feelings of insecurity? Yes, but then he stepped up to become governor of California. He took a risk with his reputation.
What about President Bush? He's a risk taker, but wouldn't his penchant for long vacations be a strike against him? I wouldn't say industriousness is a sign of manliness. That's sort of wonkish. Experts do that.
SOURCE: 60 Minutes (3-12-06)
This is a story about an entire city that was taken over by al Qaeda. It's called Tal Afar and about 200,000 people who live there became prisoners in their own homes when terrorists took control and turned it into their town.
They used Tal Afar as a base to train insurgents and launch attacks around Iraq. Last September, U.S. and Iraqi forces set out to recapture Tal Afar, and as Lara Logan reports, the Bush administration is pointing to that operation as a model for how to fight and win the rest of the war.
"Al Qaeda in Iraq had a very sophisticated strategy for taking over the city," says Colonel H.R. McMaster.
He should know. For a year, Col. McMaster served as one of the military's top advisers on fighting the Iraqi insurgency. Yet he says when he came to Tal Afar last May, he didn't realize how badly al Qaeda had brutalized the people.
"They fired mortars indiscriminately into playgrounds, into school yards, across the marketplace to kill innocent civilians. What they really wanted to do was incite fear," explains McMaster,
Asked what life was like for the inhabitants of Tal Afar, McMaster says, "Life was horrible in the city. They would leave headless bodies in the street. They kidnapped a young child on one occasion, killed the child, put a booby trap inside of his body and waited for the father to come claim the body to kill the parent."
Masked gunmen led by al Qaeda roamed the streets of Tal Afar at will, publicly executing and kidnapping people. Col. McMaster told 60 Minutes some of the terrorists were foreign fighters, but many were Iraqis from the area. Pictures of their attacks were circulated in videos like one in which you can hear them chanting a call to jihad.
"They had schools for snipers. They had kidnapping and murder classes that were attended by people on the best techniques," says McMaster.
The colonel says he was surprised to learn the enemy in Tal Afar was so organized. "You had this blending of former military expertise and organizational ability with, with a radical Islamic ideology, and it was fertile ground here."
Col. McMaster is a soldier-scholar, known for writing a book that found fault with military and political leaders during the Vietnam War. As commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry, he was given the mission to recapture Tal Afar. He told 60 Minutes that to defeat an insurgency, you have to win the trust of the people.
"The enemy showed the people who they really are. These are mass murderers. These are people who don’t have respect human life," says McMaster. "These are people who want to choke the life out of cities like Tal Afar."
"Al Qaeda planted its flag in Tal Afar and said 'This is ours,'" says Michael Ware, Baghdad bureau chief for Time Magazine. ...
SOURCE: Hiram Hover (blogger) (3-16-06)
UPDATE: Much Heat, Still No Light: In a comment on Bradford Short's post linked above, Richard Snow, editor of American Heritage, airs an old grudge against Wilentz, who had some unkind things to say about that magazine in TNR five years ago. Okay, but that still has nothing to do with the merits of The Rise of American Democracy or the Bancroft. On the plus side, Short has now corrected his misspelling of Bailyn's name. The NRO's Phi Beta Cons doesn't like Wilentz either--and also seems to know nothing about his book.
SOURCE: Jewish Press (3-16-06)
In the campaign in the UK to organize an academic boycottof Israeli universities, led by the British Association of University Teachers (AUT), it turned out that University of Haifa faculty member Ilan Pappe was the driving force, seeking to create a boycott of his own university. That campaign ultimately fizzled and failed.
But attempts by radical anti-Israel faculty members in Israel to promote attacks on their own country continue. Recent campaigns are in some ways more outrageous and far worse than the earlier boycott initiative. The newest campaigns are directed against individual Israelis in their private capacity and are being promoted by some of the most openly anti-Israel of Israel’s academic extremists.
These campaigns are based upon demonizing and persecuting individual Israeli military officers as "war criminals" in European courts. As you may recall, a few months ago, an Israeli army officer named Doron Almog was forced to cancel a private visit to the UK because some anti-Israel activists, including some leftist ex-Israelis, had petitioned a British court to issue an arrest against the former head of Israel’s Southern Command.
One of those seeking the prosecution in the UK of Almog was a lawyer named David Machower, a promoter of the campaign to boycott Israeli universities. Machover’s client, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, is a politicized nongovernmental organization (NGO) that refuses to condemn Palestinian suicide terrorism against Israeli civilians.
Among Almog’s most famous "war crimes" was his role in the Entebbe rescue operation in 1976. He was the first Israeli para-reconnaissance commander to land on the runway at Entebbe, marking it for incoming Israeli airplanes and leading the capture of the airfields control tower in the stunning rescue operation. He also participated in the clandestine airlift of some 6,000 black Jews from Ethiopia to Israel in the eighties.
Is Almog a murderous monster, as the British anti-Semites painted him? Hardly. In a recent interview he was asked about the greatest challenge in his career and he said it was caring for his autistic son. "Taking care of my boy – that’s the most immense challenge I’ve ever faced," said Almog, watching his son, Eran, frolic in a toddler’s wading pool. Eran is 20. He wears diapers, chews only baby food and cannot speak. Almog is active in groups helping the retarded.
The latest victim of a campaign of leftist vilification is an Israeli army officer named Aviv Kochavi. He was scheduled to begin studies in Britain this summer as a private person at the Royal College of Defense Studies. He has now been forced to cancel his planned trip to the United Kingdom after the Israeli Military Advocate’s Office instructed that he refrain from commencing studies, fearing that he would be arrested on trumped-up charges of "war crimes." Kochavi has been serving as the commander of the Israel Defense Forces division along the Gaza border.
Like the earlier campaign in Britain to organize a boycott of Israeli universities, this personal campaign against Kochavi is the scurrilous initiative of a fanatical leftist faculty member at an Israeli university. Kochavi is the victim of a venomous vendetta on the part of one Neve Gordon, a lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Ben Gurion University.
Gordon has conducted a campaign of vilification and defamation against Kochavi for years. Beginning in 2002, Gordon published an article, carried on numerous anti-Semitic and communist websites around the world, declaring Kochavi a "war criminal." The article not only smeared Kochavi; at the very least it was also a clear attempt to get Kochavi indicted by an overseas court on the weight of Gordon’s trumped-up charges.
Gordon lists his affiliation with Ben-Gurion University in his Kochavi hit piece, in violation of the university’s prohibition against such behavior. In his article, Gordon declares that Kochavi committed atrocities and war crimes against innocent Palestinian civilians, having given direct, personal commands to his troops to do these acts.Gordon lists the supposed use of Palestinians as human shields by the soldiers as one such "crime."
Now, it goes without saying that this is mere allegation. There have been no charges filed against Kochavi for his behavior in the military or anywhere else. In the battle during which Gordon claims Kochavi misbehaved, Kochavi’s troops were hunting for bands of vicious terrorists, including suicide bombers. Gordon’s claim that Kochavi ordered troops to utilize Palestinian civilians as human shields has been investigated and dismissed as fantasy by the Israeli authorities.
Gordon was hired by Ben Gurion University back when Avishay Braverman, currently the economic trigger man for the Israeli Labor Party, was running the school. Under Braverman’s leadership, Ben Gurion University was filled with anti-Israel leftist faculty members and "post-Zionists."
The Department of Political Science at BGU was so uniformly leftist that it adopted a policy under which no non-leftist was permitted to teach there. The single non-leftist in the department was essentially dismissed for incorrect thinking. Some have characterized Ben Gurion University in the Braverman era as the "Bir Zeit (radical Palestinian college) of the Negev."
Gordon is so extremist that he has repeatedly endorsed and praised the writings of Norman Finkelstein, considered by the Anti-Defamation League to be a Holocaust denier. Gordon has compared Finkelstein to the biblical prophets.
A regular columnist for the rabidly anti-Israel web magazine Counterpunch, Gordon’s writings are so venomously anti-Israel that they have been featured on the website of Ernst Zundel, deported by Canada for his neo-Nazi ranting. Gordon was arrested for interfering with Israeli anti-terror military operations and served as a "human shield" to prevent the arrest of wanted terrorists hidden in Arafat’s Ramallah headquarters.
So why is an Israeli military hero being victimized by a hard core leftist employed at an Israeli taxpayer-financed university? If you would like to ask the new president of Ben Gurion University that question, contact Prof. Rivka Carmi at email@example.com.
SOURCE: Letter to the Editor of the NYT (3-16-06)
Re "Drop Out of the College" (editorial, March 14):
Having written in favor of Electoral College reform since 2000, I, too, would prefer the popular election of the president. But the gimmick you endorse, of having individual states bind their electors to vote for the national popular-vote winner, seems problematic for one basic reason.
What is to stop state legislatures with strong partisan loyalties of their own from abandoning such an agreement when urgent calculations of party advantage come to the fore?
What one legislature can do, another can undo. In the end, difficult as it might be, presidential-election reform depends on taking the amendment process seriously. And that's what the examples your editorial cites in conclusion demonstrate.
Although individual states did set legislative precedents for granting the suffrage to African-Americans and to women, and also for the popular election of senators, in the end these rights were entrenched through constitutional amendments, not left to unstable legislative gimmickry.
Stanford, Calif., March 14, 2006
The writer is a professor of history, American studies and political science at Stanford University.
SOURCE: NYT (3-16-06)
The scholar, Tariq Ramadan, has been barred from this country since his visa was revoked in July 2004, a week before he was scheduled to begin a job at the University of Notre Dame. Administration officials explained the action by citing a USA Patriot Act ban of foreigners who "espouse terrorist activity." Mr. Ramadan has been invited to address a writers' conference in New York on April 25
SOURCE: NYT (3-15-06)
The author's passion is a widely shared one, with proven marketability. His book sold for more than $500,000, a hefty sum for a debut work of nonfiction. And Walden Media, the film production company that produced "Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," optioned film rights two years ago, based solely on the book proposal.
The company purchased the movie rights in October 2005 for roughly the same amount as the book deal. Harrison Ford has signed on to play a leader in the hunt for Booth. The producers have yet to announce who will play the infamous killer.
"Manhunt" made its debut at No. 6 on The New York Times best-seller list, and has held steady at No. 5 since then, making it the most popular history book in the country right now. It is in its fifth printing, with 200,000 copies in circulation.
Mr. Swanson, an intense man whose pale complexion and dark heavy eyebrows give him a somewhat brooding look, is reveling in the attention. "I had no idea how it would do," he said. "I don't know what people like. I wrote the book for myself. So I am thrilled that people are responding."...
The young collector further fed his fascination at the University of Chicago, where he studied American history, often sharing his rare finds with his favorite professor, the scholar John Hope Franklin, who became a mentor and friend.
"What I liked about him was his thoroughness and diligence and his capacity to pursue a subject to the bitter end," Mr. Franklin recalled. "When I read the book I smiled and said, 'There is James.' "
During the three years that it took him to write the book, Mr. Swanson said he all but imprisoned himself in his house. He listened only to Civil War-era music and read original documents from the time. He purchased a full run of The Chicago Tribune from April through July 1865 as well as originals of The New York Herald, spreading the papers over the length of his 14-foot dining room table to study every detail, for days at a time.
SOURCE: Inside Higher Education (3-15-06)
SOURCE: Michiko Kakutani in the NYT (12-31-69)
Indeed, "America at the Crossroads" represents the latest and most detailed criticism of the Bush administration's war in Iraq — delivered from a conservative point of view. With it, Mr. Fukuyama, who teaches at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, joins a growing number of conservatives, including William F. Buckley Jr., George F. Will, Bruce Bartlett and Andrew Sullivan, who have voiced doubts about the war.
In Mr. Fukuyama's case, the criticisms suggest a marked evolution in perspective. In 1998, Mr. Fukuyama signed a letter sponsored by Project for the New American Century urging the Clinton administration to take a harder line against Iraq, and in the days after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 he signed another from the group, which asserted that "any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power."
In the wake of the Bush administration's enunciation of a doctrine of pre-emption and its big-shouldered, go-it-alone approach to foreign policy, however, Mr. Fukuyama began to voice concerns. In an op-ed article in The Washington Post published on the second anniversary of 9/11, he warned that "overreaction to Sept. 11 will lead to a world in which the United States and its policies remain the chief focus of global concern," also saying that "the tremendous margin of power exercised by the United States in the security realm brings with it special responsibilities to use that power prudently."
A February 2004 dinner at the American Enterprise Institute made Mr. Fukuyama even more aware of the gulf between himself and neoconservative supporters of the war. Listening to the columnist Charles Krauthammer's speech — which embraced the doctrine of pre-emption and asserted that the toppling of Saddam Hussein had made America safer — he says he "could not understand why everyone around me was applauding the speech enthusiastically, given that the United States had found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, was bogged down in a vicious insurgency, and had almost totally isolated itself from the rest of the world by following the kind of unipolar strategy advocated by Krauthammer." ...
SOURCE: Peter Gottschalk in an email circulating on the Internet (3-13-06)
Wikipedia.org has been usurped to impugn specific scholars and Hindu studies in the US in general, omitting the far larger context of the work by both individuals and the scholarly community. In particular, Wikipedia's entry on Wendy Doniger defines and rejects her work almost entirely within a frame of hurt Hindu sensibilities, an entry on Jeff Kripal defines him only in regard to allegations and controversy surrounding Kali's Child, and the entry for"Hinduism in the United States" simply dismisses all scholarship for its supposed shoddiness.
Considering the unfortunately high reliance on this source of so many of our students and, perhaps, many members of the public, it would behoove those of us who would care to offer counter-perspectives. Certainly hurt sensibilities and controversial scholarship merit attention, however, they do not merit all the attention in entries supposedly about individuals. For those who don't know, Wikipedia is a very popular information database developed collaboratively by its users.
The article on Wendy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendy_Doniger) begins with some basic background on her, listing academic affiliations and works, but without any broad perspective on her work or its general significance. The text then moves to longer criticisms that reference" critiques" and"objections" deriving only from Rajiv Malhotra and Sankrant Sanu. The external links portion shows a bit more balance, but most of the sources are negative, three being written by Malhotra and Sanu. The entry itself offers only the shortest of responses of Wendy to her critics. Many mistakes lace the list of her works.
The article on Jeff (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffery_Kripal), except for a reference to his position at Rice, defines him entirely by his work Kali's Child, omitting everything else of his scholarship. At least Jeff's response to one of his critics, Swami Tyagananda, is included, although this is countered by a criticism from Malhotra.
Meanwhile, within its entry"Hinduism in the United States" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism_in_the_United_States), Wikipedia offers this under the subtitle"Scholarship":"Hinduism studies in American Universities has been under the spotlight recently for it's shoddy scholarship. With the increasing Hindu population in the country, gross errors & misrepresentations that may have passed through easily before are being caught and highlighted. An influential figure in the academy, Wendy Doniger, Professor of History of Religions, University of Chicago, has come under severe criticism for her work and that of her students.""Shoddy scholarship" has a link to a Sanu piece and"students" to Malhotra's"Wendy's Child Syndrome."
Answers.com, another online database, posts the Wikipedia all these entries in their entirety.
If you'd like to participate in the editing of the entry and are unfamiliar with how this works (as was I until today), you can find answers at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Introduction
Personally, I plan on complaining to the organizers of Wikipedia that they can allow such one-sided entries about scholars (or any individuals) without any apparent effort at balance.
Wikipedia recognizes the problems with its project, which has led to erroneous and damaging claims about individuals being posted in its entries. It addresses these at http://en.wikipedia.org
SOURCE: WaPo (3-13-06)
Mr. Hoopes, the author of more than a dozen books, worked at museums across the country and was the curator of exhibitions and collections at the Corcoran Gallery of Art from 1962 until 1964, when the Corcoran was one of the two or three most prominent museums in Washington. He was also a member of the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.
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Mr. Hoopes had a particular interest in watercolor painting and coined the term "the American medium" to describe the attraction of U.S. artists to watercolors, particularly in the 19th century. He wrote books on the watercolors of such leading American painters as Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent and Thomas Eakins.
When he was at the Corcoran, Mr. Hoopes organized a major exhibition, "The Private World of John Singer Sargent," which traveled to three other museums. He also created and wrote the museum's first recorded tour guide.
He spent much of his career moving from one museum to another, with periods of independent scholarship between his curatorial stints. At the peak of his career, he was a dashingly handsome man with a gift for conversation and a manner that reminded some of a character from a Henry James novel. He continued to write and organize exhibitions at museums well into the 1990s.
Donelson Farquhar Hoopes was born in Philadelphia. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He served in the Army from 1953 until 1955.
In his twenties, he was named director of the Portland Museum of Art in Maine and promptly improved its exhibitions, with major shows on Homer and Marsden Hartley. From 1965 until 1969, after his two-year tenure at the Corcoran, Mr. Hoopes was curator of paintings and sculpture at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.
From 1972 until 1975, he was curator of American art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where he added major works to the collection. During the 1970s, he published two of his most significant books, "The American Impressionists" (1972) and "American Watercolor Painting" (1977).
He served on the Committee for the Preservation of the White House from 1977 until 1982, helping recommend acquisitions for the White House art collection and offering advice on architectural and decorative matters.
As director of the Thomas Cole Foundation from 1983 until 1997, Mr. Hoopes helped spearhead the restoration of the Catskill, N.Y., home of Cole, a major painter in the 19th-century Hudson River School.
Mr. Hoopes retired to Maine in 1997 and led a largely private life, except for weekly forays to the public library to rent movies and read the New York Times. He painted and wrote at his rural home and maintained two antique cars.
SOURCE: Inside Higher Education (3-13-06)
Mixed in with the line of about five students were two detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, one of whom, according to a business card he gave Tinker-Salas, works for the Joint Terrorism Task Force, a Federal Bureau of Investigation collaboration with local detectives. According to Tinker-Salas, the detectives said they wanted to “develop a profile of the Venezuelan community in the United States.”
Tinker-Salas, who provided business cards and cell phone numbers for the detectives that the two left during their visit, described the 20-minute encounter as pervaded by “verbal jostling.” Tinker-Salas said that one of the men had a folder, in which he had Tinker-Salas’s profile from the Pomona Web site, among other papers. Tinker-Salas specializes in contemporary Venezuelan and Mexican politics, as well as issues related to oil in Venezuela. “They praised my academic credentials,” Tinker-Salas said. “Why are you really here?” he said he asked the visitors. “What is your level of education to have an opinion on my credentials?”
The detectives then asked questions for which answers are publicly available, Tinker-Salas said. “They asked if there’s a Venezuelan consulate in L.A. and if I have relations to it. They asked things like, how many Venezuelans are there in L.A. and in the U.S.,” Tinker-Salas said. “There is no Venezuelan consulate in L.A. I interpreted this as a fishing expedition.”
Tinker-Salas has been an outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy in Venezuela, most recently about the “inoculation strategy” that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said is an attempt to form “a united front against some of the kinds of things that Venezuela gets involved in.” The professor said he guessed that his prominence, particularly in the news media, drew the detectives to his door....
SOURCE: Trenton Times (3-12-06)
Wilentz, who is director of Princeton's Program in American Studies, agrees that President Bush has had more success in turning back the liberal agendas of the past than previous conservative Republican presidents, including Ronald Reagan.
That success, he says, is being measured by Bush's ability to name two new Supreme Court justices, John Roberts and Samuel Alito, who give him an apparent 5-4 majority of justices who share his conservative views on hot-button issues such as abortion rights, same-sex marriage, school prayer and presidential powers.
If conservative Republicans continue to win national elections, Wilentz said, they could not only score more victories in America's cultural wars but drastically overhaul many of the social programs that people take for granted.
But Wilentz takes the long view of a historian who not only has charted the course of American history for two decades in his courses at Princeton but also in a widely praised new book, "The Rise of American Democracy."
Yes, he agrees, the conservatives are winning at the moment. "But that can change very quickly," he says. "All it takes is one election. If the Democrats win one house of Congress in November, the picture can change dramatically.
"All of a sudden, they will be able to hold investigative hearings to challenge the administration. So long as the Republicans control the Congress, the presidency and the judiciary, (the Democrats) are powerless.
"That was clear in the Senate confirmation hearings over Sam Alito. The Republicans had the votes. The Democrats did a lot of crying in public, but the fact is that when George Bush was re-elected to a second term, it was almost certain that he was going to get at least two new seats on the Supreme Court.
"And when he ran for re-election, he was very public about what kind of justice he would nominate -- justices like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas." ...
SOURCE: Lisa Hirschmann in the Columbia Spectator (3-9-06)
Hundreds of students, professors, administrators, and non-affiliates poured into the auditorium to hear the controversial author's speech, titled "Israel and Palestine: Misuse of Anti-Semitism, Abuse of History." The event was sponsored by a coalition of student groups led by the Muslim Students Association.
Finkelstein criticized Israel's human rights record and concluded that "regardless of intent, Israel is in effect guilty of state terrorism," exacting applause from sections of the auditorium. Finkelstein further alleged that the "only difference between Israel terrorism and Hamas terrorism is that Israeli terrorism is three times as lethal."
The speech marked a period of rising tensions on campus, which has become manifest through the proliferation of fliers and the publication of conflicting student opinions in Spectator.
According to MSA president emeritus and event coordinator Sakib Khan, SEAS '07, the group wanted "to create honest open dialogue on the Israel-Palestine issue," especially in the wake of last year's controversy concerning the Middle East and Asian languages and cultures department.
Allegations of anti-Israel intimidation of students in the MEALAC department emerged in October 2004, leading to the creation of an ad hoc committee to investigate the claims and months of mounted tensions and taboos surrounding discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on campus.
While discussing tactics employed by fabricators of controversy—such as discouraging comparison of Israel's treatment of Palestinians with South African apartheid—Finkelstein criticized University President Lee C. Bollinger's statements in response to a 2002 faculty petition calling for the University's divestment from firms dealings with the Israeli military.
"As president of Columbia ... I want to state clearly that I will not lend any support to this proposal. The petition alleges human rights abuses and compares Israel to South Africa at the time of apartheid, an analogy I believe is both grotesque and offensive," Bollinger wrote.
In response to Bollinger's remarks, Finkelstein declared, "I think it's a sorry truth when the president of... [Columbia] subordinates the pursuit of truth to the pursuit of fundraising."