Yale Daily News
ACADEMIC FREEDOMS | BENITA SINGH
Published Thursday, November 6, 2003
New bill threatens intellectual freedom in area studies
The complete article is currently (3/28/04) available on the
Yale Daily News website at-- http://www.yaledailynews.com/article.asp?AID=23954
HR 3077 was first proposed in June, at a Congressional hearing on "International Programs in Higher Education and Questions
about Bias." Portraying academic institutions, particularly area studies programs, as hotbeds for anti-American sentiment,
proponents of the bill proposed the creation of an advisory board that has the final word on curricula taught at Title VI
institutions, course materials assigned in class, and even the faculty who are hired in institutions that accept Title VI
The basis of our government's deep-seated paranoia lies in the simple-minded testimony
of conservative academic Stanley Kurtz. ...
Beyond the plain absurdity of his testimony, the irony of Kurtz's statements is that he falls victim to the very difficulty
that Edward Said, one of the first pioneers of post-colonial theory, repeatedly attempted to explain. ...
The implications of HR 3077's intense nationalism are frightening. ...
With the ratification of
HR 3077, all of these area studies and language programs are now subject to government oversight. According to the language
of the bill, professors whose ideological principles may not support U.S. practices abroad can have their appointments terminated,
any part of a course's curriculum containing criticisms of U.S. foreign policy can be censored, and any course deemed entirely
anti-American can be barred from ever being taught. ...
© 1995-2004 Yale Daily News Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.Benita
Singh is a senior in Branford College. Her column appears on alternate Thursdays.
Neoconservative critics have long charged Middle Eastern studies departments with anti-American bias. Now they've
enlisted Congress in their crusade.
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By Michelle Goldberg
For access to the complete article, click
Nov. 6, 2003 | On Oct. 21, the House
of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that could require university international studies departments to show more
support for American foreign policy or risk their federal funding. ...
Emboldened by its dominance of Washington, the right is trying to enlist government
on its side in the campus culture wars. "Since they are the mainstream in Washington think tanks and the right-wing corridors
of Congress, they figure, 'Let's translate that political capital to education,'" says Rashid Khalidi, who was recently appointed
to the Edward Said Chair of Arab studies at Columbia University.
It's not surprising that they started with Middle Eastern studies. There's
a particular enmity between hard-line supporters of Israel -- who, with the extraordinary ascension of neoconservatives in
the Bush administration, now dominate the American right -- and academics who specialize in studying the Arab and Muslim world.
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