Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Major major

PB notes CU's redesign of its ethnic studies department webpage. How any parent could let a kid major in ethnic studies at CU (or anywhere else) after reading the department's mind-boggling drivel is beyond me:
The Department of Ethnic Studies encourages participatory, experiential, student-centered learning and empowers students to move beyond existing social, cultural, and political paradigms to more inclusive paradigms in which they are the subjects of their own reality.
Can you imagine anyone more the subject of his or her own reality than an 18-year-old college student?
Consequently, all students are encouraged to examine and analyze their own inherited political/economic and social/cultural background and identities.
God. They must be fun at Thanksgiving. And the faculty research projects the department lists, like they're proud of them! You've never seen such useless ax-grinding and grievance-mongering:
Criminalization of Latino/a youth and the demonization of Mexican border crossers. Systematic analysis of musical, autobiographic and filmic texts by Latina/o youth and undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

A comprehensive synthesis of Africana philosophy, philosophy of race and and critical race theory with various strands of critical pedagogy, critical class theory, feminist theory, liberation theology, postmodernism, and postcolonial theory.
Or Ward's favorite:
Critical analyses of governmental agencies [sic] role in the de-stabilization of such groups as the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement. The genocidal impact of American Indian residential schools; Indigenous resistance to genocide, ecocide and expropriation in contemporary North America; literature, cinema, and the colonization of American Indians.
If this shit constitutes a scholarly discipline, I'm Tarzan of the fuckin' Apes. Oh, I forgot: he was a white hegemonist himself. Though, apparently, a very gay one.

As PB notes, the ES webpage ends with its own Stuart Smalley-style self-affirmation:
It is clear from the above areas of research, scholarship, and creative work, that the Ethnic Studies faculty play a major role in the mission of the university as a "diverse community of advanced learning with the highest standards of scholarship, in which research and creative work enrich the teaching of students who thrive in an academic community."
And thus do some of the nastiest people around--ethnic studies revolutionaries--use the cant of multiculturalism against the well-meaning.

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