Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ethos and the Academic Bill of Rights

Currently, I am researching the Academic Bill of Rights by Students for Academic Freedom
"whose goal is to end the political abuse of the university and to restore integrity to the academic mission as a disinterested pursuit of knowledge."

In an article about the firing of two DePaul Professors, the author suggests that DePaul should fire another professor for his political beliefs, which seems to counter the principles of the Academic Bill of Rights.Now, in this article, there is no discusison that the professor is violating his professional duties by trying to indoctrinate his students. There is no discusison that he presents only one sided views in his class. Instead, the author of this article would like DePaul to fire him for his research and his beliefs because, "his entire [The English Professor's] corpus of "scholarly" work consists of exercises in "revolutionary" politics.

One paragraph sticks out:
Well, we would like to take Abraham up on the challenge and urge DePaul to take a close look at this fella's academic record, which can be seen here. Abraham holds a PhD in English from Purdue, where he wrote a dissertation about "The Rhetoric of Resistance," in other words a propaganda tract for the "revolutionary" left. Before that he completed an MA thesis in Arkansas that was a sycophantic celebration of the Maoist "philosopher" Michel Foucault.

I wonder if the author in question ever read the two works in question and knows enough about the rhetoric of resistance and the work of Michel Foucault to be able to judge its academic merits. Does the author know that "the rhetoric of resistance" could be used by "conservatives" against "liberals," which, by the way, is some of the purpose behind the Academic Bill of Rights.

But instead, the rhetoric of resistance is only a "propaganda tract of the left." If you are a conservative, nothing useful could come from it....

At what point does an intellectual pursuit just turn out to be a political pursuit?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Question for baseball Fans

A few random questions while watching the Yankees- Indians' game:

When did the seventh inning stretch tradition begin and why?

Why do they sing God Bless America? What is the conenction betwen this song and baseball?

Are there other traditions at other ballparks? I believe that Houston played "Wine, Women, and Snowpeas," er., I mean the Texas State Anthem. What elose is there?