Academic Challenges: Protest and Resistance

Posted on October 03, 2017 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments
From the student level to tenured faculty, academia poses a vast set of challenges. Every two weeks, Al-Diwan brings you a collection of articles and perspectives that touch upon one problem within academia. This week's focus is on protest and resistance.

Letter of Resignation from Members of the Editorial Board of Third World Quarterly

In response to the publication of “The Case for Colonialism” by Bruce Gilley in Third World Quarterly, members of the journal’s editorial board penned a letter to express the reasons behind their discontent over the article’s publication.

Civil Debate is Fine. Protest is Even Better.
By Stefan M. Bradley (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Current conversations about campus protests posit that such direct actions are a recent phenomenon, conveniently forgetting that “such upheavals have long defined” college campuses. Stefan Bradley looks at the historic and modern discourses around campus disruption within the political and university spheres.

Georgetown Faculty, Students Protests Sessions Appearance
By Hank Reichman (Academe Blog)

Georgetown University law faculty and students, building off the momentum of the many athletes that took a knee on Sunday, Sept. 24, protested U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ speech. Additionally, some faculty authored a statement regarding Sessions’ talk and “condemn[ed] the hypocrisy of Attorney General Sessions speaking about free speech.”

Teachable Moment
(Harper’s Magazine) 

This dialogue between a Russian teacher, principal, and two students touches upon the idea of permissible forms of protest, pinpointing who is to blame for current problems, and the legitimacy claimed by sources of knowledge.

The Failure of Higher Education Leadership
By Philip G. Altbach (Insider Higher Ed)

Overall, higher education has not fared well on the media circuit. Coverage of the higher education job market, student debt, and free speech has been overwhelmingly negative. Amidst such coverage, though, university administrations and presidents have kept relatively quiet. Philip Altbach discusses the logic behind staying silent on these issues, as well as advocating for a more vocal university leadership.

What Ole Miss Can Teach Universities About Grappling with Their Past
By Timothy W. Ryback (The Atlantic)

In August of 2016, the Ole Miss Chancellor, Jeffrey Vitter tasked the “Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on History and Context” to develop a report on all the “historically problematic statues, streets, and buildings” on the Ole Miss campus. Few universities have taken such steps to publically “expose [their] darkest moments,” and after combing through faculty meeting notes from 1860 and public statements made by building namesakes, the committee had a 49-page report to present to the chancellor.

Student kneels in the Diag for 24 hour protest of anti-Black racism
By Colin Beresford (The Michigan Daily) 

Following a slew of racist happenings on campus, Dana Greene took a knee on the University of Michigan Diag, a main campus thruway, to bring attention to inequality on campus and nationally. Greene, who is now a graduate student in public health and earned his bachelors degree at U-M, talked about how “each year the campus climate has gotten worse and worse,” and the community, locally and nationally, must do better.

“Education Not Deportation”: Professors Under Arrest
By Marella A. Gayla (The Crimson)

During a Harvard protest against President Donald Trump’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), several faculty members from Boston-area colleges were arrested. Student protest has often been the image of what campus civil disobedience looks like, and Professor Kirsten Weld, an organizer of this protest, said, “We can’t just sit back and follow our students who already carry the lion’s share of the burden of organizing and protesting and marching.” While many of those arrested did not have the security of tenure, they participated in the demonstration to both support DACA students and voice their own frustrations, as well as to show how they, as members of the ivory tower, which seemed to give an aura of protection, could come down into the streets.

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