I haven’t been blogging about the crisis in the UC system, mostly because excellent blogging is going on elsewhere (see esp. Chris Newfield and others at Remaking the University if you are interested). But when it intersects with anthropology, it warrants our attention. Paul Rabinow forwarded this tantalizing, if brief, note about what’s going on in Berkeley…
The Department of Anthropology at UC Berkeley has been in a kind of unofficial receivership for a growing number of years now. The reason I can claim this is that we no longer choose our own chair (while this was always technically true, departmental wishes were traditionally respected and continue to be so in other departments). Not only don’t we get to choose, the results of recent polls have not been disclosed nor those of official votes. The results might be “disruptive” we were told by the chair appointed by the administration. Even the Karzai government goes through the charade of holding elections.
We are now in a kind of Stasi-like moment at Berkeley where e-mail is monitored, lists of attendees to public meetings kept, warning messages sent afterwards, students threatened with expulsion but denied the most elementary protection such as having a lawyer present at their hearings. On the other hand, John Yoo is passionately defended as an example of academic freedom.
Is this going on elsewhere?