Wednesday, October 19, 2005

More Bias in Academia

I got another shipment of job openings for the position of history instructor today. The regional bias of what is studied is extremely narrow. The end of the Cold War has just about ended all new hiring in the history of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. We are left with a field disproportionately populated by Stalinist hacks like Mark Tauger. His expressed opinions on the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933 are no different than David Irving's or David Dukes' on the Holocaust. Yet the taxpayers of West Virginia pay him to teach Soviet history. If I was serious about exposing idiot leftist bias in the academy I would be gunning for Tauger's dismissal.

Despite the very central role of Kazakhstan, Central Asia and the Caucasus in current US strategic thinking there were no jobs specifically mentioning any of these areas. There are some positions on the Middle East, but alot of these make it clear that they really mean Arab world, not the Greater Middle East of the Arab, Turkic and Iranian worlds. Sometimes the approach to the Middle East used by American academics is so restricted that I get the feeling that it only covers the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.

Then there is the wierd position of "World History." Actually it is not a specific job description at all, but a painful reminder of the institutional biases in the US academy with regards to teaching the history of the vast majority of mankind that lives outside the US and Europe. Many colleges and universities in the US apparently only have one token lecturer to teach the history of either Africa, Asia, the Middle East or Latin America. They think this is an adequate gesture towards "diversity". Because all those dark skinned former colonial peoples are obviously interchangable. At least the old style racism of the "right" was honest. The condescending and dishonest racism of the left is far worse in my opinion because it trys to pass itself off as something else.


Masterfraud said...

Do I call you Otto? Dr. Pohl? What do you prefer? Anyway, thanks for dropping by. I love your blog. I laughed outloud a number of times. My favorites include the academy caring merely about the Western Wall (or, I'd argue, the mosque sitting atop it) and the intimation that you've moved from gunning for executions to a more tolerant stance. This is great!

J. Otto Pohl said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Call me Otto. I only insist on the title in formal settings. My blog is pretty informal as you can see.