The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations.A helpful comment followed:
April 30, 2012, 10:24 pm
By Naomi Schaefer Riley
You’ll have to forgive the lateness but I just got around to reading The Chronicle’s recent piece on the young guns of black studies. If ever there were a case for eliminating the discipline, the sidebar explaining some of the dissertations being offered by the best and the brightest of black-studies graduate students has made it. What a collection of left-wing victimization claptrap. The best that can be said of these topics is that they’re so irrelevant no one will ever look at them.
That’s what I would say about Ruth Hayes’ dissertation, “‘So I Could Be Easeful’: Black Women’s Authoritative Knowledge on Childbirth.” It began because she “noticed that nonwhite women’s experiences were largely absent from natural-birth literature, which led me to look into historical black midwifery.” How could we overlook the nonwhite experience in “natural birth literature,” whatever the heck that is? It’s scandalous and clearly a sign that racism is alive and well in America, not to mention academia.
Once again, [Naomi Schaefer Riley] makes definitive evaluations of academic research without having bothered to read it. Or the dissertation proposal; or any of the chapters done so far (since it seems this is work in progress by students in the dissertation writing phase). She is clairvoyant, and can judge it in advance. The Queen has delivered her verdict, judging it in advance. There's a word for that: prejudice.Burned. From the follow-up:
Finally, since this is a blog about academia and not journalism, I’ll forgive the commenters for not understanding that it is not my job to read entire dissertations before I write a 500-word piece about them.Oh joy. What might editors at the Chronicle of um...wait a minute...oh yes, Higher Education think of such things?
Many of you have asked The Chronicle to take down Naomi Schaefer Riley’s recent posting, “The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations.” I urge readers instead to view this posting as an opportunity—to debate Riley’s views, challenge her, set things straight as you see fit. Take a moment to read The Chronicle’s front-page story about the future of black studies, written by Chronicle reporter Stacey Patton and weigh in.I shit in your breakfast! What do you think about that?
Please join the debate.