Pedagogy and the Responsibility of Intellectuals in Dark Times


By Ajay Singh

Published Apr 5, 2007 11:01 AM

In a March 2007 public forum, "Pedagogy and the Responsibility of Intellectuals in Dark Times," six prominent UCLA professors discussed how and why intellectual life in academia has been impaired since 9/11. Moderated by Vinay Lal, associate professor of history, the forum was held in Bunche Hall and sponsored by the departments of anthropology, English, the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and the Women’s Studies Program.

The speakers, and the key issues they raised:

Richard Falk, professor emeritus of political science at Princeton University and distinguished visiting professor at the UCLA Law School: The current atmosphere of "silent acquiescence in society" is linked to the lessons that conservatives drew from the Vietnam War.

Sondra Hale, professor of anthropology and women’s studies: The dangers of encouraging professors to mentor students to keep their intellectual beliefs to themselves.

Juan Gomez-Quinones, professor of history: How outspoken faculty are scapegoated and persecuted amid the wave of intolerance sweeping academia.

Saree Makdisi, professor of English: My "personal struggle against the suppression of one particular strand of academic freedom" — criticism of Israel on University of California campuses.

Peter McLaren, professor of education: How certain bills introduced in state legislatures threaten academic freedom.



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