December 21, 2013
AMERICAN STUDIES ASSOCIATION UPDATE: Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is ASA.
Can you imagine twenty serious scholars in any discipline voting unanimously on any controversial issue? I can’t, so I thought it worthwhile to examine the composition of the ASA’s National Council and to peruse its members’ academic profiles, as described on the webpages of their home institutions. This simple exercise reveals a stunning lack of diversity of intellectual interests and perspectives in a sector of American society, the university, that explicitly places a very high premium on “diversity.” The apparent obsession with gender, gay and race studies (or of U.S. imperialism) among the members of ASA’s National Council seems to come at the expense of scholarship on just about everything else.
It was considered a lightweight major back when I was in school, and it’s undoubtedly gotten worse since then.
I think the proper response is for universities to refuse to fund attendance at ASA events, or purchase of ASA publications.