Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

When Murder is Academic: A Brief Tutorial on Academic Life

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message kellie bean       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 2/17/10

Author 1861
- Advertisement -

Yesterday I read about Amy Bishop, the academic who opened fire on her colleagues during a department meeting, killing three. The media consensus at the time circled around "having been recently denied tenure" as a motive. Today, Glenn Beck blames the radical ideology he most fears, misunderstands, and mistakenly assumes has overrun American universities for this horrifying event.

- Advertisement -

I've been an academic for 25 years, and I am here to tell you universities are not the hot-beds of liberal thinking and radical ideology so many think they are. All my degrees are in the humanities; all my jobs have been in departments of "liberal" arts. Even in departments claiming to teach critical thinking, to promote openness to new ideas, and to practice the religion of liberality, gender and class hierarchies are fixed, closely guarded and quite conservative.

- Advertisement -

Being denied tenure is no true motive for violence, and Ms. Bishop was a demonstrably troubled person who committed earlier crimes free of the pressures of the tenure process. But, both guesses at motive illustrate how deeply misunderstood higher education and those who teach there are within the larger culture. Academe is not an easy place to exist if one is a woman, or a person of color or gay. The myth of the cushy, politically-correct, hyper-liberal academic grows out of work produced by a small minority of institutions. Even within these institutions, publishing and pumping out literary theorists of the post-modern set, women are a minority; power is maintained by a small, well-connected and largely white/male population.

- Advertisement -

We dream of department citizenship and believe in universities grounded in democratic notions of fair play. But we do not live in such a place.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

Kellie Bean has been a Professor of English at Marshall University, an Associate Dean of Liberal Arts, and most recently, Provost of a small New England College. Author of "Post-Backlash Feminism: Women and the Media Since Reagan/Bush" (McFarland (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Year of the Butt: Olympic (Un)Coverage

Sarah Palin: Talk Talk Talkin' Revolution

Women's Health in Quotes

New Media Feminist Debate: Pornography

ESPN's Storm: Kornheiser's Tempest in a Tea Pot

Let 2010 be The Year We Loved our Bodies