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ERIC Number: ED346530
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Jun-6
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Popular Culture Studies and the Politics of Educational "Crisis."
Burns, Gary
The conservative position on the crisis in the humanities is fundamentally antidemocratic and poses a danger to popular culture studies. This can be demonstrated by taking issue with conservatives' usage of the terms "crisis" and "politics." A crisis is an urgent problem, but by labeling something a crisis which is not, attention is distracted from actual urgent problems. The status of the profession is in crisis, but this has to do with funding problems such as poor pay and bad working conditions, deteriorating facilities, the elimination of academic programs, the erosion of academic freedom and tenure, and the high cost of going to college--problems overlooked by conservatives. Politics is viewed by conservatives as the primary cause of the crisis in the humanities, especially left-liberalism, which apparently includes popular culture. However, conservatives pay practically no attention to what generally is meant by university politics, including resource allocation. Attacks against certain departments, such as those that teach popular culture, focus on their alleged "non-centrality" to the arts and humanities, but this is arbitrary and antidemocratic. The political becomes highly personal when it involves tenure decisions and funding. An example in which tenure was denied simply because of the teacher's main field of study was popular culture, indicates a dangerous antidemocratic spirit. Several things can be done by targeted faculty members to combat the attacks on programs like popular culture: (1) publicize stories of bad tenure decisions; (2) file grievances; (3) support each other through correspondence; (4) develop institutional clout; and (5) vigorously protest attempts to limit academic freedom. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A