Translate/Traducción

Monday, March 17, 2014

Columbia University Fired Two Eminent Public Intellectuals. Here’s Why It Matters. | The Nation

Columbia University Fired Two Eminent Public Intellectuals. Here’s Why It Matters. | The Nation



Columbia University
Columbia University (The West End/Flickr)




About a month ago, The New York Times’s Nicholas Kristof wrote a much-discussed column
calling for academics to take on a greater role in public life. Most
professors, he lamented, “just don’t matter in today’s great debates,”
having instead burrowed into rabbit holes of hyper-specialization. PhD
programs, he wrote, “have fostered a culture that glorifies arcane
unintelligibility while disdaining impact and audience.” Professors,
Kristof pleaded, “don’t cloister yourselves like medieval monks—we need
you!”




Shortly before his column came out, Carole Vance and Kim Hopper,
longtime professors at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public
Health, learned that they were losing their jobs because they hadn’t
brought in enough grant money. Both, ironically, are models for the sort
of publicly engaged intellectual Kristof wants to see more of. Vance
has done pioneering work on the intersection of gender, health and human
rights. “She has been a mentor and a leading influence on generations
of scholars as well as activists and practitioners,” says Rebecca
Schleifer, the former advocacy director for the health and human rights
division at Human Rights Watch. Hopper, who divides his time between
Columbia and the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, is
both an advocate for the homeless and one of the nation’s foremost
scholars on homelessness. Last year, American Anthropologist
ran a piece highlighting his work beyond academia, noting that Hopper
“has long urged anthropologists to take part in public debates, to
translate ethnographic findings into policy proposals.”

No comments:

Post a Comment