FW: 8/1/2002 Daily Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education
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From: The Chronicle [mailto:daily@...]
Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2002 5:00 AM
To: Chronicle Daily Report
Subject: 8/1/2002 Daily Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education
ACADEME TODAY: The Chronicle of Higher Education's
Daily Report for subscribers
Here are news bulletins from The Chronicle of Higher Education
for Thursday, August 1.
* CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS are putting the finishing touches on a
new master plan for higher education that, if approved, would
increase the power of the state's community-college board,
set aside research funds for state priorities, and, for the
first time, include guidelines for elementary and secondary
--> SEE http://chronicle.com/daily/2002/08/2002080101n.htm
* GOV. GRAY DAVIS has asked leaders of California's public
university systems to review their policies on free speech
and hate crimes in the wake of anti-Semitic incidents on some
campuses. A spokeswoman for Mr. Davis said the governor
expects written assessments from the universities outlining
the actions they are taking to make sure that such incidents
do not recur.
--> SEE http://chronicle.com/daily/2002/08/2002080102n.htm
MAGAZINES & JOURNALS
A glance at the summer issue of "Social Text":
"Afrofuturism" and challenging nerd identity
In her introduction to this issue on "Afrofuturism," Alondra
Nelson, a doctoral candidate in American studies at New York
University and founder of an e-mail list dedicated to the
movement, says that it "can be broadly defined as 'African
American voices' with 'other stories to tell about culture,
technology, and things to come.'"
In one of the articles, Ron Eglash, an assistant professor of
science and technology studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute, writes that understanding the roles of gender and
race within science and technology is vital to challenging the
nerd identity as a "threatening gatekeeper" to those fields.
African-American nerd characters in television and film offer a
means for "dislocating (or at least broadening) these narrow
normative roles in the ecology of race and technoculture,"
according to Mr. Eglash. Similarly, Web sites such as
"GeekGirls" and "NerdGrrrls" have attempted to create "hybrid
technogender identities." However, both of these means represent
only a limited resistance to traditional nerd identity, he says,
because they are merely reversing the very stereotypes they
attempt to overcome.
Instead, the author believes that Afrofuturism offers the best
means for challenging the nerd identity's supposed monopoly on
science and technology. Afrofuturists, do not "assume that nerd
identity is only racially aligned by a kind of shallow,
arbitrary association and is otherwise universally available,"
observes Mr. Eglash. Instead, they challenge "both the implicit
whiteness of nerds and the explicit technological absence of
both realist and romantic black essentialisms."
The issue is available online at
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Copyright (c) 2002 The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc.