FW: 10/29/2002 Daily Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education
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From: The Chronicle [mailto:daily@...]
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2002 5:01 AM
To: Chronicle Daily Report
Subject: 10/29/2002 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 Tuesday, October 29.
MAGAZINES & JOURNALS
A glance at the fall issue of "Pedagogy": Teaching American
studies in West Africa and beyond
College students in West Africa are being given "a simplistic,
limited view of the roles of race and region in American
society," according to David G. Nicholls, director of book
publications at the Modern Language Association and a former
instructor at the University of Dakar and the University of
Ouagadougou. West African academe places a great deal of
emphasis on African-American literature, he argues, by
sacrificing other important areas of American studies.
"Despite the critical discourse found in most African-American
literature, the field is amply supported by the U.S. government
in West Africa," he writes, which partially explains why it has
come to dominate American studies there. Through academic
opportunities such as travel grants, the United States is able
to direct scholarship toward "the peaceful side of the
civil-rights movement" and away from more radical dissent -- a
policy the author describes as having "strategic advantages."
"American studies, as an interdisciplinary field, has long
expected critical self-reflection of its students and scholars"
-- a spirit, notes Mr. Nicholls, "that needs to carry over into
the international classroom." He urges American instructors
working abroad to encourage foreign students and scholars to
abandon the "rehearsals of the wrongs done to African
Americans." They must replace such rehearsals, he concludes,
with a "genuinely critical discourse grounded in their own
experiences yet related to the historical presence of the United
States in the 20th century and beyond."
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