RE: [AntConn] Academic freedom, "homeland security," solidarity - and more
Thanks, Elaine, for the distributing the information about our fellow anthropologist Dr. Janice Harper. AntConn is a very small email group, so I am sending it on to SCOPA as well.
Alvin W. Wolfe
Distinguished University Professor Emeritus
Department of Anthropology
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, SOC107
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL 33620-8100 813-974-0794
With apologies for cross-postings, I encourage you all to stand in solidarity with those of us calling for academic and other critical social freedoms that were decimated in the case of Dr. Janice Harper's recent denial of tenure and dismissal from the University of Tennessee.
Details of the witch hunt against Dr. Harper -- which included an unnecessary FBI investigation in the name of "homeland security," unjust revokation of institutional approvals to conduct human subjects research (otherwise known as the bread and butter of anthropological research endeavors), and more -- are discussed here: http://www.counterpunch.org/price08102009.html. (A less detailed report can also be found in last week's Chronicle of Higher Ed.)
A petition calling for solidarity with Dr. Harper's struggle for justice and an independent investigation by academic bodies such as the AAA, AAUP, and SfAA can be accessed here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/11/petition-in-support-of-dr-janice-harper.
I encourage you to read the Counterpunch piece AND sign the petition in support of Dr. Harper. Dr. Harper is an anthropologist with whom I have corresponded off and on over the past several years about our shared interests in medical anthropology, environmental anthropology, and the world of academia. Our most recent communications were spurred by my feedback on a paper she presented at the 2007 Society for Applied Anthropology meetings, about her outstanding research on the controversies surrounding depleted uranium (DU), a widely used weapon of mass destruction in modern war munitions. Though I am not a DU expert, I had familiarized myself with the use of DU by the US military, and was also familiar with the DU munitions manufacturing facility in my own Upstate NY community when I heard Dr. Harper's presentation. As a result, I was immediately impressed by the objective tenor, depth, and accuracy of Dr. Harper's DU research. To this day I hold great respect for her work. I am incredibly saddened by the injustices to which she has been subject as a teacher, research, and woman -- and by what these injustices mean for us all.
Please stand in solidarity for this important cause!
"...we should be on our guard not to overestimate science and scientific methods when it is a question of human problems; and we should not assume that experts are the only ones who have a right to express themselves on questions affecting the organization of society."
~ Albert Einstein
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