When one discovers Ward Churchill described as a "lanky, long-haired fifty-eight-year old with movie-star good looks" one might suspect one has stumbled upon some weird academic form of Internet porn—and one would be right. The American Association of University Professors continues its slob-job of The Perfesser in its AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom (vol. 1) with Yeshiva University history professor Ellen Schrenker's "Ward Churchill at the Dalton Trumbo Fountain: Academic Freedom in the Aftermath of 9/11" (pdf).
For most of her 44 pages (including footnotes) Schrenker resolutely and expertly tosses Churchill's salad, accepting the assertions of Churchill's fellow fabulists like Cheyfitz and Johansen as ex cathedra declarations, but treating those of Churchill's detractors inevitably as examples of either right-wing hysteria or academic cowardice (or both). But then, would one expect anything less from an AAUP publication (and further, one Schrenker admits in footnote 1 is based on "a collection of clippings and documents in the personal possession of Evelyn Hu-DeHart, the former chair of the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Colorado")?
The conclusion one is required to draw from Schrenker's piece is that intellectual honesty and academic freedom are not concurrent and reinforcing imperatives; they are not even simply conflicting tenets of opposing ideologies; rather, they are antipodes of vastly unequal worth, and after 44 pages, only a fool would fail to understand which Schrenker considers the lesser. To preserve academic freedom, it seems, inconsequentials like intellectual honesty must be sacrificed. Such exquisite examples of burning the village in order to save it are to be treasured. (big perpetual ht to the ever-clever Leah)
Meanwhile, Drunkablerg entertains us with Churchill on the campaign trail.
From our Pining For The Fjords department: The Ward Churchill of American History, Howard Zinn, is extinct.