ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

Hate Studies 101

June 6, 2005 by ACTA

One of the more pressing curricular issues in American higher education has to do with the place of those highly specialized, expressly politicized emergent fields known as "area studies." Women's studies, Middle East studies, African-American studies, Latino studies, peace studies, and a host of similar fields have emerged in recent decades as splinter disciplines dedicated to promoting a more or less explicitly left-wing agenda in the classroom, in scholarship, and in institutional administration. Though the intellectual ethics of such programs are questionable in their tendency to conflate indoctrination and education, they have enjoyed real success as niche disciplines built on the premise that left-oriented activism is a legitimate scholarly pursuit. As such, they have also paved the way for new area studies oriented around perceived political problems. Last weekend, at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education, for example, a group of panelists discussed the merits of introducing "hate studies" as a distinct academic discipline that would seek to understand intolerance and to conceptualize an "effective response" to that controversial criminal category, the hate crime. Read a summary of the panel at InsideHigherEd.com, where a telling article title-- "Majoring in Hate"--registers the distinct possibility that "hate studies" may do more to create hatred than to eliminate it.

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