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[Fwd: Fwd: FW: congressional subcommittee]
by Trichur Ganesh
02 November 2003 23:40 UTC
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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Fwd: FW: congressional subcommittee
Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2003 11:51:14 -0600
From: Alejandro de Acosta <deacosta@sbcglobal.net>
To: Chad Wilson <cdwilso@LearnLink.Emory.Edu>, Christopher Jones <tojil@hotmail.com>, Jessica Lawless <lawless@anet.net>, "Trichur K. Ganesh" <tganesh@stlawu.edu>, Sönke Zehle <s.zehle@kein.org>

>X-Sender: sross@mail.binghamton.edu
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>Date:         Fri, 31 Oct 2003 19:44:28 -0500
>Reply-To: Listserv for the PIC research center
>Sender: Listserv for the PIC research center
>From: Stephen David Ross 
>Subject: FW: congressional subcommittee
>Comments: To: pic-l@listserv.binghamton.edu
>You may find this worth reading to the end.
>>>From: Deborah Berman Santana 
>>>Reply-to: Ford Foundation Fellows List To:
>>>Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2003 10:29:55 -0800
>>>Congress moves to regulation postcolonial studies
>>>>>From Michael Bednar
>>>Department of History
>>>The University of Texas at Austin
>>>Congress Moves to Regulate Postcolonial Studies (fwd)
>>>Oct. 20, 2003
>>>As many of you who know me well will soon realize, I have become a
>>>political activist for the first time in my life. I am not here to
>>>but to inform you on current legislation that is being debated in the
>>>House of Representatives. The legislation in question, H.R. 3077, will
>>>rewrite the Title VI legislation that has provided FLAS money to many
>>>us and that also funds the various area-studies centers in our
>>>In particular, the legislation proposes the creation of an "advisory
>>>board" that may severely impact universities by dictating the
>>>taught, course materials assigned in class, and the faculty who are
>>>hired in institutions that accept Title VI funding. It gets worse. The
>>>U.S. House of Representative's Subcommittee on Select Education
>>>on "International Programs in Higher Education and Questions about
>>>on June 19, 2003
>>>m) begins with an opening statement by Representative Phil Gringrey
>>>includes the following passage: "we are here today to learn more about
>>>number of programs that are authorized and funded under Title VI,
>>>are some of the oldest programs of support to higher education. These
>>>programs reflect the priority placed by the federal government on
>>>diplomacy, national security, and trade competitiveness. International
>>>studies and education have become an increasingly important and
>>>topic of conversation and consideration in higher education...
>>>with mounting global tensions, some programs under the Higher
>>>Act that support foreign language and area studies centers have
>>>attracted national attention and concern due to the perception of
>>>teachings and policies."
>>>Testimony provided by Dr. Stanley Kurtz (available from the link
>>>portrays areas studies centers as hotbeds of unpatriotic
>>>anti-Americanism. Dr. Kurtz focuses, in particular, on post-colonial
>>>theory and the work of Edward Said's Orientalism in which "Said
>>>professors who support American foreign policy with the 19th century
>>>European intellectuals who propped up racist colonial empires. The
>>>premise of post-colonial theory is that it is immoral for a scholar to
>>>put his knowledge of foreign languages and cultures at the service of
>>>American power." (quoted from Kurtz's statement found at
>>>Kurtz asserts that the rampant presence of post-colonial theory in
>>>academic circles, with its bias against America and the West, has
>>>produced a corps of professors who refuse to instruct or support (with
>>>FLAS grants) students interested in pursuing careers in the foreign
>>>service and/or intelligence agencies. Kurtz comments that: "We know
>>>transmissions from the September 11 highjackers [sic] went
>>>for want of Arabic speakers in our intelligence agencies. Given that,
>>>and given the ongoing lack of foreign language expertise in our
>>>and intelligence agencies, the directors of the Title VI African
>>>centers who voted unanimously, just after September 11, to reaffirm
>>>their boycott of the NSEP [National Security Education Program], have
>>>all acted to undermine America's national security, and its foreign
>>>policy. And so has every other Title VI-funded scholar in Latin
>>>American-, African-, and Middle Eastern Studies who has upheld the
>>>long-standing boycott of the NSEP."
>>>The answer, Kurtz proposes, is to create an oversight board that will
>>>link Title VI funding to students training for careers in national
>>>security, defense and intelligence agencies, and the Foreign Service.
>>>How effective was Dr. Kurtz's presentation? The committee not only
>>>believed everything Dr.Kurtz claimed, they even implemented most of
>>>suggestions, including the "advisory board."
>>>An amended House Resolution, H.R. 3077, proposes to create an
>>>International Education Advisory Board, with appointed members from
>>>homeland security, the Department of Defense, and the National
>>>Agency, "to increase accountability by providing advice, counsel, and
>>>recommendations to Congress on international education issues for
>>>education." (Quoted from the Sept. 19, 2003 press release of
>>>John Boehner, committee
>>>The full resolution of H.R. 3077 can be found at
>>>H.R. 3077 was amended in subcommittee and this amended resolution
>>>elaborates on the composition and role of the International Education
>>>Advisory Board (see especially pages 16-24).
>>>The amended H.R. 3077 can be found at:
>>>http://edworkforce.house.gov/markups/108th/sed/hr3077/917main.htm .
>>>Click on the link that says "Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute"
>>>which will download an Adobe Acrobat pdf file. This amended H.R. 3077
>>>has been sent to the full committee, which met on Thursday, September
>>>at 11:00 AM to discuss the resolution before sending it to the House
>>>Just in case you think that I have lost my marbles or that I am
>>>over-reacting, the Higher Education and National Affairs newsletter,
>>>published by the American Council on Education, and available
>>>athttp://www.acenet.edu/hena/ includes the following comments on H.R.
>>>3077 (page 1, continued on page 4):
>>>"House Republicans intend for H.R. 3077 to build on existing
>>>international and foreign language studies Title VI programs, adding
>>>what many in the higher education community believe is unnecessary
>>>federal oversight through a new International Education Advisory
>>>Federal international education programs were the focus of a House
>>>subcommittee hearing in June, during which one witness testified to a
>>>strong "anti-American" bias in many college and university
>>>departments which he claimed could possibly undermine American foreign
>>>policy. ACE presented opposing testimony (see
>>>http://www.acenet.edu/washington/international/Hartle.Testimony.pdf .
>>>As a subcommittee press release asserted, this advisory body would be
>>>created in consultation with homeland security agencies in order to
>>>"increase accountability by providing advice, counsel, and
>>>recommendations to Congress on international education issues for
>>>education." Higher education leaders oppose this board on the grounds
>>>that the powers it is granted are so broad that they put institutions
>>>danger of losing control over their own curricula, hiring practices,
>>>other aspects of their international programs."
>>>In short, it seems that the House of Representatives is about to
>>>regulate the courses and content that we, as future professors, will
>>>teach in colleges and universities. The possibility that someone in
>>>homeland security will instruct college professors (with Ph.D.s) on
>>>proper, patriotic, "American-friendly" textbooks that may be used in
>>>class scares and outrages me. This morning, this was news to me. If
>>>is new to you and if you feel as equally scared and angered that the
>>>government may censure your future academic career, then I urge you
>>>1) distribute this message to other professors and students in area
>>>studies; and
>>>2) write a handwritten letter (in ink) to your local
>>>congressmen and to John A. Boehner, Chairman of the Full Committee on
>>>Education and the Workforce at the following
>>>John A. Boehner
>>>1011 Longworth H.O.B.
>>>Washington, DC 20515
>>>Please refrain from emails and typewritten or computer printouts as
>>>these are often ignored in Congress as being mass-produced by
>>>special-interest groups. Write in ink, in legible penmanship, and let
>>>your voice be heard.
>>>Michael Bednar
>>>Department of History
>>>The University of Texas at Austin

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