Writing at his new blog, The Rubin Report, GLORIA Center Director Barry Rubin points to Shampa Biswas, Whitman College Director of Global Studies and associate professor of politics, as an example of the "terrible, anti-democratic, and anti-American ideas" pervading higher education. As demonstrated in a glowing profile at the Whitman College web site and a 2007 convocation address, Biswas is yet another Edward Said acolyte helping to turn the field of Middle East studies (in which she specializes) into a forum for political activism and moral relativism.
Professor of politics Shampa Biswas explains that Edward Said's Orientalism is her intellectual foundation; that you can't criticize female genital mutilation since, after all, the Western world has anorexia, and that you can't say the September 11 attacks were immoral.
In a convocation address, she explains that the Bush administration seeks to relaunch nineteenth century imperialism and the main job of higher education is to fight against it.
…The fact that a person with this world view is teaching "politics" is pretty frightening, though protected by academic freedom. But please note, however, that the college is bragging about her and her views as something it's proud to have representing it. And they chose her to explain to the entire student body that its main task was to rebel against the evil American system's policies.
Indeed, the university site's celebration of her says that she "is as much instigator as educator in her academic life." She does go on to say her goal is to make students think and open up their ideas. But I hope I'm not being unfair when I reply that I can just imagine what her classroom is like.
Oh, and yes she even ends with a quote from Antonio Gramsci, the founder of the Italian Communist party and the great theorist of making a revolution through gaining control of intellectual and cultural institutions.
Biswas also took the occasion of her 2007 convocation address to level the usual smears and unsubstantiated assertions against Campus Watch. In the "Setting The Record Straight" section of the Campus Watch web site, CW director Winfield Myers describes Biswas's address as a "jargon-laden harangue against America and the West, [in which] she mischaracterized Campus Watch so egregiously that it is clear she did no research on CW to ensure that, whatever her opinion of CW, she might at least get her facts straight."
Clearly, Biswas is not living up to her own exhortation to "think carefully, deeply, thoroughly." Rather, she goes by the shallow credo that "no idea is too radical."
Here's a radical idea: How about education instead of politicization?