First, I cannot access your URLs. I tried one and went to a site that
not only required membership and a password (which of course I do not
have) but locked up my screen totally. So I do not know what Wendy
BUT--second--in principle and in fact--it does not matter. She
absolutely does have a right to say whatever she likes, both by academic
freedom and by the first amendment. If it is wrong or stupid or
ignorant, others have the right and responsibility to show why and argue
against it. Even the arrogant stupidities of Lawrence Summers are not
forbidden, just stupid and arrogant. (yes, yes, he was being
provocative and academic, etc., but we all know that it was once
"knowledge" that too much reading would shrivel a woman's womb and that
exercise would ruin them--so much for Virginia Woolf or Madame Curie or
Ada Lovelace or Mary Wollstonecraft or the women now presidents of
universities and so much for all those women Olympic athletes; just
amazing how they do it.) So Doniger may be as ignorant and wrong on
Indian culture as Summers is on women's ability at science. (Amazing
also how the known fact the women do better on tests of verbal ability
never stopped Shakespeare or Eliot or any male writer, and no one says
they shouldn't get tenure in fields requiring verbal skill.) So write a
rebuttal. Show how wrong she is. Say whatever you like. But you are
not a self-appointed authority on what she can say and have no right to
decide whether she can say it. NONE.
It is not part of academic work to prevent ideas in advance and it is no
one's right to shut anyone down in advance.
Her "belief" that she can say anything in the name of academic freedom
is precisely true--and in the name of American Constitutional rights.
You can do the same.
No one in this country has the right of prior restraint on intellectual
debate--not even if they think they know better. And despite current
attempts, it is still no one's right to impose any view of religion as
>>> [log in to unmask] 02/23/05 8:00 PM >>>
I have myself made a few postings earlier on the issue
with Ms.Wendy Doniger.
Ms.Wendy Doniger is a self-appointed authority of
Indian culture who believes she can say anything in
the name of academic freedom. She and her cohorts
have been producing junk after junk on Indian
mythology and Culture.
I will give you two URLs and you judge yourself:
PS : As I made a note in another posting, my beef here
is with the academia as related with that quote.
--- Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Why? Do you think he was both jolly and idiotic?
> And why is Eliot's
> view relevant here? As I read the little that is in
> these URLs (and it
> is not a whole story unless my computer did not
> access the original for
> some reason), there is not a simple issue here. Can
> someone tell
> exactly what Wendy Doniger said and why it is
> somehow comic? Rick?
> Also, the "assessment" of academic work is always an
> academic project.
> Anyone can read and comment and think what they like
> (as "anyone" did
> with Julius and Seymore-Jones), but it requires
> scholarly expertise to
> evaluate another's scholarship.
> No one doubts this in other fields. Patients may
> have views of any one
> doctor, but it really takes a specialist in brain
> surgery to know if
> another one is qualified. "Anyone" may have views
> on the privatization
> of social security, but unless they know what
> economists can document on
> the data and financial impact, they cannot really
> "assess" its long-term
> impact. We all drive cars, but whether they are
> really safe in their
> design takes engineering knowledge. This dismissal
> of knowledge is
> simply anti-intellectual and silly.
> Why this absurd mockery of the need for scholarship
> in evaluating
> scholarship? It's standard.
> >>> [log in to unmask] 02/23/05 5:19 PM >>>
> I suspect he would be killing himself laughing.
> Vishvesh Obla wrote:
> >"The place to assess her work (Wendy Doniger) is in
> >the academy, not polemical billboards or Web
> >That was a statement that caught my attention on
> >letters section of the Febraury edition (Vol 97)
> >the University of Chicago
> >I don't want to go deep into the related details
> >URL has enough details), but I am concerned if that
> >statement has a very tragic paradox implied in it.
> >Can 'Academy' be only an isolated organization
> >promoting intelligence only to the few related to
> it ?
> > Or is it that the 'Academy' has become so
> >sophisticated that no one other than it can make
> >sense of it ? Either way, as related to a
> >as that, despite what goes before it, seems to me
> >to imply a malady of our modern education.
> >I remember Eliot too making a note of this issue
> >criticism being practiced in his times mostly by
> >university professors (Frontiers of Criticism?).
> >remember him making a note that he wasn't much
> >about it though. I would only wonder if he would
> >similarly felt so had he lived in our times !
> >Do you Yahoo!?
> >Yahoo! Sports - Sign up for Fantasy Baseball.
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