College has certainly changed.
Not long ago, a perusal of university classes would turn up offerings such as Biology, English Literature, Government, Statistics, Algebra, Economics, Marketing, and International Business.
These days, it appears course loads are taking a more political form.
Case in point: a University of Pittsburgh job listing.
The ad lays it out: “Faculty.Professor.Assistant – Full-Time.”
The area: Political Science.
As for the type of teacher, UPitt’s leading the charge for social justice:
Assistant Professor – Structural Racism, Oppression, and Black Political Experiences
The school’s looking for someone “in any subfield of political science or related discipline whose work addresses structural racism, oppression, or Black political experiences, conceived domestically, comparatively, or globally.”
“We encourage applications,” it says, “from scholars working on problems of racial oppression and racialized inequalities and hierarchies – in race and ethnic politics, in political behavior, in political economy, in international and transnational politics, in global or domestic institutions (of the US or other countries), as well as any other topic related to our theme (including inequalities in cities, health, education, and technology).”
Societally, we seemed to have turned a corner — of the 180-degree sort.
Until recently, racial harmony was the ideal.
And not only that, but America was a place of equal opportunity.
As such, young people were told they all had the same chance for success.
Suddenly, if I properly understand, nonwhite citizens are being informed success cannot be theirs.
At the same time, white Americans are being identified as the reason.
Cases in point:
Report: Professor Tells White Student if He's Breathing, He 'May Have Oppressed Somebody' Today https://t.co/m5Vu3qVw8u
— RedState (@RedState) July 24, 2021
Science Journal Decries Racism in Geology, Claims Black People Are Too Scared to Hold Hammershttps://t.co/TieQtKBNKE
— Alex Parker (@alexparker1984) July 14, 2021
If you tell someone they can’t succeed, why would they want to try?
University of Pittsburgh must have an answer, and hopefully, it’s not “They wouldn’t.”
Per the job posting, the Department of Political Science will be fighting oppression times three:
The Department intends to make three hires in the coming years…in coordination with a cluster in Race, Representation, and Anti-Black and Systemic Racism within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. The related University Race and Social Determinants of Equity and Well-being Cluster Hire and Retention Initiative is also aimed at creating and sustaining a cohort of scholars whose research, service, and community engagement are aimed at strengthening knowledge and addressing racial disparities in the social determinants of equity and wellbeing.
So it’ll be a cluster.
Campus Reform defines the term:
A cluster hire is a set of new hires made by an institution that brings in a cohort of academics whose work centers around a specific theme, or who share other selected characteristics.
As such, the Department welcomes potential professors “whose interests complement current and new cluster faculty pertaining to race and inequality and their impact on Black communities in the United States; desirable research and teaching interests include, but are not limited to: race and ethnic politics, identity, democratic behavior, activism and collective action, representation, urban or local governance, health and healthcare policy, technology policy or algorithmic bias, environmental justice, ethnic or international conflict, migration, post-colonialism/post-imperialism; scholars whose interests include Africa or the African Diaspora are also encouraged to apply.”
All hires above, to be clear, are subject to budgetary approval.
But the stated mission is clear: U of P will school students about their own oppression.
And their oppressiveness.
Will that prepare them for success, or for the exact opposite?
We’ll likely find out in a few years.
Here’s to hoping it’s the first one.
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