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Conservative Academy?


What does the academic left really think about conservative criticism of the university? We get a vivid answer to that question from this interview in Radical History Review with Middle East historian Rashid Khalidi. Khalidi holds the Edward Said Professorship at Columbia University, and directs Columbia’s Middle East Institute, which receives federal funding under Title VI of the Higher Education Act. Khalidi’s interview is filled with misrepresentations of the Title VI battle–not to mention a swipe at yours truly. But the fascinating thing about this interview is Khalidi’s attempt to rebut “the ludicrous allegation that the universities are liberal.” It’s a bit odd for a radical like Khalidi to deny the leftward drift of the academy when the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) keeps electing folks like him and Juan Cole as president. But that doesn’t begin to get at the problems with Khalidi’s picture of our supposedly “conservative” academy. Martin Kramer has some fun with Khalidi’s argument over at Sandstorm and over at Sandbox.


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