Critical university studies, and Avital Ronell

1/ I spent the entire day (Saturday) at a meeting about HE in this state and too many people there were too taken in by the pro-privatization speech of the higher-ups and not well enough informed or armed. I was feeling bad the whole time not to be spending the day on research and realized that if I were to claim critical university studies as a research field I would feel less bad. I am going to consider this. Watch me roar.

2/ I am shaken by AR’s former chair’s description of the horror that was that department, even though nothing he said was unexpected or not already familiar in some way. Did UC Berkeley know what she was like when they handed her off to NYU? Some students there did, but were faculty already aware at that point?

3/ I have been told NEW research shows you cannot learn a foreign language if you are not exposed to it and do not practice it. Memorizing a set of grammar rules, taking a dictionary and trying to translate your thoughts to that language will not work. This is a NEW discovery, I was told.


2 thoughts on “Critical university studies, and Avital Ronell

  1. The Ronell revelations in that Salon piece are horrifying, as are the ones in the Chronicle. How did she get away with such abusive behavior for so long?

    1. I would really like to know. I know for a fact that things similar to the Reitman affair took place in Berkeley in the late 80s. The Salon piece shows how she got away with this at NYU but Berkeley created her — she had not made tenure at UVA and was on a series of 1-year jobs when Berkeley picked her up for a position they were having trouble filling. Maybe they allowed this to go on because they didn’t want to go through another hiring process or thought they could lose the line? I would really like to know what was going on in their minds and also why so many supposedly bright people are justifying this behavior and have been so impressed with her ho-hum work.

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