Bombing the Ivory Tower

by B.J. on 3/22/2008 01:32:00 AM 0 comments Print this post

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Bombing the Ivory Tower

One of my history professors whom I am big fan of once said that the "work of public history is really important." At first this was a "No-Shit, Sherlock" moment, but then it got me thinking, "how out of touch are these academics with real people?" "How can public history, essentially what people learn NOT be at the top of their priority list?"

This was before I learned how horrible grad school is, how graduate school can be a cult, how academics would never wish graduate scool on other people, that academic journals are the way to establish a career, that reputation is everything.

When hearing my aspirations during the summer, my current executive director told me that my work would work for the people and not those in the ivory tower.

I've taken that to heart and now I'm just interested in everything, and that includes picking up the language and the knowledge from many different disciplines. I've signed up for a bunch of academic crap.

But here's something I don't understand at all.

The H-Net listserv process of rejecting people who want to sign up for their list-servs. In the listserv you get messages about conferences, seminars, job announcements, calls for papers, occasionally queries. I signed up for a bunch, from H-MEMORY to H-URBAN to H-WATER because I am interested in each of those subjects but I don't know that I've been rejected by any except by the H-PEACE Listserv.

What the fuck is up with that? Is there some type of limit to their emailing capabilities. Of all the groups to exclude me it's fucking PEACE STUDIES.

Compounding my anger is that there's an application for H-CPPCC or whatever H-POPULAR CULTURE. However, to be accepted to that Listserv, you have to fill out this bullshit application listing all your academic credentials. I have NONE except that B.A. degree from a few years ago, so I have no point of entry really unless I "explain" to them why I need to be addded. WHAT THE FUCK?

I just want to add to my knowledge, what's the problem with that? Does it cost something of them for me to add? Did they want to prevent people from disrupting conversation, what the fuck?

I wonder if this culture of elitism in academia is what ultimately drove the unabomber to react the way he did: living in anarcho-primitivism and sending bombs to university professors.



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