Dartmouth claims to be “moving forward,” but its academic hiring reflects a commitment to marching in place to the drumbeat of the left. The latest issue of Dartmouth Life invites alums to “meet Dartmouth’s new faculty members.” We meet the new profs through one paragraph statements about “what engages their intellectual curiosity.” In too many cases, the answer appears to be leftism.
Here is what Christian Haines, the one new English professor in the group, has to say:
At present, I find especially compelling the question of how literature and culture challenge orthodox understandings of the global economy. I am interested in how people around the world are imagining alternatives to the current arrangements of capitalism.
It seems that Prof. Haines is more interested in economic radicalism than in literature.
William Cheng is a new hire in the music department. He says:
My current work grapples with music disability and social justice in the 21st century. I’m looking into the intersections between phenomena such as urban busking, YouTube, virality, reality singing competitions, glitch art, and Autotune.
Two new history professors are featured. One reveals no radicalism in his two-sentence blurb. The other, Derrick White (hired as an associate professor), is a man on mission:
Broadly, I am interested in how black organizations have grappled with the dominant ideas that have for too long maintained a racial hierarchy, and the strategies these organizations have used to alter the framework of ideas in the hopes of changing the nature of political power.
Prof. White will fill Dartmouth’s dire need for a faculty member who is concerned about the maintenance of “a racial hierarchy.”
Eng-Beng Lim will join the bloated Women’s and Gender Studies department. He wonders:
How is queer intellectual design an intrinsic part of transnational knowledge production in the cultural sphere?
I’ve often asked myself this very question.
The Geography department has two new profs, both of whom are focused on pet liberal causes. Abigail Neely “seek[s] to interrogate the question of health: What it is; who it’s for, and who decides?” She “work[s] to expand understanding of health in an effort to achieve better and more just health for all.”
Geography isn’t what it used to be.
Jaclyn Hatala Matthes stays a bit more on topic, but seems no less politically committed. She writes:
In my work I study feedbacks between ecosystems, climate change and land-use changes, which requires an exciting combination of skills at the intersection of ecosystem ecology, atmospheric science, and remote sensing.
These days, the topic of climate change can probably support professorships in most arts and sciences departments at an institution like Dartmouth. Thus, it’s no surprise when the College’s new hire in Anthropology, Laura Ogden, informs us:
My current research explores the ethics and politics of environmental change in Tierra del Fuego. More broadly, I am interested in how environmental concerns and practices produce new forms of global connection.
The good news is that Dartmouth has hired three new Economics professors, none of whom tips off his ideological leanings. Perhaps there’s a causal relationship here: the Economics department is beefing up because students like taking courses about non-quirky subject matter from professors who aren’t on a political/ideological mission.
Unfortunately, unless you want to major in Economics, Mathematics, or a hard science, it’s probably even more difficult now than it was in my daughter’s time (2006-10) to fill one’s schedule with such courses.