Thursday, February 16, 2006

Danger's My Middle Name

That spokesman against making college students think, David Horowitz, has come up with a list of the 100 most dangerous college professors.

Here are the Hoosiers most wanted:
George Wolfe, Ball State U.
Caroline Higgins, Earlham College
Harry Targ, Purdue U.

While I am pleased that someone from our consortium (Earlham) has made the list, I'm surprised there isn't anyone from Indiana University listed. And I know plenty of professors here at DePauw that actually challenge their students as well. Heck, yesterday I got my students' questioning whether John Williams' music underscoring the Senate debate in Amistad was bad because it didn't allow the audience to even consider Calhoun's arguments as legitimate.[1] I promoted relativism!

(via Crooked Timber)

[1] James Buhler, "Analytical and Interpretive approaches to Film Music (II): Analysing Interactions of Music and Film," in K. J. Donnelly (ed) Film Music: Critical Approaches


Anonymous said...

I've just stumbled upon your blog and have been reading for the last couple of weeks. I'm really enjoying what I'm finding here! Keep it up! (Haven't seen Amistad, but I may have to now so I can analyze this score for myself!)

Anonymous said...

late to the conversation! Interesting. I've always liked this essay. If I remember correctly the point is not so much that we should treat Calhoun's argument as legitimate—from a moral standpoint the argumentation is clearly pernicious; and on logical grounds there is more than one point of slippage in his argument; the point instead is that we should approach the argument as something that needs to be refuted through argument rather than through an appeal to the rhetoric of musical underscore. So the analysis does not promote relativism; rather it seeks to force an argument against relativism: if relativism is not engaged, Calhoun's argument will inevitably resurface as a return of the repressed.