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Thread: At the University of North Texas, the Mob Comes Calling for a Music Theorist

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    At the University of North Texas, the Mob Comes Calling for a Music Theorist

    At the University of North Texas, the Mob Comes Calling for a Music Theorist
    By SAMANTHA HARRIS
    July 31, 2020 3:36 PM



    Excerpt:

    It is particularly ominous that Jackson’s critique of a fellow scholar falls wholly within the scope of academic freedom that UNT promises to its faculty. Jackson is not a professor going viral after mouthing off on Twitter, although those professors need protection too. He offered a serious critique of that scholar’s work, based on archival research within his highly specialized field, and after lifelong study of Schenker specifically and music theory more generally. He now has a legitimate fear that he may lose his job and be rendered persona non grata at any other institution. Questioning the current campus orthodoxy even in the context of serious academic inquiry is now considered a capital offense by the growing number of people who, as Daniel Schwammenthal put it earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal, “seem to understand George Orwell’s ‘1984’ not as a warning but as a manual.”

    It is difficult to overstate what an existential crisis this represents for a free society. I worry that people will be fatigued by yet another cancel-culture story, or that this may appear as simply an internal squabble among scholars in an obscure field. But if we do not stand up to this mob behavior each and every time, it will quickly swamp civil society. Simply put, the behavior of those who want Timothy Jackson’s life ruined over his academic critique of an article applying critical-race theory to music theory is not compatible with freedom. And if we do not see our own freedom as threatened by this situation and the countless others like it, that freedom will perish swiftly and silently.
    It isn't necessary to understand music theory or this particular journal's very specialized focus to see the problem here.

    Point and counterpoint used to be an expected part of any published academic's work. It was the normal way in which arguments were won or lost and refined. Nobody had the last word because free discourse can always generate new premises that in turn must be critiqued AND defended.

    Without the freedom to engage in critique and defense, academic areas become intellectual wastelands.

    Read the whole thing.

    NR
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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    Ethnomusicology


    JFC...
    When the New Deal was established it exempted agricultural and domestic workers. A clothing boxer earned $10/week minimum and a cleaning woman or laundress full time was $2/wk. This brief time is our cultural memory of a more genteel middle class.

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    The article ends citing an example (Princeton) of successful resistance to such moonbattery.

    I myself was in the music department both at the Oberlin Conservatory and Columbia in NYC (Graduate School of the Arts and Sciences). Those are (were, a half century ago) cozy places. Professors seem to enjoy the company of their students; they have them over for dinner, attend concerts together, etc. Sometimes get too friendly, but that's another thread....

    These characters may be hopelessly liberal, but they're also extremely understanding of each other, and I suspect if there's any place where resistance to mindless cancel culture nonsense will be successful, it will be the cosseted departments of obscure disciplines at major universities and colleges.
    • “Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions, weakness is pointing your finger at someone else in a time of crisis." — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, blaming Trump.
    • "We hold these truths to be self evident. All men and women created by the, you know, you know, the thing." —Joe Biden, explaining the Creator.
    • "The way I see it, there's always, c'mon, there's always money. It's there." —Elizabeth Warren, explaining socialism.
    • “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” —Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.
    • "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post
    The article ends citing an example (Princeton) of successful resistance to such moonbattery.

    I myself was in the music department both at the Oberlin Conservatory and Columbia in NYC (Graduate School of the Arts and Sciences). Those are (were, a half century ago) cozy places. Professors seem to enjoy the company of their students; they have them over for dinner, attend concerts together, etc. Sometimes get too friendly, but that's another thread....

    These characters may be hopelessly liberal, but they're also extremely understanding of each other, and I suspect if there's any place where resistance to mindless cancel culture nonsense will be successful, it will be the cosseted departments of obscure disciplines at major universities and colleges.
    I'm not so sure. Tenured people may push back but obscure disciplines tend to have a high casualty rate now. It won't help the people trying to get on tenure track (where that is still possible). They can't possibly evade the wretched administrative wokescolds who hold the real reins of power.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    I'm not so sure. Tenured people may push back but obscure disciplines tend to have a high casualty rate now. It won't help the people trying to get on tenure track (where that is still possible). They can't possibly evade the wretched administrative wokescolds who hold the real reins of power.
    I don't really know now. I know cuneiform.
    • “Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions, weakness is pointing your finger at someone else in a time of crisis." — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, blaming Trump.
    • "We hold these truths to be self evident. All men and women created by the, you know, you know, the thing." —Joe Biden, explaining the Creator.
    • "The way I see it, there's always, c'mon, there's always money. It's there." —Elizabeth Warren, explaining socialism.
    • “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” —Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.
    • "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post
    I don't really know now. I know cuneiform.
    Mr. Snaps is still pretty conversant with many academics and I know them socially, it's not a pretty picture out there at the moment.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post
    The article ends citing an example (Princeton) of successful resistance to such moonbattery.

    I myself was in the music department both at the Oberlin Conservatory and Columbia in NYC (Graduate School of the Arts and Sciences). Those are (were, a half century ago) cozy places. Professors seem to enjoy the company of their students; they have them over for dinner, attend concerts together, etc. Sometimes get too friendly, but that's another thread....

    These characters may be hopelessly liberal, but they're also extremely understanding of each other, and I suspect if there's any place where resistance to mindless cancel culture nonsense will be successful, it will be the cosseted departments of obscure disciplines at major universities and colleges.
    The Foreign Language School (especially Romance languages) at U of MD College Park operated like a small European university within the large public university it was actually a part of. Walking into that building in the early 1970s was truly like crossing the threshold into another country. The faculty operated by their own rules. Had someone suggested that a student or professor not publish certain research or writings for political reasons, one can only imagine the horror...for all they were fiercely European in their language and manner, that was exactly the sort of thing they had come to this country to escape.

    We should ALL be horrified any time the country that invented freedom of speech tolerates suppression of speech because it's unpopular.
    No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. This offer VALID in 35 34 33 32 31 26 20 17 15 14 13 ALL 50 states.

    The new 13 original states to stand up for freedom: CA, CT, IA, MA, DE, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT, ME, MD, NJ (plus DC).

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