Department of Southern Discomfort: Think what fraternities could accomplish if they wanted to. The Kappa Alpha Order ("inspired by Robert E. Lee," says the Associated Press) has recently banned its members from wearing Confederate uniforms to "Old South" parties. Such parties are a tradition that has ended on many campuses already because of protests about the uniforms. KA acknowledges that Confederate dress may be a "tradition" but that it's a tradition that is hurtful to those students who perceive it as a celebration of slavery.
"The decision, announced in an internal memo posted on the group's website, followed a flap last year at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where a black sorority complained after a KA parade stopped in front of its house on campus. KA members were dressed in the gray uniforms of Confederate officers, and young women wore hoop skirts," writes the AP's Jay Reeves. "More than 70 alumnae of the sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, sent a petition to Alabama President Robert Witt complaining about the use of Confederate flags and uniforms on campus.
"In the memo to chapters, Kappa Alpha's national executive director, Larry Wiese, said such displays had to end.
'In today's climate, the Order can ill afford to offend our host institutions and fend off significant negative national press and remain effective at our core mission, which is to aid young men in becoming better community leaders and citizens,"' Wiese wrote."
The fraternity is also part of an important anti-hazing initiative.
Pack Up The Car and Move To Bever-lee (Hills, That Is. Swimmin' Pools. Movie Stars): Or Merced, which is nice too, and has A Job. One of my favorite and most faithful commenters passes on this ad for a one year visiting gig in sunny California: "The School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts at the University of California, Merced invites applications from exceptional scholars and teachers at the Visiting Assistant Professor level in US History with a focus on Comparative Race and Ethnicity. We particularly seek candidates with expertise in Chicano/a-Latino/a topics and capable of teaching the following subjects in the 2010-11 academic year, along with an additional course in their area of expertise: The Modern United States (1877-present), Topics in the History of Migration & Immigration, and Comparative Race and Ethnicity. The anticipated start date is July 1, 2010." Click here for the full ad.
New Anthology in Asian American Studies: Thomas Chen, a Ph.D. candidate in American Civilization, announces "We would like to announce the publication of Asian American Studies Now: A Critical Reader (Rutgers University Press, 2010), edited and with an Introduction by Jean Yu-Wen Shen Wu and Thomas C. Chen, a new anthology that collects both seminal articles and exciting new scholarship in the field of Asian American Studies.
"Ten years have passed since Jean Wu and Min Song edited Asian American Studies: A Reader (Rutgers University Press 2000). The Wu and Song Reader brought together essential readings in the field, and we believe it remains an excellent resource for students and teachers. However, the field has been flooded with outstanding new scholarship since 2000, and an updated introduction to Asian American Studies seemed appropriate. We designed this new anthology to be used as both a companion to the earlier anthology and as a stand-alone introduction to the field.
"We also used the compiling of this new volume to reflect on the state of the field now that it has established a significant presence in the academy. What has Asian American Studies achieved? What has it yet to accomplish? Indeed, what do we want Asian Americanist research, writing, and teaching to accomplish? We include pieces that discuss critical pedagogies, provide models of effective social justice work, and raise questions that we believe the field must grapple with if it is to survive as an effective site for political struggle and social transformation. Our goal is to urge those active in the field to consider with a new sense of urgency just how Asian American Studies relates—or should relate—to the work of anti-oppressive social transformation today."