Responsibility in Crisis: Knowledge Politics and Global Publics
Interventions
David William CohenVeena DasJuliet ErazoKonstanty GebertElizabeth JelinMichael D. KennedyCarrie KonoldNurcholish MadjidMonica PattersonLamin SannehHiroe Saruya

Academic Presumptions

1-Kennedy: It is perhaps a conceit of those primarily interested in international affairs to imagine that among the most critical questions facing the North American university are those that address the international. For example, one recent publication proposing to address the future of the city of intellect [1] contains no special address to the national location of the global university. Even its index has only one page devoted to the international, and that is with regard to new students. Globalization merits slightly more attention, but is mostly an afterthought. The international or the global is only a derivative of other interests, whether in expanding markets, the information technology revolution, or in the search for expertise itself.

The international or the global can be everywhere at once. This is one of the most common strategies pursued by universities that seek to globalize or make their internationalism comprehensive. That is good bureaucratic strategy, for it gives everyone a stake; at the same time, it leaves (productively?) ambiguous just what internationalizing or globalizing means and dependent on its attachment to other knowledge projects. That may be appropriate, but it also minimizes the challenge of difference with which a more critical engagement of globalizing knowledge might be organized.

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A university's commitment to diversity is usefully understood not only as a national project associated with affirmative action, but also one embedded in the search for the value of differing perspectives from across the world on all manners of intellectual inquiry. By marking the North American university's challenging global location, we can create the conditions that might combine the wealth of the North American university with a humility that comes from being located in one nation within the world, despite our differences within the nation along the lines of race, gender, class and sexual orientation, among other vectors. And with that reminder of national location, we might create a different stream along which notions of asymmetrical collaboration can find new opportunities for learning.

2-Jelin: I find this paper to be extremely U.S.-centered. Reacting from the southern part of the Americas, I must say that the "national" in the title, and the permanent references to the "American" university, provoke a strong reaction in me. The Americas include much more than the United States, and there are multiple "national" universities in the world—as there are nations. The problems with the way "American" and "national" are used is not, in my view, only a choice of words that may not sound politically correct. I think it reflects deeper misunderstandings of the relationships between U.S. institutions and others, in other parts of the world.

Thus, a paradox: the paper attempts to present a world view, with a reference to (North American) universities being IN the world—i.e., located in a time/space bounded matrix, that should include a consideration of concrete power relationships, inequalities, asymmetries, reciprocities, and so on—yet there is no single reference to any "other" being IN the world. Thus, what pervades the paper is a very self-focused notion of "OF the world," from a center that becomes identified with the whole, i.e., an imperial center. In that sense, much of what is said about the "American university" ("sacred space") sounds to me as part of the vision of an imperial eye.

The international links of the U.S. university (not the "American" or "national"), seen from the deep South (I would claim, in both geopolitical senses of the "South"—within the United States and in the world), were always a site of political struggle within the United States (a struggle where the international security agenda of the United States had and has the strongest voice), and a site of political struggle between North and South (or center and periphery, empirePage  49 and backyard).

Within the United States, academic freedom involves pluralism in views about the world. Imperial eyes coexist with respect of others, reciprocity with exploitation. Funding for university-based international studies has followed historically the security considerations of the United States (both which area of the world is defined as a priority, and which subject or theme is to be studied). Up to the 1990, international interests and studies grew considerably in U.S. academia as a result of the Cold War. Governmental funding for higher education international programs (Department of Education Title VI programs, for instance) were clearly justified in terms of national security and U.S. interests. The rationale was to create the knowledge about the rest of the world, and develop the professional capacities needed, to further U.S. interests abroad.

Within this model, however, academic institutions and scholars varied in the way they reacted and "used" the resources that the Cold War governmental attitude implied because there is a plurality of perspectives and views within the U.S. academy, and there are academic and political struggles about what the role of scholars and intellectuals should be. Some accepted the conditions and shared the goals of the government. Others took the message to be about developing free and "neutral" knowledge about world processes and "the others" in the world. And there were those who reacted to U.S. governmentally sponsored attempts to build "academic hegemony", and worked towards introducing and legitimizing diversity and knowledge generated in different locations (i.e., "others' knowledge") into the United States.

Thus, the idea of THE (American, or national) university is, in my understanding, to be replaced by a recognition that there has been always a plurality of positions, and power struggles around them within the U.S. academic world. The challenges, then, are not new and do not come only from outside academia.

Over the years we (scholars in the South) have been approached and/or confronted by U.S. colleagues of all persuasions. It is worthwhile to read back into the experience of Project Camelot in the 1960's [2] because it was an extreme case of a pattern that was much more extensive in space and time. That was a case in which an "academic" research project was, in fact, a cover operation for U.S. intelligence and intervention in Latin America.

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In broader terms, resources for academic work abroad, and the patterns of relationship between the rich colleagues of the North and the poor scholars of the South, have been quite diverse: from junior partners and cheap labor (collecting data or doing fieldwork at exploitative wages), to truly reciprocal and intellectually symmetrical relationships, compensating or attempting to overcome the great inequalities in financial resources; from attempts to export and even impose a given (U.S.) paradigm or model of knowledge to a recognition of diversity, searching for dialogue and mutual enrichment.

In sum, if the plurality of outlooks and the power struggles between forces of the left and the right—in the center, in the periphery, and in the exchanges and links between center and periphery—are recognized, there is little room for neat types and for unproblematic contrasts.

The 1990's, with the end of the Cold War and the clear and uncontested U.S. world hegemony, one of the trends within the United States became stronger: the one that interpreted "globalization" as the expansion of market economies and the U.S. model of international technological innovation and business practices into the rest of the world. This brought about the expansion of U.S. university programs abroad (especially but not only business schools), and the expansion of the number of foreign students attending U.S. universities (to get the "appropriate" training and the "appropriate" connections and networks). Other views, more reciprocal and oriented towards intellectual symmetry, could still exist, but the LARGE funding went to the hegemonic model.

The positions vis-à-vis international partnership (and/or domination) of U.S. universities and scholars was complex and muddled before, and will continue being complex and contested after September 11.

2a-Cohen: On views that transnational conversations are inherently unequal, it may be worth introducing into the "equation" the strong values of transparency and openness that were central to the transition discourses in post-Soviet and post-Apartheid settings and critical in the unfolding of non-governmental organizations and international "communities" of expertise in the post-Cold War era. Such values of transparency, information sharing, and cooperation found their way into the practice of North American universities as they reached toward "partners" overseas. Equally, transnational and global corporations learned that win-win negotiating practices were often more effective than older models of holding back essential information from foreignPage  51 and local counterparts. Open information sharing has been an aspect of most international treaties through the 1990s. But, clearly, the rhetorics of transparency cannot assure that the interests of different partners will be equally realized.

That a "moment" of such transparency, of the valuation of equilibrium in international partnerships, was substantial may be reckoned in the contrast with a new U.S. governmentality towards secrecy and towards the undoing and rejection of many spheres of international cooperation and information sharing. The U.S. administration recently rejected participation in the International Criminal Court; it also pronounced that it would not cooperate in any way with any foreign or international agency bringing an action before the Court.

3-Saruya: Both the curriculum and structure of higher education in Japan have changed in various ways under the intensifying influence of the American university. The most noticeable change is the expansion of English programs which focus on communication. Currently, reading Shakespeare in its original prose, which was relatively prevalent until the 1970s, is rare, and studying a second foreign language is no longer mandatory in basic courses at undergraduate programs. Instead, the English curriculum concentrates more on listening and speaking, mostly in American English. In addition, the number of lectures in English has increased, and short- and long-term programs to study in English-speaking countries have proliferated. Thus, the English curriculum in Japanese higher education has shifted from traditional, broad-based liberal arts courses to more practical courses focused on developing communicative competence in English.

Undergraduate and graduate programs in Japan have been reforming several aspects of their structures using the model of the American university. For instance, although not requisite for admission, some universities consider the TOEFL scores in the admission process as an alternative to other more commonly used English examinations. Other universities have changed their grading system to conform with the American system which ranges from A to F. Some graduate universities offer MBA and MA in International Studies degrees, which are already popular doctoral degrees in Japan, with lectures and seminars conducted in English. Furthermore, in 2001, the government's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology initiated guidelines on establishing law schools resembling those in U.S. universities.Page  52 Responding to the guidelines, some universities such as Tokyo University and Sophia University plans to provide courses in English.

Moreover, until recently, it was not uncommon for permanently-employed professors to start teaching and obtain their doctoral degrees in their later careers. However, some graduate universities have now introduced qualifying examinations, and it is becoming standard practice for current graduate students to finish their dissertations and obtain their degrees before assuming teaching positions. These changes illustrate Japanese universities' adaptation of U.S. university practices, especially those concerning standardization and evaluation.

Other examples reveal a more direct relationship between Japanese and American higher education. In the 1980s some U.S. universities established satellite campuses in Japan to offer American educational programs. In 1982 Temple University founded a campus in Tokyo, and in 1987 Columbia University inaugurated an MA program in TESOL in Tokyo. Furthermore, in 1988, the Nevada-California International Consortium of Universities and Colleges was established to transfer students to universities in Nevada or California after one year of study in Japan.

Japanese universities have been globalizing toward Asian countries as well. In the 1990s, universities began accepting larger numbers of international students, mainly from Asia than ever before. Some universities have established recruitment programs where university representatives visit potential applicants in their home countries. Moreover, other universities founded new campuses with the clear intention of attracting Asian students from across the continent, such as Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University which was established in 2000.

Overall, universities in Japan have sought to reach out to U.S. and Asian countries beyond their national terrains. They are, in my view, driven by the need for their survival, given a declining national birthrate and the heightened demand for competent English communication skills and distinct professional credentials.

4-Madjid: Just as it is very well justified for America to see itself as the beacon of freedom and democracy, it is also a claim well-based for American institutions of higher learning that they are standard bearers for openness and academic freedom and scientific universalism. Such a position is perceived by most people, I think as the corollary of a society being free and democratic.Page  53 Thousands upon thousands of people from around the world, including those from "unfinished nations," marked by the authoritarianism and despotism of their ruling classes, have had chances to share the blessings of American learning. This came into reality either by the privilege of having direct contact with the American institutions or by reading their intellectual and scientific research products and participating in numerous international discourses with some form of American involvement, and in other open and free intellectual engagements. It may sound hyperbolic, but it could also be just a truism to hope that the unique American position would remain intact and be maintained with the highest degree of consistency and dependability.

5-Gebert: In the spring of 1992 a poem appeared on the front page of Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's leading daily. Penned by Wisława Szymborska (who was to receive the Nobel Prize for literature in 1994), it was titled "Hatred". [3] It immediately became one of the most important pieces of political writing published in the country at that time.

Gazeta Wyborcza was, and remains, a phenomenon on the Central European media scene. It had been set up in a month's time by a group of young journalists from the underground press, under the leadership of veteran dissident Adam Michnik. We also availed ourselves of the invaluable assistance of some of our older colleagues who, though having worked "aboveground," as the saying went, had managed to preserve their professional and personal integrity. Its creation had been made possible by a political deal struck by the Communist authorities and the "Solidarity" underground in the spring of 1989. Gazeta was to be the voice of the opposition in the forthcoming electoral campaign (hence its title, Electoral Gazette), continuing, legally now, the incredibly successful experience of the underground press, and countering the government's otherwise unbridled control of the media. At that point, we did not think far beyond Election Day.

Gazeta became "the first independent paper between the Elbe and Vladivostok." Immediately immensely successful with its readers, it quickly started making profit and repaid its debts. To this day it remains Central Europe's biggest and most influential daily and the only one to be independently owned. Its success was a tribute to the public involvement of Poland's intelligentsia, which had in the past decade been on the forefront of the anti-Communist struggle. Intellectuals not only wrote and taught their mind, creating theirPage  54 own—illegal—press and education structures. They often manned these structures as well, printing, distributing and organizing, hand in hand with the huge workers' movement they had helped develop. The intellectual-worker alliance was the key to the victory of Poland's bloodless revolution.

The public involvement of intellectuals had by then become something both to be expected and reckoned with, by the authorities and by the people alike. It took many forms: I remember standing all night long in a queue to buy the first legal edition of the poems of Czesław Miłosz, after that émigré poet and critic of the regime had been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1980. Most of his work is not directly political, but his powerful moral message was in sync with the ethos of the struggle. ["Do not be safe"—in "The Moral Treatise" he admonishes an anonymous tyrant—"The poet remembers. / Words and deeds shall be written down" (Gebert's translation). Another poet—Zbigniew Herbert, who had remained in Poland—strengthened our moral backbone: "Do not forgive. It is not in your power / to forgive in the name of those betrayed at dawn" (Gebert's translation)].

And Szymborska, with her humility, intimacy and decency elevated to a striking philosophy of life was capable, with just one stanza, to demolish the impact of Communist collectivist and relativist indoctrination. Just as much as political tracts and exposed secret documents, poems such as these, philosophical essays, plays and public statements were a fundamental part of the struggle. "Words"—sang Jan Krzysztof Kelus, Poland's later-day Bob Dylan—"were loud as dynamite."

And such, too, was the impact of Szymborska's poem. At the time Jan Olszewski's right-wing Solidarity government was conducting a witch-hunt against also real, but mainly just suspected or wholly imaginary agents of the former Communist secret police. As the tone of public debate deteriorated, Szymborska's poem—published in lieu of an editorial—was widely considered a warning voice against the government's policies. The poet certainly did not write it as a comment on current developments, nor did she ask the paper to publish it as such. Nor was the poem allusive—a tactic often used by writers under Communism, who developed an "Aesopian language" to metaphorically speak about current events. The tactic was so successful that the authorities started to read subversive meanings even in works written in another time and age. In 1968, for instance, the government had banned a performance of aPage  55 patriotic anti-Czarist play by the great nineteenth century Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz on the grounds that it was "damaging to Poland's international alliances" (i.e. to Soviet domination). The philosopher Leszek Kolakowski then famously quipped: "We have reached the embarrassing situation in which the entire body of world literature has become a set of allusions to the Polish People's' Republic."

But the timing and place of the publication of "Hatred"—Gazeta was in the vanguard of Olszewski's critics—automatically made the poem a public statement on current events. It was widely understood and debated as such, not only among the elites, but also on buses and in coffee shops. It ultimately became one of the many factors that led to Olszewski's downfall.

With the passage of time, and the development of normal democratic institutions, words had lost much of their dynamite quality. This in itself was not an unwelcome development: as the political situation changed from black-and-white to a dazzling spectrum of shades of gray, what was moral integrity started to become stridency, and ethical authority often morphed into insupportable self-righteousness. Yet many deplored the weakening of the moral role of the intelligentsia and its decreased social impact. Still, intellectuals remain active and at times influential participants of the public debate. Media routinely seek out their opinions. Open letters signed by many, a genre which developed under Communism, are still being published, especially when their authors believe a public event needs to be highlighted, either to be approved, or—more often—to be condemned. This is particularly true of cases of anti-Semitism or other intolerance, which seldom pass without being publicly censored. The intelligentsia once the spearhead of the struggle for democracy, has in this democracy admittedly lost most of its political influence. Freedom Union, the party it mainly identifies itself with, fares dismally at the polls. But the intelligentsia's moral voice in Polish society, articulated mainly through liberal media such as Gazeta Wyborcza is yet neither silent, nor insignificant.

5a-Kennedy: As I read Kostek's reflection on the power of Szymborska's poem, I recalled the moment in which Adam Michnik, Gazeta Wyborcza's publisher, and Robert Pinsky, America's former poet laureate, embraced in the night preceding their common award of an honorary degree at the University of Michigan. Public intellectuals and PEN activists both, knowing each other from less celebratory times, they obviously cherished each other. But as theyPage  56 embraced, I also thought about these very different cultures in which they live, with one culture moved by poetry to responsible political action, the other always struggling to place well chosen word in the cacophony of our commodity-seduced public sphere. Pinsky works hard and thoughtfully to cut through that culture, evidenced once again by his reflection on the meanings of 9/11.

9/11
By Robert Pinsky
We adore images, we like the spectacle
Of speed and size, the working of prodigious
Systems. So on television we watched
The terrible spectacle, repetitiously gazing
Until we were sick not only of the sight
Of our prodigious systems turned against us
But of the very systems of our watching.
The date became a word, an anniversary
That we inscribed with meanings—who keep so few,
More likely to name an airport for an actor
Or athlete than "First of May" or "Fourth of July."
In the movies we dream up, our captured heroes
Tell the interrogator their commanding officer's name
Is Colonel Donald Duck—he writes it down, code
Of a lowbrow memory so assured it's nearly
Aristocratic. Some say the doomed firefighters
Before they hurried into the doomed towers wrote
Their Social Security numbers on their forearms.
Easy to imagine them kidding about it a little,
As if they were filling out some workday form.
Will Rogers was a Cherokee, a survivor
Of expropriation. A roper, a card. For some,
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A hero. He had turned sixteen the year
That Frederick Douglass died. Douglass was twelve
When Emily Dickinson was born. Is even Donald
Half-forgotten?—Who are the Americans, not
A people by blood or religion? As it turned out,
The donated blood not needed, except as meaning.
And on the other side that morning the guy
Who shaved off all his body hair and screamed
The name of God with his boxcutter in his hand.
O Americans—as Marianne Moore would say,
Whence is our courage? Is what holds us together
A gluttonous dreamy thriving? Whence our being?
In the dark roots of our music, impudent and profound?—
Or in the Eighteenth Century clarities
And mystic Masonic totems of the Founders:
The Eye of the Pyramid watching over us,
Hexagram of Stars protecting the Eagle's head
From terror of pox, from plague and radiation.
And if they blow up the Statue of Liberty—
Then the survivors might likely in grief, terror
And excess build a dozen more, or produce
A catchy song about it, its meaning as beyond
Meaning as those symbols, or Ray Charles singing "America
The Beautiful." Alabaster cities, amber waves,
Purple majesty. The back-up singers in sequins
And high heels for a performance—or in the studio
In sneakers and headphones, engineers at soundboards,
Musicians, all concentrating, faces as grave
With purpose as the harbor Statue herself. [4]
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I treasure efforts like Pinsky's for the U.S., and look forward to the time when poetry in America might carry public impact like that which Szymborska's stanza managed in Poland. But as we wait, we can also recall that the place in public life of the university, and its various specialties, varies, sometimes consequentially.

6-Konold: I would like to challenge this last sentence. "The international" has not truly been embedded in the North American university if what is constituted as "the international" is defined by debates taking place within those very American spaces. Does the concept of "the international" have any real meaning if its articulation stems from parochial interests, debates, and self-conceptions? Instead, the statement should be articulated in the reverse. America has been embedded in the international precisely because the North American university has defined the international in relation to itself, and has projected itself into the world by producing and disseminating knowledge through channels that it controls. Stated more directly, fundamental inequalities in resources exist in most relationships of exchange between power centers and peripheries; scholars and researchers at U.S. institutions need not emempt themselves from these fundamental inequalities. The North American university, by nature of its resources and its dominant channels of knowledge creation and transfer, has quite successfully embedded America in the international. It has quite unsuccessfully incorporated the international into the university, at least an "international" that has meaning to those who reside outside these national boundaries.

The field of political science offers an example that may mirror similar debates in other disciplines. The division of the field into "American" and "Comparative" politics tends to define "the international" in relation to the "American". America becomes a part of the international by offering itself as the principal comparison, whether the analysis compares democracy, institutions, or values. Certainly, many scholars reject these tendencies, but readers and colleagues often implicitly assume the comparison. Furthermore, funding institutions ask that scholarship of the "international" be justified for its larger relevance, often in relation to our knowledge of "the American."

All too often, scholarship of "the international" remains in the hands of American universities, but the result is that the international is poorly understood while the American is embedded into the international. American universities determine which international collaborations take place, and while important exchange occurs, foreign scholars may return with a greater sensePage  59 of the American than the other way around. Furthermore, universities have projected themselves further into the global sphere by dominating the sources of knowledge production and transfer. Disciplines within the American university define the sorts of knowledge that are valued, as authoritative journals tend to be those published in the United States. Access to knowledge resources, especially web-based versions such as JStor, often unintentionally push the American into the international as American-produced knowledge is more widely accessible in the global sphere.

Undergraduate and graduate programs that incorporate the international are dominated by texts that are international in scope but American by publication, and these texts become the "disciplinary standard." Even when this scholarship is critiqued, it remains the common frame of reference within these critiques and across national boundaries.

I do not intend to argue that scholarship of the international is inherently flawed, but only mean to suggest that we should look more carefully at the resources that exist in the U.S. university system and how these resources do successfully embed America into the international. The real challenge lies is in our efforts to incorporate different visions and voices of the international into the American framework, even when these voices may challenge what have emerged as dominant standards.

7-Sanneh: The universe of the University has been beholden to the idea of universal truth and truthfulness, of veritas verified. The American University as an idea has endorsed the nation's view of its mission which is the production of values and the means and arrangements for their implementation. The American University has shared in the mission of America, a new nation conceived in liberty and the sanctity of life, and committed to the unfinished task of making the fruits of freedom plentiful and imperishable, as Lincoln might have phrased it. Frontiers of knowledge were expanding throughout the nineteenth century, keeping tempo with the new nation's westward expansion and with waves of immigration that stirred the population to new enterprise and purpose. The history of higher education in America is a reflection of this dynamism of territorial expansion and attendant progressive social impulses. America has always been driven by purpose, as Santayana once expressed it ('to be an American is a moral condition'), and the University has characteristically responded to that. Land grant colleges and Universities facilitated and expandedPage  60 the process, with state and federal government support.

The academic enterprise in America has been characterized by a passion for showing how things could be done differently and better, looking to results without getting entangled in the means toward them, as Tocqueville put it. The true end of knowledge has become the inculcating of the habit of self-reliance and individual judgment, and the fostering of the habits of competitive enterprise, not the uncritical transmission of tradition or the replication of past models. The roots of this muscular view of the social order go back to the Puritans, particularly to those associated with Cambridge University, and to their New World Pilgrim heirs, including those who founded Harvard and Yale. As Milton put it, the end of learning is to repair the ruins wrought by our forebears, in effect, "to be like God" (Milton, "Of Education"). The pursuit of truth, Milton insisted, did not need the cowardly license of protection in order to contend with falsehood, its enemy. Whoever knew truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter, Milton asked rhetorically? The Harvard of Increase Mather and of his son, Cotton, as well as of John Eliot, John Dunster, Charles Chauncy, John Udall, among others, was profoundly committed to unstifled intellectual inquiry, with scholarship funds for young people of ability, whatever their social or economic status. In 1647 Massachusetts Bay Colony passed the compulsory common and grammar schools act. When Harvard, deeming itself free from the control of church and state in Britain, assumed the power to grant degrees, it tacitly made in the educational sphere 'the first declaration of independence' some one and a half centuries before the corresponding act in the political sphere. Free intellectual inquiry evoked freedom in the political sphere...

8-Das: In my view we need to give greater historical depth to our understanding of the university in Europe and North America because the relation between the state and the university appears to me to be much more complicated than is suggested in the present paper. Jacques Derrida has suggested that the Kantian idea of the university can be deployed to shed light on some of our present concerns going beyond the local context in which it was first formulated. Kant's "The Conflict of Faculties" written in 1798, sets the tone for a reflection on the university as a faculty or artifact of the State. As Derrida points out, this transformation led to a new social role for the philosopher and intellectual who was no longer seen as an artist or a technician but becamePage  61 a public servant and a teacher and thus an officer of the State. The academy in the late middle ages or the early modern period was still largely a clerical institution and hence had no role to play in the emerging public sphere and was in that sense it was not the space from which any criticism, however oblique, of absolute power could be waged. So two changes from that position can be seen in the reformulation of the university on the model of rationality.

First, was the factory like organization of disciplines and teachers as functionaries of the state, responsible for administering these disciplines? In this context it was the division of the academy into theology, law, and medicine, which was seen as constitutive of higher faculties that were directly concerned with the projects of the state. In the lower faculty of philosophy, the emphasis was on the pursuit of truth. However, one has to remember that this was a delicate balance and that what could upset this moral order was the notion of the state of exception. For Kant, as for Schmitt, everything depended upon who can decide whether, when, and where war can be declared.

I have gone into this detour because it seems to me that there is a delicate balance between knowledge that was essentially instrumentalized in the service of the state (and I don't mean this as a straight-forward criticism) and knowledge in the pursuit of other virtues such as truth, curiosity in the very idea of the university. Indeed it seems to me that unless we forego the temptation of a narrative rendering in terms of "before" and "after"—we will not be able to accurately formulate the force of field within which the modern university as an idea operates. It is the tensions between instrumental forms of knowledge (both in relation to the market and in relation to the state) and the will to truth that we can situate censorship as a series of restrictions rather than an all or nothing affair...(For elaboration, see Das's essay in this volume.)

9-Konold: In the United States, as compared to national contexts, power within educational institutions operates, arguably, through more de-centered channels rather through direct state mandate. Thus, we should be wary of claims that the North American university has become a model for all others if we focus solely on our history of academic freedom and open inquiry. We miss something important about the "institutional histories" mentioned if we focus solely on theoretical, epistemological, and organizational debates that have taken place in the American university.

Part of the peculiar history of U.S. institutions includes their undeniable ties to market forces. The American university is, in many important respects, a for-profit institution in its own right, and this should make us question itsPage  62 designation as a sacred space. University admissions programs "compete" with their peers for a pool of applicants offering ever-better athletic facilities, student centers, and of course, even international curriculum. College tours and sales brochures "sell" an undergraduate experience to students and parents for tuition and fees beyond comparison to those found in other national universities. The sheer number of universities competing for scarce government resources, student enrollment, prominent and victorious athletic programs, and alumni donations is a part of this concept of the university-as-corporation. We see universities creating formal corporate alliances, often for research in science and technology. But we have yet to reflect on the increasingly powerful informal ties with corporate America and its effect on the production of knowledge and education. The university has been a site of professionalization, and the introduction of global education plays an increasingly important role in this process, as corporations demand undergraduates and graduates with ever-more international expertise to fill their positions and meet the expanding needs of corporate globalization. Universities create collective communities, or brand-images, that aid not only in the competition for students, but provide social and professional access to the corporate world. Alumni corporate recruiters return to campuses yearly and increase these ties. Perhaps even more importantly, universities' ever-expanding budgetary and endowment needs increase the reliance on networks of global alumni who will generously share in their own fortunes, thus increasing the links between the university and the for-profit world.

Has the university become a private corporation, or has it not? Certainly, the de-centered American university provides freedom from government censorship that does not exist in other national contexts. But we should shun efforts to envision the university in the United States as above all a sacred space, one divorced from the daily needs of for-profit institutions. If American universities truly have become models for other national universities, we must begin to ask what effect this model has had or will have on other universities, and how the introduction of private universities in countries around the world will shape knowledge production, and more importantly, education and professionalization, in the international sphere. Finally, we must resist efforts to see national governments as the sole holders of power able to label the university "heretical." We may begin to see, or may already be seeing, anPage  63 even more insidious self-censorship within the university in response to private donors and the hidden but powerful for-profit forces of the university.

9a-Patterson: As we reflect more on "the increasingly powerful informal ties with corporate America" and "the hidden but powerful for-profit forces of the university" as Konold rightly urges, it is also important to acknowledge the importance of student activism as a powerful and increasingly effective check to these forces. University and college campuses have long been bases of activism, and this history has been well documented. From my own experiences as an undergraduate at Swarthmore College, I can recall sundry strong and successful student movements that addressed a range of economic issues. Through boycotting clothing produced in sweat-shops and various types of produce served in the campus dining hall (because of the labor conditions under which they were grown and harvested), lobbying for same-sex domestic partner coverage for college employees and a living wage for all university staff, and demanding more transparency in regard to the institution's economic ties to corporations, we helped shape institutional policy.

Here at the University of Michigan in 1983, the Board of Regents was one of the first to divest from apartheid South Africa. In 2002, the Graduate Employees Organization of U-M went on strike and succeeded in achieving most of its goals during a one-day strike and extensive contract negotiations. In Spring 2003, the student group BAMN (the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary) worked feverishly to prepare for the recent Supreme Court case on affirmative action, organizing rallies, educating members of the university community, engaging with the press and elected officials, and organizing a bus trip for over 1,000 U-M students to Washington D.C. in time for the opening arguments. The power of students to affect administrative policy, force increased transparency, and increase awareness about various policy issues on campus and in the community cannot be underestimated.

10-Konold: If we place undue emphasis on an almost idealized world of the university "beyond "national and parochial interest" prior to September 11, we unintentionally silence the powerful critiques of globalizing forces that had been increasing within and outside the U.S. university. [5] Even more importantly, however, by splitting the university's existence into pre- and post-9/11, we also falsely portray the nature of the sacred space by exaggerating the extent to which it allowed critiques of its own dominant paradigm-namely,Page  64 the globalization of knowledge and the construction of "the international."

Furthermore, this emphasis on pre- and post- 9/11 ignores the ever-present tensions between national interest and the business of the university. Globalization and the interconnections it builds—of knowledge, of culture, of economies, of political institutions—should be viewed as serving American interests, even as a direct American-led policy initiative. Whether these efforts came from government or non-governmental organizations, the primary goal was to build global support for the "universal" yet American values of democracy, freedom of the individual (including economic and political freedoms), and human rights—a global enlightenment project of sorts. Of course, hidden behind these values are very real and very old interests—to open national borders for economic exchange and production, to ensure access to resources, and to open markets after the collapse of the most visible alternative to the American capitalist system. An additional hope was that global engagement would serve national security by making violent conflict too costly.

Many critiques of globalization came from within the university-whether of foreign or economic policy, or the university's own attempts to globalize its curriculum-and attempted to make globalization more liberal, more just, more humanitarian, more along the lines of the universal values as debated and articulated within universities in the United States. Yet surprisingly, no clear alternative to the "universal" and "international" arose from these debates. Many within the university shared the underlying liberal values and goals of engagement of the globalization project, believing that the ultimate result would be increased international understanding. Many critiques thus tended to argue that globalization should only be done better. This attitude is reflected in parts of this position paper and its embrace of the sacred space where universal and plural values peacefully coexisted. I challenge the implications of the statement that though "utopian, naïve, or merely optimistic," most within the university identified "global values and global futures" linked to truly universal values that would lead to a new era of open inquiry. Was this new era of open inquiry an achievable reality given that it existed within an increasingly dominant paradigm of "the international" in the university? The problem with the concept of the sacred space is that by embracing the globalization of knowledge as initiated from the American center, it does not explicitly allow room for other models. Furthermore, an almost hegemonic discourse of "the international" begins toPage  65 silence alternative voices, especially those coming from outside the American university.

Perhaps even more important, and prior to September 11, the university seemed to be implicated in national interests given its own emphasis on globalization and "the international". The university and the government did not seem to be at odds—they could mutually work for the promotion of universal values, as defined largely by American expertise. Government funding institutions encouraged work that fit this liberal paradigm, and scholars framed debates within the discourse of "the international." Because the dominant paradigm was liberal, many within the university have not questioned their own role in being a part of a national interest, or else they were comfortable sharing these interests. It seems that only when national interests and university interests diverge, as in a war-time situation such as after 9/11, do we feel that our sacred space is threatened. I contend that the sacred space was neither as sacred nor as autonomous as the framework of pre- and post-9/11 suggest.

We must challenge the university to resist the imposition of a dominant paradigm, even one of its own making, no matter how universal it views its mission or how international in scope. We must acknowledge the links that exist between the university and national/parochial interests, both when these do and do not match the interests of the university, in order to guard the academic freedom that is the "hallmark" of the American system. Prior to 9/11, the globalization of knowledge as defined by American universities risked becoming such as hegemonic force. While we should fight to protect the sacred space, we must resist attempts to silence its detractors as we move into the post-9/11 world and allow alternative visions to come forward.

11-Jelin: Universities are not "sacred spaces", and should not be. The notion of the "sacred" implies the idea that there is something above and beyond human will and human action that is the ultimate power to judge good and evil, justice and fairness. And that what happens in those sacred spaces is part of that godly design. The sacred refers always to a deity, to a god, that is always and necessarily so, more than human, beyond the human condition. The great religions of the world, and other religious-like belief systems, offer in their Holy Writings and in the wisdom of their leaders, the dogma or creed to be followed. Whatever does not fit with the tenets of the creed is then "heretical".

The idea of free inquiry, of openness in knowledge searching, cannot bePage  66 guided by dogmas or creeds. Unless—and I think this is the metaphor used in the title of the paper—the "sacredness" of the university refers to this freedom of inquiry, unfettered, emancipated from political or worldly commitments and interests. That, in my view, is impossible and undesirable. Impossible because universities need financial resources, and the allocation of resources is always part of the political game. And because scholars are human beings and citizens -with passions, interests, and commitments—that cannot be left at the door of the laboratory or office. Undesirable, because it would imply a strict and narrow definition of the "ivory tower", a search for knowledge without a "for what", without assuming or taking up the political responsibilities involved in any type of inquiry—or of any type of human activity.

The fact that there are different models of universities in the world is a clear indication of their embeddedness in worldly (i.e., political, economic, social and cultural struggles and conflicts) matters. Issues such as whether the responsibility for higher education should be solely in the hands of the state (reflected at times in the public vs. private university conflict, and other times in the conception of access to higher education as a social benefit linked to citizenship rights), whether there should be open admissions and even affirmative action programs or a meritocratic system, not to talk about research resources linked to security issues and industrial interests—all these and many other are clear examples of the fact that there is no "sacredness" in the university.

I see a double danger in using the sacred/heretic metaphor. The first relates to the fact that this conceptualization implies the existence of some meta-human force that will have the last word in defining what is sacred and what is heretic. If this is simply the pursuit of knowledge, one should remember that it does not come from heaven but is based on the existence of a human community that sets the standards of inquiry, hopefully according to some democratic rule. [6]

The second danger is failing to differentiate between religious (and therefore legitimate beliefs in the "sacred") systems and arenas of independent search and public openness that foster dialogue and debate, with open and broad participation. Democratic theory, more than beliefs in the sacred, seems to offer more appropriate tools to analyze and reflect upon the university and its worldly role in times of uncertainty and political turmoil.

Universities and public spheres are to be much more modest thanPage  67 religious systems. In open systems of knowledge, nothing is sacred and there is no absolute TRUTH. Everything is subject to doubt and to change, findings and explanations can be corrected, and knowledge is constructed and not revealed. Thus the need for asserting and reasserting a lay arena of open interaction, and the need to struggle to assure the most horizontal and symmetrical interactions in it.

12-Kennedy: We included sacred space in the title of our position paper, but chose in the end not to include it in the title of the book because it led to relatively unproductive discussions. First, some read our position paper as saying the university was a sacred space, a place apart from everyday life, various publics, markets and the state. Others read it to say that we believe it should be apart from these spheres. Finally, some intimated that our use of sacred was a call to bring religion into secular spaces associated with public universities.

Coauthored documents always represent some kind of compromise, and clever writing can mask different intentions. I believe I had more of a stake in the invocation of sacred space than either Kathleen or David. It falls, therefore, on me more than them to explain the sense behind its use.

In the time between our workshop and this writing, Nancy Cantor delivered a lecture on intellectual diversity that resonates very well with the intentions of our paper, and I draw upon her imagery to help make our point. [7] She suggested that universities might be understood as existing somewhere in between the logic of the monastery, entirely secluded from the world but heavily dependent on shared assumptions, and that of the marketplace, entirely embedded in the world but open to radically different values and assumptions, veering toward one or another value depending on the issue at hand. Those images are useful.

First, to be sure we do not argue that the university is a place apart. Indeed, invoking the sanctity of the university space is a way to argue that its distinction from the logics of markets, states and publics should be preserved. In that very act, the implication of universities in these other spheres of social life is marked, for if universities were not so implicated, there would be nothing to defend.

Secondly, if this were a place entirely unto itself, there would be little space for productive heresies. While monasteries might produce heresies, they are not always viewed as so productive for the monastery itself, and rarely have muchPage  68 productivity beyond the shared assumptions of the community. Universities should be set up to test the bounds not only of academic community, but also the intellectual integrity of the social networks in which they are embedded, or to which they might be connected.

Thirdly, and here is where I probably differ more from my coauthors, I do find too little religion in our secular universities. By this I don't mean we should have more professions of faith in our universities' public squares; quite the contrary. I believe we should be considering more directly the normative, evidentiary, and rhetorical frameworks embedded in different religious systems, do more to compare them to frameworks embedded in political, economic, and scientific systems, and consider more explicitly the articulation of each of these systems with one another. The research and educational priorities of public universities are not set to engage these questions well.

This is not, however, necessary to the invocation of sacred space and heretical knowledge. It is only a reflection of our particular conjuncture. I would propose, only, that one of the most productive heresies that might be articulated from within the sacred space of the university is one that questions the adequacy of the secular standpoint for engaging the challenge of difference in international affairs. [8] The invocation of national interests inevitably carries certain religious presumptions. Globalization and international security shape discussions of appropriate religiosities. And even efforts to articulate broader normative foundations, even when they are addressing religious heritage, rarely escape religious inheritance. Jürgen Habermas is a good example.

My notion of sacred space is clearly informed by Habermas's ideal communication community. [9] That notion doesn't describe an existing condition, it is rather a philosophical standpoint embedded in communication structures that enables us to recognize ways in which communication is distorted. When we extend that to the university, and recognize the ways in which the sacred space is shaped by power, wealth, and public obligations, we mark the ways in which conditions external to the "pure" academic engagement shape analysis. It opens the space for critique.

Of course many have argued that Habermas's notions are embedded themselves in problematic assumptions of the public sphere and the limits of a male Central European bourgeois society. [10] There is much room for productive disagreement about that, but I also note that in most of those discussions, thePage  69 limits of relying on the Judeo-Christian heritage are themselves not marked, even as they become markedly apparent in his own reflections on the association of religious heritage with critical reasoning. [11]

I am not advocating some return to civilizational studies, for religious systems are themselves understood best not only in their principal homes but also necessarily in their transnational transformations. [12] And I am not suggesting that religious studies ought to have a new privileged place in the halls of university departments. I am suggesting, however, that scholars in different disciplines ought to consider the challenge of religiosity in the articulation of questions that presume secular foundations, and this might be one of the most productive heresies the university's sacred space might offer.

13-Cohen: The North American university (or, more generally, perhaps any institution of higher learning) inevitably bears the image, or caricature, of an "ivory tower," condensing different meanings including independence and irrelevance. Albeit the work of the caricature, the university is thickly engaged with the world at many points—and demonstrably beyond the applied fields—while it works to realize fully the benefits of an independence from state or corporate oversight and control.

But we can move beyond a discussion of caricature to recognize the university in a different way, that is as institution constructed of contradictory interests and forces introduced over time, and never fully resolved. In this sense, the university may resemble "the colonial state." I inevitably draw here on the theorization of the colonial state by Bruce Berman and John Lonsdale: "The colonial state ... was only the partly intended outcome of the often contested interaction of numerous impersonal structural forces and subjective agents, both metropolitan and local." [13]

The challenge here may be in considering the ways in which the university can contain and support contending orientations: on the one hand serving the nation, national values, and national interests; on the other, serving the world and interests, standards, values, and goals broader than the nation. The university has done so before, though with risk and damage.

To return to the caricature, it may worth asking the question: in whose interests is it to see the university as apart, as bounded, as an ivory tower, rather than as an unsettled frame of contradictory interests and forces?

14-Cohen: Of course, universities consistently take up and engage timelyPage  70 issues. Multiple interests and pressures, as well as particular constituencies, assure that timely issues are addressed. The university today is in part the composition of surviving elements from enormous ranges of such engagements over time. Yet the university is also an economy in which only a relatively small number of engagements and initiatives can sustain themselves or be sustained. In a sense, the university's response to a new American attention to Islam—seeking fresh federal government funds for Middle East studies, constituting a range of focused conferences, symposia, and courses, assuring the supply of language courses, assisting students at risk—may be posited as conventional, vulnerable in time to the pressures and desires of new issues.

Grounding, Translation, Expertise

15: On the history of the International Institute (II), see: David William Cohen, "Welcome to the International Institute," Journal of the International Institute 1, 1 (1994), <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol1no1/cohen.html>; David William Cohen, "Four Years of the International Institute," Journal of the International Institute 5, 2 (1998), <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol5no2/DWC1.html>; and David William Cohen, "II in Retrospect: Building Strong, Building Light: Building 'the International' at the University of Michigan," Journal of the International Institute 7, 1 (1999), <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol7no1/cohen.htm>.

16: For elaboration on various Crossing Borders projects undertaken by the University of Michigan International Institute, see <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/CrossingBorders/index.html>.

The following articles address work sponsored in whole or in part by the Ford Foundation grant: Fernando Coronil, "After the Dialogue: Reflections on Two Memorable Events," Journal of the International Institute 9, 1 (2001), <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol9no1/coronil.html>; David William Cohen, "International Expertise: A Position Paper," Journal of the International Institute 9, 1 (2001), <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol9no1/cohen_expertise.htm>; Michael D. Kennedy, "Globalizing Knowledge through Area Studies," Journal of the International Institute 9, 1(2001), <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol9no1/Kennedy9-1.htm>; "Report on a Workshop: Pragmatics and Social Conflict in the Andean Region," Journal of the International Institute 9,1 (2001), <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol9no1/pragmatic.htm>; BrianPage  71 Porter, "Interrogating Reconciliation" Journal of the International Institute 9, 2 (2002), <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol9no2/porter_recon.html>; Monica Eileen Patterson, "Reconciliation as a Continuing and Differentiated Process," Journal of the International Institute 9, 2 (2002), <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol9no2/patterson_recon.html>; Hitomi Tonomura, "A Workshop Presented by the International Institute: Experts and Expertise in Pre- and Early-Modern Societies," Journal of the International Institute 9, 2 (2002), <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol9no2/tonomura_experts.html>; Ronald Grigor Suny and Fatma Müge Göçek "Discussing Genocide: Contextualizing the Armenian Experience in the Ottoman Empire," Journal of the International Institute 9, 3 (2002), <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol9no3/suny.htm>; David William Cohen and Michael D. Kennedy, "The North American University and the World: Sacred Spaces and Heretical Knowledge," Journal of the International Institute 10, 1 (2002), <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol10no1/Cohen-Kennedy.htm>; I. William Zartman, "Algeria at Forty: A Midlife Crisis," Journal of the International Institute 10, 2 (2003), <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol10no2/zartman.htm>; and Monica Eileen Patterson, "Memory Across Generations: The Future of 'Never Again'," Journal of the International Institute 10, 2 (2003), <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol10no2/patterson.htm>.

September 11

17-Cohen: There is of course at least one other significant "9/11," and this is 9/11/1973, the date that the Pinochet forces overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile, with the murder of Allende and large numbers of Allende supporters. Those who recognize the U.S. interest in Allende's overthrow have drawn attention to the elision of American memory of the Chilean events. Against the idea that 9/11/2001 has no peer, there is an opening to rumination on the uses and representations of U.S. power in the world, of who owns or controls the management of these histories.

18-Jelin: September 11, 2001, is seen here as a marker of a major historical turning point. I would like to see that date in two different levels, internally (within the United States) and in terms of the position of the United States in the world.

Regarding the first level, my comments come from a different location: aPage  72 region of the world where there were military dictatorships in the seventies and eighties, dictatorships that were initially sponsored by the United States. In that sense, September 11 is for us a significant marker of U.S. intervention: in 1973, airplanes bombed the Chilean presidential palace, ousting a constitutional president, and this military coup was instigated in part by the covert intervention of the U.S. government. A few years later, the Carter human rights policies saved many lives in the dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America. As academics, intellectuals and citizens, we lived through periods of censorship and lack of academic freedom, open state terrorism and repression. Buenos Aires was also the scene of two major acts of "international terrorism": the bombings of the Israeli embassy and of the Jewish community center. Thus, in a sense, September 11 marks the fact that the current U.S. population, which seemed to believe itself outside these threats and uncertainties, has to start dealing with them. Vulnerability as a way of life entered the United States. [14]

U.S. universities, as all institutions and actors in the country, undoubtedly are affected by it. National security considerations, new types of censorship and surveillance (especially but not only regarding foreign-born populations), restrictions of various sorts —a new McCarthyism, when the "original" has long been forgotten—come into being. There will be new pressures to engage in what is defined as priorities by the State (Department).

As in other periods of U.S. history, scholars and universities are faced with new and significant challenges. It is hard, in such times, to see oneself as in the "ivory tower" model of knowledge production. Open and explicit engagement is the call of the day. Yet the direction of engagement is not necessarily fixed and crystallized. My hunch is that the balance of power in the struggles about academic freedom and national security—and perhaps even the interpretive frameworks of this and other dilemmas—has shifted. This means that the political responsibilities of scholarship will be much more apparent, and scholars will have to face the challenge and act in the public sphere much more openly than before.

In fact, the issue of the meaning of the date should become a guiding idea to elaborate hypotheses about it, for different social and political groups in different locations—within the United States, U.S. universities, and abroad. But again, I see it as a subject for further research. Hopefully, the date will be understood by many not as a "unique event" subject to a literal reading but ratherPage  73 as an event that may have an exemplary role (to use Todorov's terminology). [15]

In fact, one could think that under the new conditions, critical intellectuals—those who bring their abilities, knowledge and expertise to bear upon issues of urgent political and social importance, and who do so actively participating in the sphere of public debate—will have to heighten their critical abilities. There will be attempts to lower, silence, or suppress their voices. Hopefully they will find allies in the more professionally and academically oriented scholars, who have come to value academic freedom and the "free" pursuit of knowledge, and may now (for the first time) feel these values at risk. If this is the case, then one can imagine that in the near future, more and more critical intellectuals will come to the fore and engage in the issues of the day. Nobody, however, can guarantee that the scholars that will engage in this activity will be open-minded and believers in pluralism, dialogue and debate. There is the danger that the various forms of fundamentalism that circulate in the United States today, admitting only one TRUTH and thinking that the only way to engage with "others" is to annihilate them, will gain adepts and invade the realms where freedom of thought was supposed to reign.

These new threats are not unique to the United States. Critical dialogues, alliances, and global networks and movements are actually a world phenomenon. The voices of opposition to unilateral decisions on the part of the U.S. government cover the globe, as the concerted protests against the war and for peace (on February 15, 2003, for instance) mobilize millions of people. In the same vein, the voices of concern for the increasing poverty and polarization in the world also grow. The three renderings of the Social Forum in Porto Alegre (in January of 2001, 2002 and 2003) show that there is human energy and initiative to bring together the voices that oppose the path that the world society is taking—led by the U.S. hegemony and its power within the multilateral world organizations.

19-Gebert: Even as they dreamt of America, they knew that their dreams are but dreams. America was rich—and yet one could die a beggar. America was free—and yet one could be lynched. America was ruled by law—and yet gangsters roamed its streets and institutions. In this, the difference between America and the Old Country they so longed to leave was one of quantity only. And yet that difference was so great that it alone was reason enough to go.

But one dream they dreamt without reservations. America was safe.Page  74 Separated from the rest of the world by two mighty oceans, blessed with weak if not meek neighbors in the North and South, America could not be invaded. Yes, one could die poor, lynched, murdered even. But never the feeling of helplessness when a war breaks out and houses are gutted just because they were in the way. Never the rage of seeing your family, your neighbors murdered en masse just because it could be done.

So they came—and they saw this dream is real. As the Old Country burned in war after war, as letters stopped coming and hope was lost, they remained safe in the fortress beyond the ocean. They felt guilt and relief, and massively enrolled in the armies of their new country, as they left to liberate the Old Country, or what was left of it. They would return to tell tales of horror, comforted by their knowledge that it can't happen here.

It did.

On 9/11 the Old Country caught back with them, trapping the descendants of those who had fled its horror in the awareness that this time there will be nowhere left to flee.

20-Patterson: Reducing alternative understandings or attempts to contextualize the events of September 11 as "moral relativism" dismisses too much too quickly and on false grounds. In many ways, the debate about moral relativism sparked by Giuliani's comment reproduces a central strategy of members of the right in a much longer-standing debate about political correctness. Like the derogation "politically correct," calling someone a "moral relativist" is an attempt to take away his or her legitimacy to speak rather than engaging with the content of what is being said. It is an inflammatory accusation used to dismiss, delegitimate, and silence speakers by undermining their right to be taken seriously. This strategy is intellectually dishonest and unfair.

In their article "Earth to Ivory Tower: Get Real!," authors Kay Hymowitz and Harry Stein draw a straight line between the old demons advocating political correctness to the more recent "moral blindness" of "academic apologists" opposed to the war in Iraq. [16] They deplore the "moral lethargy, rising out of affluence and security, out of New Age religious longings combined with all-you-need-is-love pacifism, out of therapeutic nonjudgmentalism, multiculturalism, and a virtually total historical amnesia. All these trends have generated an almost willful inability to imagine evil—except, of course, the evils of American racism, sexism, and homophobia." [17]

Page  75

Although the targets tend to be the same (mainly academics and leftist critics), there are some striking differences in these two debates as well. The term "correct" suggests that there is one right answer, term to use, or set of positions to hold. But the intent behind the considerations that have brought us to think more critically about the political implications of our language and views, particularly in regard to members of historically disadvantaged groups, is more about an orientation or a commitment to engagement rather than merely learning the accepted phrases and terms, or reading an appropriate smattering of "diverse" sources in classrooms. In contrast, "moral relativism" suggests that its adherents take no stands, draw no lines, and pass no judgments. As Hymowitz and Stein describe,

The two main stripes of critic seem stuck in the ideas of the sixties...the blame-America-firsters...but possibly more insidious...the moral lethargists. Offspring of the therapeutic culture, New Age spiritualism, and an entrenched multiculturalism suspicious of Western values, these so resist passing judgment that they shrink from seeing even murderous Islamic fundamentalism as the evil it is and shy away from the tough steps needed to crush it. Though relatively small, these two groups cluster in the powerful opinion-forming institutions: the academy, the liberal churches, the press, and the entertainment media.

The post-September 11 atmosphere, dominated by demands for a narrowly defined patriotism, allowed little space for critical thought or questioning. Leaders like Bush and Giuliani exerted significant control over public speech and debate by suggesting that anyone who did not unquestioningly support and strictly adhere to the decisions being made in the Pentagon and White House was a moral relativist and terrorist sympathizer. Patriotism was constructed as blind allegiance to the highest authority in the land (President Bush), rather than a commitment to holding our nation and its leaders to higher standards, or trying to participate in the democratic process through discussion, examination, critique, and debate.

While those who attempted to contextualize and better understand the events leading up to September 11 were accused of moral relativism, PresidentPage  76 Bush and Mayor Giuliani created the impression that we were following a very rigid, predetermined, and obvious script, excluding such possibilities of treating the attacks as a crime rather than an act of war. Choices about the options, possible responses, and consequences of particular actions were being made all the time, but presented as foregone conclusions to the great frustration of many Americans, members of the UN, and citizens and leaders across the globe.

21-Gebert: "De omnium dubitandi," Karl Marx's famous motto, could well be inscribed on the walls of every modern Western university. Indeed, university education and scholarly inquiry is based on two premises: that everything is open to question, and that reason is sufficient to find the answers. These two Enlightenment principles have been accepted by society at large, without enough attention being paid to their consequences.

For of course no society exists which does not hold some principles sacred beyond question, nor can any religion agree that reason alone is sufficient. Thus the principles taught by the university are fundamentally at odds with those endorsed by society. This conflict, usually, is glossed over thanks to the fact that the members of academe are at the same time members of society and, even if they do not endorse all its principles, they see no reason to drag the conflict out in the open.

Things change, however, when the university, as it unavoidably will, develops a culture of its own. If dispassionate criticism is indeed the guiding principle, then society at large is ideally suited to become the object of that criticism. For the university, ultimately, is not value-free: it strives to improve society. To do that, it necessarily needs to unmask its contradictions and evils.

Doing this the university necessarily starts being seen by society as not only a source of strength, but as the enemy within. Especially as the university, after declaring that all value systems are relative—for reason cannot perceive an absolute foundation for any of them—then go on to criticize especially the value systems of its own society, which it knows best and ultimately cares most about. This latter approach has in the American university produced "political correctness," a linguistic and conceptual code which prohibits the utterance of ideas or concepts considered insulting, unfair or painful to those the majority society had harmed in the past, or is still harming today. Combined with the relativism of its approach to the values of that selfsame majority, this creates the impression that the only values the university is willing to stand for are thosePage  77 which are alien to a majority of the citizens of the society it is part of. People have been burned at the stake for less.

As an immediate consequence, the university loses much of its moral credibility among much of that majority society; ultimately it might lose the trust in its judgment and reason which makes parents want to send their children there. If this happens, the university will have deprived itself, in the name of social values, of the capacity of effecting social change.

To an overseas observer such as myself, relativism that does not stop at the collection of values enshrined in the collective human accomplishment of human rights documents is suicidal. Political correctness smacks of hypocritical self-censorship. Both are indications of the inherent limitations of the university's founding principles: the principle of doubting in everything cannot be exempt from scrutiny in its own light, nor can reason investigate itself and its follies.

21a-Patterson: Admittedly, for some people being "PC" is merely a disingenuous performance of saying the "right thing" or using the most recently coined term for groups of people who have been historically underrepresented or disadvantaged. But it is important to consider the approach and intent of those to whom this phenomenon has been attributed on their own terms rather than accepting a caricatured version of a complicated and varied group of people promoting a range of ideas. Those who have tried to expand the traditionally white male canon on university campuses, and who urge us to consider the power in language to hurt, anger, and oppress people do not conceive of their efforts in terms of a learned code but rather a continued engagement with issues of power and identity that makes one sensitive to and aware of experiences beyond one's own (regardless of identity). This engagement benefits everyone, and should acknowledge and address the enduring inequality of our society, particularly as reflected in the words we use. More often than not, the charge of "political correctness" serves to stifle debate rather than to engage it. This is a disservice to those of us who think seriously about language and its powers to harm, and the many ways in which inequity is deeply imbricated in not only the words and concepts we use but the things we assume and the way that we speak.

22-Das: The issue as I see it is not of relativism versus some kind of absolute values but rather that, increasingly, it is not only absolutist states but also democratic states in which the right to declare something as "war"Page  78 or "a state of exception" has come to be accepted as the "normal" condition of functioning of modern states in relation to threats variously defined as those of terrorism, militancy, etc. Thus unfettered power to declare that something is an act of war rather than crime as the attack on the World Trade Center was performatively declared to be, does require us to rethink the balance between the legitimate claims of the state and that of the unfettered pursuit of truth on which the idea of the university is based. As more and more states define themselves primarily as security states, we will be forced to rethink the meaning of the state of exception in clearer terms.

23-Sanneh: The University as a national institution must normally be self-conscious about its American identity: the language, ideas, values, ideals, programs, priorities, goals, and limitations bind it so intimately with the country's life that separation is as inconceivable as it is undesirable. The challenges of national life cannot except be reflected in the agenda of the University. The pragmatist John Dewey (1859-1952) on that basis criticized higher education in America for its "narrowly disciplinary and cultural character," and for its "tendency to isolate intellectual matters till knowledge is scholastic, academic, and professionally technical, and for the widespread conviction that liberal education is opposed to the requirements of an education which shall count in the vocations of life." [18]

24-Patterson: One of the greatest challenges for the multiple and overlapping scholarly communities within U.S. universities after September 11 was to determine and negotiate their relationship with a changing U.S. state and to respond to its increasing demands. As some departments, schools and experts jockeyed for authority status, others sought to extricate themselves from certain types of involvement or to reconfigure and reframe the very questions being asked. For instance, what role would and should university administration play in responding to the U.S. government's call to investigate and report the increasing number of suspicious persons in the new war on terrorism? Questions of responsibility, capability, legality, resources and ethics continue to be debated within a larger consideration of the meaning and limitations of academic freedom within this period of crisis.

According to the American Studies Association in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on March 14, 2003, "The climate for academic freedom has worsened severely since September 11 because of new governmentPage  79 policies, as well as decisions by university administrators." Citing "restrictions on scholarly research" and the intimidation of students protesting the war in Iraq, the report argues that free speech has been considerably restricted on U.S. campuses. [19]

For an account of the impact of responses to the September 11 terrorists attacks on the availability of information on the Internet and those who provide it, see the Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Chilling Effects of Anti-Terrorism: 'National Security' Toll on Freedom of Expression" at <http://www.eff.org/Censorship/Terrorism_militias/antiterrorism_chill.html>. See also the American Civil Liberty Union's well-documented chronology of "the toll taken on civil liberties by the Bush administration since September 11" ("Civil Liberties in the Post 9/11 World" at <http://www.aclunc.org/911/chronology.html>).

25-Madjid: If the massive Jewish and Catholic immigration of the nineteenth century threatened the American experience, is it now the turn of the Muslim immigration to present the obstruction? The calamity of 9/11 may suggest that the answer to such a question will be "yes!", were it not that most Muslims, out of the genuine religious consciousness or of fear that such a calamity would sooner or later fall upon them themselves, condemn such irresponsible action as against the fundamental principles of Islam. The supporting arguments for the condemnation are abundant, and they are all available for Muslims who are not religiously illiterate. But it is both ironic and logical that the sacred spaces of the Western academic world are still the best positioned modern source of authority to provide the supporting arguments easily at the concerned Muslims' disposal. [20]

Uncertainties and Events

26-Cohen: 9/11/2001 has provided extraordinary views of, and texts on, loss, mourning, and remembrance, producing an almost everyday expertise on the arts and politics of trauma and memory. There is the possibility that the richness of these rituals and exercises could overwhelm understandings of historical memory, memorials, commemorations, unfolding on different temporicities, for example on silences and trauma, on the importance of what cannot be said or seen, on the power of fiction and rumor. [21]

In American media, politics, and conversation, the mantra "since 9/11" would sometimes seem to have the effect of erasing the history of 9/10/2001Page  80 and everything that came before.

27-Kennedy: For discussion of the extent and nature of media attention regarding 9/11, see the conference entitled "Relentless Searchlight: Terrorism, Media and the Public Life" organized by the American Political Science Association Political Communications Section and the Shorenstein Center at the John F. Kennedy School of Government on August 28, 2002, reported in <http://www.apsanet.org/~polcomm/events_2.htm>.

28-Patterson: A preoccupation with temporality pervaded the U.S. response to the events of September 11. In their many speeches and appearances in the days and weeks which followed, both Bush and Giuliani sought to establish shared timetables in their efforts to lead and unite the American people. From Bush's repeated insistence on the coexistence of Americans' feelings of sadness and anger to Giuliani's September 22, 2001 announcement on Saturday Night Live that it was okay to laugh again, top government officials offered remarkably specific scripts of recovery to the U.S. public. As the authors of the position paper note, "remembrance and vengeance work on different schedules," and these schedules also vary quite considerably from individual to individual. But frequently, and at many levels of society, adherence to the government's proscribed emotional timetables was equated with a newly requisite patriotism. As professor of media and popular culture Robert Thompson noted, "Both Giuliani and President Bush kept saying we've got to get back to normal...so the idea of laughing at a sitcom or watching a WWF event became tantamount to a patriotic act.'" [22] A slew of articles and news stories reveal the national concern with the idea of "laughing again," as if national consensus was necessary to determine individuals' behavior. [23] Commenting on the atmosphere of censorship, Tony Norman, a columnist of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette stated, "I look forward to the day we'll be able to make fun of the president again without being charged with sedition." [24] Bush also proscribed the appropriate moments for Americans to go back to work, resume normal lives, and even to go shopping.

Issues of time and consensus were also, of course, extensively debated during the fiasco of failed UN negotiations and the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The investigations were cut short by the United States' rush to war in defiance of the majority of world opinion. Perhaps it is neither new nor surprising that in times of crisis there is a pressure to conform to dominantPage  81 opinion, but the tendency toward micromanagement, increased surveillance, and violence in the top echelons of U.S. government have certainly pervaded our society and affected international relations in disturbing new ways.

Belligerence and Tolerance

29-Das: Writing from India right now after the disastrous experience of violence against the Muslim minority in Gujarat with the active connivance of the state government, I am led to ask, how does censorship become operative in a democratic society? Unlike the Emergency of 1977 when all fundamental rights were suspended, we are presumably living in a democratic setup with regular elections and a Constitution in place. While journalists, some NGOs and students and teachers from outside Gujarat have mobilized support to provide evidence/ testimonies of the atrocities, they have not been able to move the state government to institute cases against the guilty. Thus despite evidence provided by journalists and People's Commissions that police stations refused to accept First Information Reports in which the names of the guilty were mentioned, there has been no serious movement by universities or other institutions devoted to pursuit of truth to provide any theoretical reflection on the meaning of such silence. Thus how has the everyday become "the state of exception"?

I believe that if we are to understand the way in which a self-imposed censorship comes to be instituted within democracies we need to understand the everyday life of universities in countries such as India. On the assumption that the state is an unfinished project and that national security is always in danger—the state of exception becomes like an ever present potential standing on the door of reality, as it were. The state then positions itself as always in the job of "educating" the university on its responsibilities and subjects it to a plethora of regulations that are instituted through administrative injunctions. For instance, even in premier institutes devoted to research, scholars cannot invite foreign scholars to speak without prior clearance from the Education Ministry. In some places this rule is followed—in others it is consistently flouted. There are similarly other rules about clearances for organizing seminars, or for foreign visits. The rationale behind all this is that the national interest needs to be protected and that the bureaucrats are the natural actors for the protection of these interests. The result is a strange balance of power so that asPage  82 one professor recently put it, to have academically survived in India is to have broken some rule or the other so that in the eyes of the state you are already, always culpable. I can take an example from my own work—I wrote on the militant movement in the Punjab in the eighties and nineties on the basis of the militant literature in Punjabi and audiocassettes of speeches by militant leaders. This literature is banned in India although it circulates freely and my publisher had to take the decision to be ready to face legal impediments in publishing my book. So the point is not that one is put into prison for the crime of possessing banned literature but that your culpability in the eyes of the state is always a resource that can be activated to punish you. Hence the shadow of being an officer/offender of the state and in relation to the state is always falling on academic life.

It is not my contention that there is ecology of fear comparable to the fear in campuses in societies in which governance is in the hands of dictatorial authorities. Clearly the complicity of ordinary citizens in which crimes as those perpetrated against Muslim minorities are seen as somehow justified, needs a more comprehensive review. I am not going to provide that review here but I do wish to focus attention on how the processes of mobilization in democratic societies could lead to the suspension of such goods as citizen rights, tolerance for diversity, or even the right to life. Agamben's idea that polities have become split between membership and inclusion needs to be seriously considered and the pathways by which democratic societies become implicated in non-democratic measures with popular support need to be understood. How do diasporic imaginations, global programming and the refashioning of institutions in accordance with notions of global public goods available as constraints or resources? It is interesting that activists in India have tried to find international openings in which the crimes of Narendra Modi—the Chief Minister who is seen to be complicit with what is in effect a pogrom against the Muslim minority—may be tried. The visits of Labor MPs from the U.K. and Amnesty International seem to be important resources in this struggle to have the truth recognized and acted upon.

30-Erazo: While I believe that the position paper makes an important point in saying that invisible acts of accepting and allowing difference are critical components of true tolerance, we must not forget that grave acts of intolerance such as persecution, arrest, or even torture occur regularly inPage  83 spaces where freedoms such as those of speech, religion, and assembly are not protected. Specifically because attention to tolerance is "situational and short-term," national and trans-national laws and dictates are necessary forms and tools for protection, although not sufficient for true tolerance.

31-Kennedy: Colleagues from abroad may have difficulty appreciating the degree to which the attacks of September 11, 2001 have changed American sensibilities and practices.

Security, not openness, now threatens to dominate discourses of how the U.S. university relates to the world beyond its nation. The introduction of new measures to assure security, or demonstrate the concern for security, have overwhelmed most sectors, most obviously at airports. But universities have also been directly affected. The University is working with federal officials to implement a new and more integrated tracking system called SEVIS [25] that would provide better data to the federal government on student whereabouts. This is one part of a much larger enterprise that is transforming the ways in which those within the United States from abroad are treated.

To a considerable extent, of course, that treatment depends on the nation's vision of that larger world. For example, FBI interviews with young men from countries associated with terrorism, and new stricter guidelines for issuing visas have been established with the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act signed into law by President Bush on May 14, 2002. [26] These measures are complicated, for they introduce new and serious questions into our discussion of American identity, civil liberties [27] and effective intelligence, and its effect on human rights, [28] none of which can be elaborated here. [29] It is, nonetheless, directly relevant for it affects quite immediately certain categories of actors more than others. For example, Iranian students, faculties and staff at the University of Michigan wrote to President White on May 17, 2002 expressing their concern about how section 306 of the newly approved HR 3525 Bill will lead to a categorical ban on Iranian students' receiving visas; it also makes it very difficult for Iranian students or scholars to go abroad for any reason. Globalizing knowledge clearly has a new element of inequality built into the system.

32-Sanneh: For all his effusions about an enlightened education coming like the dawn to banish all that kept human beings in the dark in mind, body, and spirit, for example, Jefferson flinched at the thought of diversity. ThePage  84 issue of diversity came to a head on the matter of slavery, and, as such, was perceived as a threat that had to be overcome. "Nothing," Jefferson urged, "is more certainly written in the book of fate, than that these people [the blacks] are to be free; nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion have drawn indelible lines of distinction between them." In other words, slavery no less than racial diversity conflicted with freedom and national harmony. We know better today, but such views suggest that the dogma of an enlightened secular education, free from religious association, was no safeguard against narrowness and intolerance. Nation building in America had taken a huge toll on diversity and pluralism. The American melting pot reduced difference to nothingness. Or, as Sinclair Lewis put it in Main Street, it was the process by which "the sound American customs absorbed without one trace of pollution another alien invasion."

33-Patterson: From the earliest possible moment, even before we knew precisely who to blame for the terrorist attacks, the U.S. response was professionally packaged by the White House administration in terms of its absolute predeterminancy. President Bush explicitly established the use of violence as the only imaginable reaction in his "Address to the Nation" on the evening of September 11. He stated, "A great people has been moved to defend a great nation...Our military is powerful, and it's prepared...The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts." Then, casting the field of possible enemies as broadly as possible, Bush declared: "We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them." Similarly, the president insisted that the attack was not just on "our people, but all freedom-loving people everywhere in the world." In what has proven to be an unfulfilled prophecy, he declared, "We will rally the world." The attacks were defined as the first act in a new war, and allies in this war were assumed: "America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism." [30] In subsequent speeches, President Bush continued to impose a U.S. agenda onto the rest of the world (as when he stated, "This is not a war between our world and their world. It is a war to save the world. And people now understand that."), [31] and demanded allegiance with his often repeated mantra, "Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nationPage  85 that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." [32]

Recent history provides a helpful reminder that there are always alternatives to war and the use of extensive state-sponsored force, even in the face of devastating tragedy in the form of mass murder. Consider, for instance, President Clinton's response to the Oklahoma City bombings in 1995. He too promised to "bring to justice those who committed this evil," but described the attack in terms of a criminal act, and assured the nation that "We are sending the world's finest investigators to solve these murders." In marked contrast to Bush's repeated refrain of "hunting down" the enemy, Clinton urged Americans to show restraint as they dealt with their understandable feelings of anger. Reading from a letter written by a young widow whose husband was murdered when Pan Am flight 103 was shot down, he urged, "The anger you feel is valid, but you must not allow yourselves to be consumed by it. The hurt you feel must not be allowed to turn into hate, but instead into the search for justice. The loss you feel must not paralyze your own lives." Clinton closed by revoking hatred and violence: "we will stand against the forces of fear. When there is talk of hatred, let us stand up and talk against it. When there is talk of violence, let us stand up and talk against it. In the face of death, let us honor life." [33]

34-Kennedy: The value of tolerance in the lexicon of North American academic keywords and public discussion has risen dramatically since September 11. While I share that appreciation, I am also reminded that tolerance wasn't so central during the 1960s, or at least its simple virtue was seriously doubted. One exemplar of this discussion was the assembly of three essays by Robert Paul Wolff, Barrington Moore, Jr. and Herbert Marcuse in A Critique of Pure Tolerance (Boston: Beacon Press, 1965).

Its strongest advocate, Wolff, found tolerance to be both the "virtue" and condition of modern pluralist democracy, but also dangerously close to being an ideology defending American society as it is. In particular, it focuses more on defending the plurality of groups already in existence rather than those in formation or those marginalized by the dominant axes of conflict and forces of recognition in society. It also attends poorly to those issues weakly identified with any particular group, but critical to the public good, for which a "new philosophy of community, beyond pluralism and beyond tolerance" is needed (52). That community, however, is no longer simply drawn within thePage  86 boundaries of a nation state.

In contrast to Wolff, Marcuse finds tolerance to be a means of domination in America, and by America and other dominant actors, across the world. Strangely enough, Marcuse's rhetoric sounds now more at home with those who seek to establish a militarily-assured Pax Americana: "Tolerance is extended to policies, conditions and modes of behavior which should not be tolerated because they are impeding, if not destroying the chances of creating an existence without fear and misery... Tolerance toward that which is radically evil now appears as good because it serves the cohesion of the whole on the road to affluence or more affluence..." (82-83). Of course Marcuse means something very different than the notions of those who seek to extend American unilateralism against the obstacles put up by the cumbrances of multilateral decision-making.

Marcuse's critique of tolerance is based on the distortions established by society's inequalities. He seeks with his theory and practice to demystify those claims of tolerance by marking their contribution to domination. But this is extraordinarily difficult:

with the concentration of economic and political power and the integration of opposites in a society which uses technology as an instrument of domination, effective dissent is blocked where it could freely emerge: in the formation of opinion, in information and communication, in speech and assembly. Under the rule of monopolistic media...that mentality is created for which right and wrong, true and false are predefined wherever they affect the vital interests of society..." (95).

One might debate fruitfully subsequent transformations of technology and its effect on the coherence and plurality of opinion formation, [34] but the more critical change that transforms Marcuse's point rests with the location of violence. With the attack of September 11, 2001 and the elevation of terrorism as real and perceived threat, the U.S. public is prepared to see the sources of violence to rest in the opposition to a virtuous American power, rather than lodged in the "advanced centers of civilization" themselves (102). Marcuse's ambition to distinguish progress and regression (105) is now more complicatedPage  87 than in the 1960s because this new kind of war makes the simple distinction between the forces of progress and regression difficult to identify with the confidence once accorded by the language of liberation.

Moore appears to offer a more conducive approach for these times. He argues that the "secular and scientific" outlook is critical, for when properly used, it can identify the conditions when tolerance is appropriate, and when it reflects cowardice. We should be prepared, he argues, to marshal evidence in support of our accounts, and alter them when evidence suggests otherwise. His commitment inspires:

The real task of the intellectual is not to be committed to any political doctrine or ideal, not to be an agitator or a fighter, but to find and speak the truth, whatever the political consequences may be. Even if, as we have said, political concerns help to determine what truths intellectuals look for, the truths they uncover may often be and actually are extremely damaging to exactly these concerns...if the intellectual finds that the current situation is one of sham debate and unnecessary repression, yet without any serious prospect for change, he has the task of relentless, critical exposure—destructive criticism of destructive reality. His commitment to politically significant truth carries with it the obligation to point out the illusions, equivocations, ambiguities and hypocrisies of those who raise the banner of freedom in order to perpetuate brutality, be they Communist or anti-Communist (78).

The contest between communism and capitalism animated all of these authors' principal concerns. The social question and the struggle against imperialism shaped their critique of pure tolerance. Moore has provided inspiration throughout my own intellectual career, but the critical intellectuality informed by the contest between capitalism and its counterculture in socialism is now at least complicated, if not profoundly altered, but terrorism's threat and the civilizational contest brought to life by the conduct of U.S. policy in terrorism's aftermath.

While I still find hope in the scientific and secular worldview, I find it especially important that this viewpoint be tempered by a humility that seeksPage  88 from religious traditions the limits of its own critical authority. Moore again provides great inspiration, but this time in the negative. Rather than identify the Koran as the opposite of science and reason, as he does in the final paragraph of his essay (79), I find in those religious sensibilities seeking dialogue across religious traditions and with science one of the greatest hopes for the production of a new kind of tolerance that might itself alter the questions we pose about destructive realities.

35-Sanneh: On another level, and especially when times are not normal and it is no longer fashionable, the University must maintain open borders and insist on the unfinished task of nation and school. Before 9/11 the University, for example, could indulge a certain entitlement to national or global exemption. (The Thatcher era of the 1980s shattered that illusion for British Universities long before 9/11, though seemingly to little purpose beyond penny pinching.) Since 9/11, however, a new urgency has gripped the public about turning the University into a national security enterprise, a gated community with identity checks for international students and reporting mandates for administrators and faculty, this while an economic and political crisis has engulfed much of the world. It is inconceivable for the University at this juncture to refuse any share in the unfinished task of national and social development. Threat and danger have encroached on the research agenda of the University. Once more, difference, diversity and pluralism are seen as a threat to be overcome. Yet the temptation must be resisted.

If we look to the recent past of World War II, for instance, we find the University gripped by the same emergency mentality of imminent peril and chauvinistic patriotism. Yet there were voices then calling us to robust engagement with the challenges of the time. That was how Wendell Willkie (1892-1944), for example, called for America to rise to its global responsibility by responding to the new fact of "One World," the title of his influential book on the subject. Echoing Woodrow Wilson and his vision of the League of Nations, Willkie, a Presidential candidate in 1940, cautioned that isolationism would only breed national neurosis about difference and distance and be disastrous for America and for the world. The historian Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975) made much the same point in his Civilization on Trial (New York: Oxford University Press, 1948) where he warned his Western compatriots about the need to outgrow their pre-de Gaman worldview. [The reference was to VascoPage  89 de Gama (1460?-1524), the Portuguese explorer who opened the sea lanes to India, and thus opened the world to Europe, and vice versa.] The remote and the unfamiliar, according to Toynbee, were merely symbols of Western shortsightedness.

Unfinished Nations

36-Patterson: Central to much of the literature and thinking on nation-building are issues of citizenship. With the knowledge that most of the terrorists involved in the September 11 attacks entered the U.S. under legitimate circumstances, a new concern with citizenship and assimilation has emerged along with the increased surveillance and regulation in place at our international borders and airports. In addition to the increasingly difficult process of securing entry into the U.S. for non-citizens in general, and citizens of the so-called "rogue states" in particular, this new belligerence has manifested itself in the relations between the U.S. government and many Arab communities in the United States.

There is now a sense that along with unfinished nations, unfinished citizens (or false ones, for that matter) threaten the nation. Much attention has been paid to the fact that it was not merely a group of al Qaeda members who made the terrorist attacks possible but also a broader network of funders and supporters, some of whom are based in the United States.

In his recent article on otherness and identity in Arab Detroit, Andrew Shryock offers an interesting counterpoint to this discussion of unfinished nations by using a more localized unit of analysis, namely Arab citizens residing in the United States. In many ways, the events of September 11 and the national response to them served to "undo" the citizenship of the members of these communities, for some in a quite literal way and for others more figuratively. [35] The imagined or idealized endpoint of the finishing process for immigrants to the United States is often conceived of and marked in terms of "assimilation." Not all of the markers of this finishing/assimilation process are achievable through action. They include the language one speaks, place (country) of birth, dress, religion, and what may be described as one's politics, views, or ideology.

As Shryock writes, "On September 11, 2001, Arab Detroit entered its own state of emergency. Its image as 'an immigrant success story,' as 'the capital of Arab America,' changed within hours of the attacks; suddenly, it wasPage  90 a scene of threat, divided loyalties, and potential backlash" Literally overnight, "a resurgent imagery of Otherness and marginalization, increasingly Muslim in focus, is now the backdrop against which Arabs in Detroit are struggling to (re)define themselves as 'good citizens.'" [36] The markers of assimilation were sought and read with a new suspicion, not only by government agents, but by accepted American publics whose citizenship or loyalty to the United States was not questioned.

37-Gebert: The use of the English term "nation," which can designate both "ethnic group" and "State," is the source of much confusion in the writings on historical and political events. Its current usage is embedded in the political development of the United States, where a nation of immigrants built a non-ethnic state. This confusion is currently seen in the debate on "failed nations," in which often the correct diagnosis of some states (e.g. Somalia, Afghanistan, at a point Albania, etc.) to function as such, is followed by the ambiguous postulate of "nation-building" as a remedy. This implies not only the reconstruction—or construction—of a functioning state, but also the development of a "nation," made of one or several ethnic groups, of which that state would be the institutional expression.

This latter postulate, however, is one that most probably can never be implemented. The experience of colonialism shows that such "nation-building" (admittedly, never a primary objective of the colonialist enterprise) not only fails to meet its mark, but often is in fact counterproductive. Later non-colonialist ventures, such as trusteeship (say, Britain in Palestine) or, more recently, international community administration (e.g. Bosnia) seem to validate that conclusion, though in this last case it is arguable that it is yet too early to tell. What does seem to be possible is the reconstruction of states, through the reimposition of a state's primary attribute: the monopoly of legitimate violence. This has in fact been seen in Bosnia and Timor, and might prove true also in Kosovo. The objective here would not be the construction of democracy (though in Bosnia this goal seems well within reach), but the elimination of plural agents of violence, by enforcing a uniform system of obligations, safety and compliance. In other words, it is preferable for inhabitants to live under a predictable system of rewards and punishments rather than under one in which these dramatically vary from place to place and over time.

Needless to say, such a system almost certainly can be neither just norPage  91 fair, nor will it be permanent. Its main objective is to ensure that most people can be reasonably sure to be safe from arbitrary detention, violence or death if they abide by a relatively clear system of rules, uniform for all. By the same token, a monopoly of violence in the interest of one (usually ethnic) group alone would fail to meet the test. Once the power of warlords is abolished, a modicum of safety established, democratic development may, though by no means must, follow.

In particular, it does not seem to be useful to export the American model of "nationless nation" to countries where the state has failed, the civic bond is weak or nonexistent, and ethnic or tribal bonds are dominant. Such an attempt is usually doomed to failure, and thus may in fact compromise the very ideals on which it is based. This is not to endorse of the spurious concept of non-universality of human rights, but to admit that human rights implementation is a process, not a one-time act. Furthermore, it is feasible only in places where people can be reasonably sure their lives are not routinely under threat, and where basic solidarity exists between all or most of the inhabitants. Failed states meet neither of these criteria; rebuilding "nations" (as opposed to "states") does not help either. For the process to begin, a state needs to be able to function again. International intervention cannot be expected to achieve much more, at least in the short run.

38-Patterson: Several critics have suggested that the contemporary United States may be best understood as an empire among nations, increasingly exerting its disproportionate power through the use of force to consolidate, extend, and maintain its influence over the rest of the world. [37] United States involvement in shaping and determining the outcome of nations is very selective, however. The nation building process is now seen as one that not only leads to secularism and democracy (including cases in which the United States puts a leader in power), but the establishment of favorable trade relations and economic ties to the United States.

In his article "The Arrogant Empire," Fareed Zakaria examines the character and consequences of the United States' unique position in the world. [38] Prior to the outbreak of war in Iraq, he noted that "in its campaign against Iraq, America is virtually alone. Never will it have waged a war in such isolation. Never have so many of its allies been so firmly opposed to its policies. Never has it provoked so much public opposition, resentment and mistrust.Page  92 And all this before the first shot has been fired." He argues that the war has much larger ramifications for the United States than regional concerns: "The debate is not about Saddam anymore. It is about America and its role in the new world. To understand the present crisis, we must first grasp how the rest of the world now perceives American power." The unilateralism that now defines U.S. foreign policy has undoubtedly impacted the way that Americans are perceived and treated. But it has also had and will continue to have devastating consequences for many Afghanis, Iraqis, and Americans. Responding "on a scale that was almost unimaginable" to the September 11 attacks, the United States demanded international compliance. As Zakaria observed, "Suddenly terrorism was the world's chief priority, and every country had to reorient its foreign policy accordingly." Arguably, however, the world is now less secure and less amenable to rule by law than before the tragic events of September 11.

The Layers of Race

39-Cohen: It has been widely noted that the essential contradiction of American culture and society, of its democratic tradition, is centered on the question of race—including racially organized slavery—in the foundation of the nation. Race always has and continues to confound the meanings and powers of democratic ideas. Race is, in this sense, foundational in the American nation in ways distinct from other the narratives of construction of other nations. This essential contradiction in the foundation of America, in the foundation of the nation, finds its way into every arena of life ... it is perhaps the work of the immutable contradiction, rather than race itself, that reproduces this condition from arena to arena, era to era. It also becomes a structure that finds its locus and does its work in respect to such questions about loyalty to the nation of, or the dangers to the nation from, immigrant communities from Middle Eastern lands. The foundational nature of race (or the essential contradiction of race/racism and democracy) means on the other hand that there is no monological structure of ideas about democracy, nation, society, the United States, equality ... there is always a second reading in contention with a first.

40-Cohen: In our discussions, one of the seminar members took up the question of the intense focus on race and racism within the North American university. Does this centering of race, diversity, and multiculturalism in the university reflect the momentous shift from—to borrow Nancy Fraser'sPage  93 formulation—"redistribution to recognition". [39] Could Fraser's meditation on politics in a post-socialist age comprehend a shift in the university from a social sciences attentive to economic injustice and justice toward a social sciences consumed by questions of identity and rights? What is gained in such a shift? What is lost?

But Fraser's attention to a politics of justice is more complex than simply laying out a linear model. Fraser has argued that something critical is lost when we cannot sustain a simultaneity of attention, intellectual and political, to these two essential elements of justice, one resting in cultural recognition and one resting in economic equity. For scholars in the university debating the appropriate approaches to the study of the world, was our work shifting in important ways outside our own agency, beyond our own particular debates over priorities, relevance, inclusion, and objectivity, leaving us at a distance from an earlier focus on economic justice in the world and not quite yet comprehending a quite powerful and new politics of recognition?

41-Erazo: While the political correctness movement has made important strides in increasing awareness of subtle and not-so-subtle forms of discrimination and dominance, it also has a dark underside. This is particularly the case when ideas about rights, discrimination, and dominance are imposed on the members of very different societies without an understanding of the way in which those societies are different from our own. In my own experience working with indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon, I have seen multiple instances of American-funded development projects attempting to impose North American ideas of gender equality, often with violent or counterproductive consequences. For example, in one project sponsored and carried out by an Ecuadorian, Quito-based non-governmental organization (NGO), women were invited to participate in ceramics classes, and men were purposefully excluded from these classes. This occurred under the development rationale that if women's income increases, they use their earnings to improve the livelihood of the family (purchasing food, medicines, etc.), while when men's incomes increase, they spend it on alcohol, gambling, and other "wasteful" pursuits. The men resented the exclusion, and violently took any earnings the women obtained from selling ceramics from them. This was not a typical reaction to the earnings that women obtained from other types of market-oriented work, and thus appears to have resulted primarily from thePage  94 NGO's politics of exclusion. The hydro-powered ceramics factory, installed at great expense to the foundation supporting this NGO, now sits deserted and rusting in the humid rainforest. Had the NGO personnel looked beyond their Western notions of gender equality and practiced more humility rather than almost missionary zeal in their attempts to train only women, the small factory could have provided a source of increased earnings for both women and men.

42-Gebert: "Well, in that case I'm Jewish, too" said a disgusted Mary Robinson in Durban, looking at a pamphlet distributed at the UN Conference Against Racism by the Arab Lawyers League. The pamphlet was illustrated by a cartoon depicting a Jew with bloody claws and fangs, bearing Israeli and Nazi insignia. The topic—"Zionist apartheid and genocide in Palestine."

Never since the anti-Semitic campaign in Communist Poland in 1968 did I experience an environment as deeply anti-Semitic as in Durban in September 2001. Pamphlets, posters and leaflets distributed by Palestinians and their supporters routinely described and depicted Jews and Israelis in vicious racism terms and form, directly reminiscent of "Der Stirmer." There is no doubt in my mind that if any other group (with the possible exception of Dead White Males) were to be depicted in that fashion, those responsible would be run out of the Conference—and rightly so. But anti-Semitism was a racism that the Conference allowed to fester.

The evils Israel was being accused of were real enough, but the Jewish State was by far not the only, or most serious perpetrator. Whatever may be said of the fate of Israeli Arabs—apartheid it is not—not with fourteen Arab MPs in a 140-member Knesset. Whatever can be said of the fate of the Palestinians—ethnic cleansing it is not—not when deportees are but several hundred over the years. And it certainly is not genocide.

While the racist campaign against Jews and Israel was unacceptable, criticism of Israel was legitimate—if accompanied by a proportional criticism of those more guilty of the same evils. If the treatment of Palestinians elicits outrage, that of the Chechens should generate fury—but there was not one pro-Chechen demonstration during the whole event. If job discrimination of Arabs in Israel is to be condemned, then the legal interdiction of other faiths than Islam in Saudi Arabia should be branded, but nary a word was said about it.

Attacks on Israel and the Jews—the conflation itself a racist concept—Page  95were conducted using racist imagery and rhetoric, with the Jewish state singled out for condemnation and hatred totally out of proportion to its real or imaginary sins. This is racism. And it was racism that prevented delegates from expressing the solidarity an attacked minority now feels entitled to. In Durban the Jews were all alone.

And it was racism that made many delegations oppose almost to the end including a condemnation of the Holocaust—humanity's most massive racist crime—in the final declaration. As a partial rapporteur at the European preparatory meeting I had to lobby hard to convince Council of Europe delegates to include a condemnation of anti-Semitism. Eventually, a compromise solution was worked out: anti-Semitism would be condemned every third time racism would. The fact that during our debate synagogues had been torched in France might have helped convince the delegates.

9/11 occurred just three days after the conference ended. Though of course there is no cause-and-effect relationship, the same hatred, which pervaded the halls in Durban, motivated the al Qaeda killers.

43-Patterson: The pervasiveness of institutional racism in the United States certainly enables the practice of racial profiling and may partially explain its long and continuing life despite the unconstitutional and discriminatory foundations on which it is based. But prior to 9/11, critical mass seemed to be mounting toward a rejection of racial profiling as a legitimate means of apprehending criminals. In the academy, scholars in the social sciences and humanities had long been arguing for an understanding of race as socially constructed, and they were backed by colleagues in the natural sciences as to the biological fallacy of inherited racially-based behaviors. Several studies were conducted that uncovered institutionalized practices of racial profiling in police forces across the country. David A. Harris, of the University of Toledo College of Law authored a detailed report for the American Civil Liberties Union in June 1999 entitled, "Driving While Black: Racial Profiling On Our Nation's Highways," in which he traced the historical trajectory of the practice and argued that "racial profiling is based on the premise that most drug offenses are committed by minorities. The premise is factually untrue, but it has nonetheless become a self-fulfilling prophecy." [40] In his words, "skin color has become evidence of the propensity to commit crime, and police use this 'evidence' against minority drivers on the road all the time." AmnestyPage  96 International investigated more than ninety cases of alleged ill-treatment or excessive use of force by New York City police officers dating from the late 1980s to early 1996, and found that "more than two-thirds of the victims in the cases examined were African-American or Latino and most, though not all, of the officers involved were white. Nearly all of the victims in the cases of deaths in custody (including shootings) reviewed by Amnesty International were members of racial minorities." [41]

Vocal sectors of the U.S. public were commanding more attention as they decried the risks and injustices of racial profiling in the criminal justice and law enforcement systems. They responded with increasingly publicized outrage to the cases of police brutality that repeatedly target black males in such disproportionate numbers in the United States. Demonstrators gathered in New York to mourn and protest the death of Amadou Diallo, the twenty-two-year old immigrant from Guinea who was shot at forty-one times in front of his apartment door by police who had mistaken him for a suspect, and also Haitian immigrant Abner Louima, arrested outside a New York City nightclub and brutally beaten, assaulted, and sodomized with a toilet plunger by a group of four police officers. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, police officer Frank Gutowski made national headlines when he explained in a training lecture that Latinos, Indians, and members of other ethnic groups may be immune to pepper spray because of their diet of spicy foods. [42]

There was nothing all that new about the selective list of events described above, but the connections being made between them, particularly in the eye of the mainstream U.S. media, were forcing local and national leaders to speak out against the practice of racial profiling. In fact, in George W. Bush's February 2001 address to Congress, the president stated that he had asked Attorney General John Ashcroft "to develop specific recommendations to end racial profiling. It's wrong, and we will end it in America.'" [43] Since September 11, however federal authorities have committed themselves to this practice with new vigor. Now racial profiling is not only fully embraced by leaders in government and police spheres, but it has been put into practice with an alarming intensity. Shortly after 9/11, males of Arab descent in our own community in Ann Arbor received letters in the mail requesting they come into police stations to be interviewed for possible leads in the search for the terrorists. While the target of racial profiling in the United States has shifted to include Arabs and Muslims, blacksPage  97 and Latinos continue to be disproportionately monitored and stopped by police for unmotivated searches based on their perceived racial or ethnic identity.

One of the reasons that racial profiling has been so difficult to eradicate is that it consists of a range of practices, carried out by different types of people at various levels. Like discrimination in general, it permeates all levels of U.S. society. "Special Agent Richard Egan, head of the Boston FBI office's civil rights and public corruption units, stated that the FBI has been receiving up to 1,000 calls a day about 'suspicious activity, noting that police officers are not the only ones guilty of racial profiling. He told of people calling the FBI to report others whom they consider suspicious because of their appearance. He explained that the FBI only follows up on calls alerting them to certain types of behavior, not appearances. In the words of expert David Harris, "Racial profiling is a communicable disease. It spreads by contagion from the police on the beat, to the security at the airport, to the customer at the post office to the stranger on the street." [44]

Regardless of historical moment or targeted group, racial profiling is detrimental to us all. As Harris eloquently writes, "This vicious cycle carries with it profound personal and societal costs. It is both symptomatic and symbolic of larger problems at the intersection of race and the criminal justice system. It results in the persecution of innocent people based on their skin color. It has a corrosive effect on the legitimacy of the entire justice system. It deters people of color from cooperating with the police in criminal investigations. And in the courtroom, it causes jurors of all races and ethnicities to doubt the testimony of police officers when they serve as witnesses, making criminal cases more difficult to win." Many critics have argued that the time and resources spent sifting through huge numbers of perceived potential suspects would be better utilized in following established leads and developing informed intelligence. In the words of Angela Davis, "racial profiling isn't the best way to catch terrorists. One important lesson of the War on Drugs is that focusing on race rather than behavior causes law enforcement officials to miss a lot of criminals." [45]

In the United States, perceived racial identity affects who is watched, stopped, searched, arrested, imprisoned, and increasingly, deported. [46] In the post September-11 context, racial profiling of Arabs and Muslims has spread fear among members of these communities, and as Arab-American Jennifer Riddha wrote to the New York Times, it "has only served to marginalize thePage  98 Arab community and foster fear among its members and their neighbors. As a result, it has likely discouraged those who may have relevant information from coming forward. For the same reasons that it is wrong in ordinary criminal investigations, racial profiling is inappropriate in the government's terrorism investigation." [47] On June 2, 2003, the inspector general of the Justice Department released a highly critical report on the treatment of detainees in connection with terrorism inquiries. The report cited detainees being held without being informed why, harsh conditions of confinement, and excessively slow processing by the F.B.I. Some detainees were subjected to a "pattern of physical verbal abuse," and according to the New York Times, "detention centers routinely blocked efforts by detainees' families and lawyers to locate them." [48]

Making judgments based on race alone is inefficient and ineffective, not to mention a breach of basic civil liberties. While it may be newly permissible in the post-September 11 climate of insecurity and fear, as Benjamin Franklin said, "He who sacrifices freedom for security is neither free nor secure."

Communities of Faith

44-Cohen: Do we recognize that we are within an era in which the idea and the facility to speak about the faith of others have essentially been naturalized? While religious institutions and communities developed around a virtually entire self-referentiality, and while the frames of understanding and reproducing religious thought and practice rested largely on their internally derived diagrams, we now have access to, or are inundated by, frames of understanding that derive strongly from an externally constructed gaze.

44a-Kennedy: During the U-M symposium organized around this position paper and the commentaries on it, Donald Lopez offered a similar observation to David's, but with a more critical tone. First, he argued that the very notion of religion was itself constructed through the knowledge systems associated with modernity, which our text faithfully reproduces. The very emphasis on "faith" indicates its modern, and Western, roots, and its inadequacy as a vehicle for considering religion's historical formation. Religion has been deeply implicated in the recognition and development of other markers of distinction among peoples, in language, race, and nation, formed around European expansion, and thus is hardly a subject easily separated from larger histories, Lopez observed, to which he added the following point. FaithPage  99 is the "pivot" around which Christians tell their own story, and "belief" is the successor concept that many social scientists and comparative religionists invoke to develop its science, which in turn became the way in which non-Christians tell their own tale. It may not, however, be the best method with which to understand these religions; indeed, religion should not be explored, he argued, independently of race, language or world history itself. To do so, he suggested, is to "prolong a legacy of colonialism."

I find the way this paper weaves in and out of colonialism's embrace to be one of its most productive problems. To question the arrogance of the North American university's presumption to be a university of the world is perhaps the most familiar charge of recurrent imperialism. To raise the specter of religion's elevation in the public university would not have appeared to me, initially, as the reinstatement of that imperial presumption, but rather a means to make more explicit the hidden arrogance of a secular world power denying its religious particularity. In order to mark that distinction, we invoked a language of difference that is, itself, embedded in a modernity formed through empires. Embedded in publics as that language has become, it becomes important to consider how we might escape the tyranny of faith or belief in religion's definition, while at the same time refiguring its place in the explanation of how power and culture work across the world.

45-Cohen: There are significant asymmetries among the ways different religious communities enter the university's academic life. At the University of Michigan, one can see something of a continuum, from the situation of a well established, internally unfolding strength in Buddhist studies, to the externally supported growth of Sikh and Hindu studies as well as Jewish studies. Some of the increasing attention to religious studies as an academic field rests in the growing demand from students; some from specific developments within the disciplines: anthropology, history, literature, philosophy, and sociology. And perhaps some attention develops out of the momentary interest in Islam as a challenge to certain U.S. values and interests in the world as well as the U.S.'s design as an immigrant and multicultural society.

46-Cohen: One can ask how the present focus on Islamic fundamentalism will bring understanding of the simultaneity of the evident growth of fundamentalism within most of the world's religions.

47-Cohen: Michael M. J. Fischer and Mehdi Abedi have offered a framePage  100 of reference to the complexities of discourses on faith with reference to Iran. See their Debating Muslims:Cultural Dialogues in Postmodernity and Tradition (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990).

48-Kennedy: It is difficult to imagine a responsible university address of the world that does not now seriously extend its engagement with the worlds of Islam, not only in terms of its theologies, cultures and histories, but also their articulation with politics, society, economy, and the professions, not only within the Middle East, but across Asia, Africa, Europe and America. But this is complicated for it involves not only the study of other religions but also questioning the secular or religious assumptions that make up the university and its environment. One university's approach to this challenge was debated vigorously in the U.S. public during our workshop.

There was certainly considerable good will behind the University of North Carolina's August 2002 requirement that 3500 freshmen read Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells (Ashland, OR: White Cloud Press, 1999) before they begin their studies in Chapel Hill. The book contained 35 suras from the Qur'an elaborated with commentary by the author. The Carolina Reading Program offered this explanation for the selection of its book:

Westerners for centuries have been alternately puzzled, attracted, concerned, and curious about the great religious traditions of Islam. These feelings have been especially intense since the tragic events of September 11. Approaching the Qur'án is not a political document in any sense, and its evocation of moral "reckoning" raises questions that will be timely for college students and reflective adults under any circumstances. The Carolina Summer Reading program is especially happy to offer a book of enduring interest this year that also offers the Carolina community an appropriate introduction to the literature and culture of a profound moral and spiritual tradition that many of us now wish to learn more about. [49]

Some Christian groups found this to be unfair to their young faithful. Three students and a couple organizations filed a lawsuit arguing that this violated the separation of church and state because it required students at aPage  101 state-run university to read a religious text. The character of the religion has something to do with it, however. Joe Glover, president of the Family Policy Network, said in a USA Today editorial that UNC fails to maintain "neutrality" toward religion, as required by another Supreme Court decision, Rosenberger vs. University of Virginia. By forcing students to read a single text about Islam that leaves out any mention of other passages of the Koran in which Muslim terrorists find justification for killing non-Muslims, the university establishes a particular mind-set for its students about the nature of Islam. This constitutes religious indoctrination forbidden by the Supreme Court. [50]

Even in thoughtful defense, however, the difficulty of Islam's place in secular/Christian America is evident. Defending their choice, the university's chancellor, James Moeser, emphasized that this reading assignment was not advocating Islam any more than teaching about the Iliad advocated ancient Greek religion. [51] To treat the Qur'an/Islam as equivalent to the Iliad/Greek mythology is hardly the respect the Muslim faithful would hope. But then the faith that mobilizes the movement to keep church and state separate, in this instance at least, is one that also finds Islam's claims to peace doubtful. Although the case against Carolina is now moot, the war of words against Islam by certain Christian conservatives continues. Jerry Falwell in the CBS news program 60 minutes, broadcast on October 6, 2002, says "I think Muhammed was a terrorist.... A man of violence, a man of war". [52]

September 11 and its aftermath have certainly made the religious pluralism Diana Eck sought to elaborate [53] more important than ever, but it has also provided more challenging barriers to its cultivation than one could have previously imagined.

49-Kennedy: During our workshop, David suggested that this new attention to Islam and comparative religions in the academy may be akin to other surges of interest in particular international topics, from the relatively enduring concern for communism's threat to the shorter but intense fascination with the Japanese economic miracle and the never preeminent but relatively significant investment in understanding the AIDS crisis across the world and especially in Africa. I disagreed vehemently, but I was later surprised by the intensity of my reaction.

Having been deeply involved in the first subject, and having watched from a distance the others, I resented the comparison. To be sure, communism,Page  102 like the fundamentalist Islam described by Daniel Pipes, [54] could fuel a new national security—inflected academic project. To be sure, money could flow into university coffers to study Islam much like the Japanese and the private sector fueled the study of Japan in the 1980s. To be sure, studying AIDS or human rights might be a matter of (inter)national security and the inherent dignity of humanity, much as Islam can be figured as the object of security's study and another form of sanctity. But this seems different for several reasons.

First, the challenge of different political projects is embedded in a common modernity; the challenge of different religiosities is embedded not only in modernity but a deeper history and sensibility that potentially denies even the world as a primary reference. In this sense, the challenge of difference, or even discovering commonality, requires a depth of understanding that the contest with communism did not.

Second, while money fuels academic projects, the engagement with religious difference will be motivated additionally by a resource that is not simply understood. For example, when one considers the "resources" typically studied in the study of social movements, one looks to people, money, and power. [55] Faith, even more than loyalty to the nation, is not, I would propose, easily embedded in a resource mobilization model for understanding social movements or university projects. It's especially challenging in this case because it is not only the faith of the devout, but of their opponents, which may also shape the priorities of university engagements.

Third, the sanctity involved with the study of AIDS or human rights can be based on universalisms associated with secular assumptions and modernity's project. It can, then, be appropriated into various knowledge projects, whether in the health sciences, law schools, and the social sciences associated with them. The challenge of religiosity cannot be so easily commandeered either by modernity or its knowledge systems. This ambiguity makes this particular challenge seem particularly hard to contain with analogies.

The challenge of religiosity may indeed have the same shelf life in the American academy as other major issues in international affairs. But to the extent that it does, it will only reflect the academy's incapacity to recognize the gravity of the challenge.

50-Gebert: For the believer any event can be religious, but for the non-believer none can, and 9/11 obviously has not changed that. For the believersPage  103 9/11 repeats the fundamental challenge to belief that radical evil always poses, strengthening the faith of some and undermining or destroying that of others; non-believers can but marvel at that. And yet we know that for some, 9/11 has opened the possibility of faith.

But the perpetrators of 9/11 were, by all accounts, religious people, their motivation one of faith. This poses a different, though also not new challenge to all believers, whether of the perpetrators' religion or not: how is it possible that radical evil can be committed in the name of good? Many will take the easy way out, stating that theirs was a perversion of religion, a denial of its true message. This might be true, but this denial has been nurtured in the womb of the faith. And it would be foolish to believe this is a problem for Islam alone.

The death of the victims of 9/11 will then, or not, be a religious event, depending on the religiosity, or lack of it, of the survivors another paradox well deserving investigation. But their murder remains a religious event, because of the religious motivation invoked by the perpetrators. And since even non-believers consider religious motivation "lofty," this poses a more general quandary for believer and non-believer alike. To wit: was their act vile and base, or—as Susan Sontag had had the courage to say—in fact an act of bravery, for they had sacrificed their lives for something they believe in?

Although religions vary in their attitudes toward pursuing martyrdom: from supportive (Catholicism) to mistrustful (Judaism), they all agree that life is a gift from God, belongs to Him, and can be taken back only by Him when He so chooses. It takes great trust in the necessity of the act to return His gift at one's own discretion. And it does not help if one posits that it is in fact God who acts, by giving would-be martyrs their courage. A world in which He abolishes free will at will is one in which no consistent faith or morality is possible. There are reasons to expect He has not gladly accepted their sacrifice.

Be that as it may, the sacrifice was not of their lives alone. The perpetrators had chosen to sacrifice three thousand people at the altar of their hubris. This murder voids their self-immolation of any moral or religious meaning. Murderers who vilely strike the unsuspecting and defenseless innocent are just that—vile. Their claims to moral or religious motivation are thus rendered void.

If 9/11 were a religious event, it was that only in the sense of reminding all of us that religion is neither a private affair, nor necessarily a force for the good only.

Page  104

Notes

1. Steven Brint, The Future of the City of Intellect: The Changing American University.Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002.

2. Rise and Fall of Project Camelot. Studies in the Relationship Between Social Science and Practical Politics, ed. Irving Louis Horowitz (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1974).

3. "Nienawisc" by Wisława Szymborska, (trans. as "Hatred" by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh) in View with a Grain of Sand (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1993), 181, as well as in the more recent Poems, New and Collected: 1957-1997 (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1998), 230.

4. Washington Post Sunday, September 8, 2002, W26. To hear former poet laureate Robert Pinsky read the poem, visit <http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/poems/july-dec02/9-11_9-11.html>.

5. E.g., critiques of the "American-centric" definitions of the international and global, and the failure to place globalization in a larger historical context, appeared here at the University of Michigan see Linda Lim, "Globalizing the Intellect," and Geoff Eley, "Globalling toward Bethlehem," Journal of the International Institute, 8, 2 (2001), <http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol8no2/globmainpage.htm>.

6. Claude Lefort, "Los Derechos del Hombre y el Estado Benefactor," Vuelta12 (1987).

7. Nancy Cantor, "Thoughts on the University as a Public Good," Nancy Cantor Distinguished Lectureship on Intellectual Diversity, University of Michigan, September 25, 2002.

8. See Craig Calhoun, Critical Social Theory: Culture, History and the Challenge of Difference (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995) for an elaboration of this challenge.

9. Jürgen Habermas, The Theory of Communicative Action: Reason and Rationalization of Society and The Theory of Communicative Action: Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason, trans. Thomas McCarthy (Boston: Beacon Press, 1981, 1987).

10. See the various contributions in Habermas and the Public Sphere, ed. Craig Calhoun (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1993).

11. Jürgen Habermas, Religion and Rationality: Essays on Reason, God and Modernity, ed. Eduardo Mendieta (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002).

12. See, for example, Donald Lopez, Prisoners of Shangri-La: TibetanPage  105 Buddhism and the West (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001).

13. Unhappy Valley: Conflict in Kenya and Africa, Book One: State and Class (London: James Currey, 1992), 4. See also Berman's extended analysis of the state in Control and Crisis in Colonial Kenya: The Dialectic of Domination (London: James Currey, 1990), 1-48. The Berman-Lonsdale thesis on "the colonial state" first appeared in their article "Coping with the Contradictions: The Development of the Colonial State in Kenya," Journal of African History 20 (1979): 487-506.

14. There have been since September 11, 2001, several waves of freight and panic that followed—the Anthrax scare, the fear of chemical warfare, or of new terrorist attacks. In February 2003, while preparations go on for an attack on Iraq, there is massive sale of gas masks and duct tape on the one hand, while massive anti-war demonstrations go on around the globe, including the United States.

15. See Tzvetan Todorov, On human diversity: nationalism, racism, and exoticism in French thought (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993) and Les abus de la mámoire (Paris: Arléa, 1995).

16. Kay S. Hymowitz and Harry Stein, "Earth to Ivory Tower: Get Real!," City Journal 11, 4 (2001), <http://www.city-journal.org/html/11_4_earth_to_ivory.html>.

17. Curiously, the "about" page of the City Journal (<http://www.city-journal.org/html/about_cj.html>) opens with the following description of the publication: "City Journal is the nation's premier urban-policy magazine, 'the Bible of the new urbanism,' as London's Daily Telegraph puts it. During the Giuliani Administration, the magazine served as an idea factory as the then-mayor revivified New York City, quickly becoming, in the words of the New York Post, 'the place where Rudy gets his ideas.' The Public Interest goes further, calling City Journal 'the magazine that saved the city.'"

18. John Dewey, Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education (New York: The Free Press, 1966) 136.

19. Chronicle of Higher Education, March 14, 2003, <http://chronicle.com/weekly/v49/i27/27a01201.htm>.

20. Robert van de Weyer, Islam and the West: A New Political and Religious Order post September 11 (Kuala Lumpur: Synergy Books International, 2001)

21. See, for example, the rich and complex articles by Veena Das, PhilipPage  106 Gourevitch, and Saul Friedlander in Disturbing Remains: Memory, History, and Crisis in the Twentieth Century, ed. Michael S. Roth and Charles G. Salas (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2001). The volume, based on a conference in Hamburg in 1997, appeared 6/1/2001.

22. Joel Reese, "Is it OK to Laugh Again?," The Daily Herald, posted on September 10, 2002, <http://archives.dailyherald.com>.

23. For example, Robert Bianco, "Sincerity with Laughs Creates Uneven 'SNL'," USA Today, October 1, 2001, <http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/2001-10-01-snl.htm>; Gary Levin, "When is it OK to Laugh Again?," USA Today, September 19, 2001, <http://www.usatoday.com/life/2001-09-20-laughter.htm>; Paul Lieberman, "N.Y. Finds it can Laugh Again," Los Angeles Times, <http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-100901laugh,0,1976599.story>; Deborah Mendenhall and Mackenzie Carpenter, "God Not Only Gave Us Hearts...He Gave Us Laughter, Too," Post-Gazette, September 23, 2001, <http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010923laughter0923p5.asp>; and Patty Wooten and Ed Dunkelblau, "Tragedy, Laughter, and Survival," Nursing Spectrum: Career Fitness Online, October 22, 2001, <http://www.aath.org/art_wootdunk1.html>.

24. Malcolm Kushner, "Unleash USA's Secret Weapon: Humor," USA Today, October 4, 2001, <http://politicalhumor.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.usatoday.com/news/comment/2001%2D10%2D05%2Dopline.htm>.

25. The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS); see <http://www.nafsa.org/content/ProfessionalandEducationalResources/ImmigrationAdvisingResources/sevissmart1.pdf>.

26. This act "Bars visa for any alien from a country that is a state sponsor of international terrorism unless it has been determined that the alien does not pose a threat to the safety or national security of the United States." This has been a problem for Iranian and Iranian American students at the University of Michigan, but not only for them. "U.S. consulates are performing background security checks on students from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. While background checks will be done on all males from these countries, checks on women may also be required at thePage  107 discretion of the consular officer. Security checks are also required for students from other countries on the State Department's "watch list," including Cuba and North Korea, and for students from other countries who want to study especially sensitive fields. Indeed a consular officer may require a background check on anyone entering the United States on a student visa." John Godfrey communication, June 20, 2002.

27. Katherine Q. Seelye reports the inconsistencies, where in some cases citizens of other countries have access to legal counsel while U.S. citizens do not (see "War on Terror Makes for Odd Twists in Justice System," New York Times, June 23, 2002, A16). While this "patchwork" approach might reflect the unprecedented nature of the legal challenges, it also might reflect a strategy: when they have a compelling case, they might take the civil route. When it is not adequate, they will identify these actors as enemy combatants which do not require speedy trial, right to counsel, or other civil rights. Debate also continues about the legitimacy of keeping information about detainees secret is constitutional. Susan Sachs, "Ashcroft Petitions Justices for Secrecy in Deportations," New York Times, June 22, 2002, A9. For elaboration, see also Ronald Dworkin, "The Threat to Patriotism," in Understanding September 11, ed. Craig Calhoun, Paul Price and Ashley Timmer (New York: New Press, 2002), 274-84.

28. For example, while certain governments have been regularly able to avoid indictments for their human rights abuses, times are getting even more difficult. "A resolution, sponsored by European countries, to condemn Russia's record in Chechnya, where it had been accused of executions, torture and disappearances of civilians, was narrowly defeated. In the previous two years, Russia had been taken to task for its actions here, but ignored commission calls for an independent investigation into alleged abuses. This failure underlined a recurring question of this year's session—whether combating terrorism can excuse curbs on human rights. Russia vigorously maintained it was fighting terror in Chechnya, a breakaway republic. That view helped sing a resolution, proposed by Mexico, that antiterrorist measures conform with international humanitarian law. Mrs. Robinson had urged that he commission send a signal that 'human rights should not be sacrificed in the fight against terrorism' but the motion was withdrawn in the closing hours of the meeting on Friday. Human rights advocates criticized the move. "From Illinois in the United States toPage  108 Xinjiang in China, counterterrorist measures have placed human rights at risk," said a coalition of advocacy groups. The commissions silence on this critical issue sends a dangerous signal in the fight against terrorism: anything goes". Elizabeth Olson, "U.N. fears 'Bloc' Voters are Abetting Rights Abuses," New York Times, April 28, 2002, 13.

29. It has, of course, been an object of some debate, though not as substantial as one might imagine. For a discussion of the Jose Padilla case, see for example Bob Herbert, "Isn't Democracy Worth It?," New York Times, June 17, 2002, A21. As he writes, "I believe the government has the goods on Mr. Padilla, but for whatever reasons finds the due process route to be inconvenient. That kind of arrogance of power has no place in the U.S., where the rule of law is supposed to be something very special. Freedom comes with a heavy price tag. Ben Franklin said in 1755, 'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety'."

30. George W. Bush, "Presidential Address to the Nation: 'Today Our Nation Saw Evil,'" September 11, 2001. From 27 Days: The President Responds to September 11, 2001, comp. by iUniverse, Inc. (Lincoln, NE: Writers Club Press, 2001), 3-5.

31. George W. Bush, "The President Directs Humanitarian Aid to Afghanistan," October 4, 2001. From 27 Days: The President Responds to September 11, 2001, comp. by iUniverse, Inc. (Lincoln, NE: Writers Club Press, 2001), 167-172.

32. George W. Bush, "Presidential Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the Nation," September 20, 2001. From 27 Days: The President Responds to September 11, 2001, comp. by iUniverse, Inc. (Lincoln, NE: Writers Club Press, 2001), 89.

33. The White House, Office of the Press Secretary (Oklahoma City, OK), For Immediate Release April 23, 1995, Remarks by the President During "A Time of Healing" Prayer Service, Oklahoma State Fair Arena Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 3:32 P.M. CDT, <http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/prayer.html>.

34. For example Manuel Castells, The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business and Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

35. Andrew Shryock, "New Images of Arab Detroit: Seeing Otherness and Identity through the Lens of September 11," American Anthropologist, 104, 3 (2002): 917-22.

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36. Shryock, "New Images of Arab Detroit," 1.

37. For example, Jeff Guy's "Lessons from Imperial History" Daily Mail & Guardian 10 March 10, 2003, <http://www.mg.co.za>; Paul Schroeder, "Is the U.S. an Empire?," History News Network, February 3, 2003, <http://www.hnn.us/articles/1237.html>. "Is the U.S. an empire?" From the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential: "The concept of imperialism basically designates the existence of relatively concentrated authority and rule and is diffused over broad territorial contours. In modern times, it has more specifically come to denote a type of political system through which one state has extended its rule over other states, mostly territorially noncontiguous ones, without entirely incorporating them into a framework of common political symbols and identity. It thus refers essentially to attempts to establish formal sovereignty over subordinate political societies, but is also often equated with the exercise of any form of political control or influence by one political community over another," <http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dludden/h2060908.htm>.

38. Fareed Zakaria, "The Arrogant Empire" Newsweek, <http://www.msnbc.com/news/885222.asp?0bl=-0&cp1=1>.

39. "From Recognition to Redistribution? Dilemmas of Justice in a 'Postsocialist' Age," in Nancy Fraser, Justice Interruptus: Critical Reflections on the 'Postsocialist' Condition (New York: Routledge, 1997), 11-39.

40. As Harris argues, "According to the government's own reports, 80 percent of the country's cocaine users are white, and the 'typical cocaine user is a middle-class, white suburbanite.' But law enforcement tactics that concentrated on the inner city drug trade were very visibly filling the jails and prisons with minority drug law offenders, feeding the misperception that most drug users and dealers were black and Latino. Thus a 'drug courier profile' with unmistakable racial overtones took hold in law enforcement." See <http://archive.aclu.org/library/spotlight99.pdf>.

41. "Rights for All: Amnesty International's Campaign on the United States of America," <http://www.amnestyusa.org/rightsforall/police/nypd>.

42. Mary Ann Sorrentino, "Pepper Spray Idiocy Backfires on Police," South Coast Today, August 18, 1999, <http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily/08-99/08-18-99/c04op085.htm>.

43. See Department of Justice website: <http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2003/June/03_crt_355.htm>.

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44. David Harris, "Civil Rights and Security: The Dangers of Profiling," <http://www.digitalcity.com/boston/nabre>.

45. Angela J. Davis, "Racial Profiling Post 9/11—Still a Bad Idea," <http://www.brennancenter.org/programs/cj/racial_profiling.html>.

46. Susan Sachs, "Threats and Responses: Security; Government Ready to Fingerprint and Keep Track of Some Foreign Visitors," New York Times, September 9, 2002; Michael Moss, "False Terrorism Tips to F.B.I. Uproot the Lives of Suspects," New York Times, June 19, 2003; Eric Lichtblau, "U.S. Report Faults the Roundup of Illegal Immigrants After 9/11," New York Times, June 3, 2003.

47. Jennifer R. Riddha, letter, "Federal Racial Profiling" New York Times, June 22, 2003.

48. Reuters, "Audit Finds Big Problems in Handling of 9/11 Detentions," New York Times, June 2, 2003; Editorial, "The Abusive Detentions of Sept. 11," New York Times, June 3, 2003.

49. "Carolina Summer Reading Program," University of North Carolina, <http://www.unc.edu/srp/>. For an overview of the debate, see <http://www.religioustolerance.org/isl_unc.htm>.

50. Joe Glover, "Book fails to tell whole truth," USA Today editorial, August 8, 2002, <http://www.usatoday.com>. See also "North Carolina Students to Study Koran," Maranatha Christian News, August 27, 2002, <http://www.mcjonline.com/news/02a/20020827c.shtml>.

51. Jennifer Medina, "Colleges and High Schools to Observe 9/11," New York Times, July 28, 2002, 20.

52. Associated Press, "Falwell Calls Muhammed a Terrorist," New York Times, October 4, 2002.

53. Diana L. Eck, A New Religious America: How a "Christian Country" Has Become the World's Most Religiously Diverse Nation (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2001).

54. Daniel Pipes, Militant Islam Reaches America (New York: Norton, 2002).

55. Mayer Zald and John D. McCarthy, Social Movements in an Organizational Society (New Brunswick: Transaction, 1994).