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Old 02-17-2010   #16
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
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Hi Steve,

Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
I tend to think that some of the lockstep "intellectual Fascism" crept in during the 1960s and simply gained momentum as the products of those first years entered academia themselves and couldn't deal with anyone who disagreed with either their ideas or the golden nuggets of wisdom that they'd been handed by their professors.
The timeline up here is about the same both for that reason and, in addition, because we (Canada) got so many American academics up here. Some were/are excellent, but they established a cultural vector here that I really dislike since it got tied in with Canadian identity politics (Damn American Cultural Imperialism! ).

Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
One would expect a certain amount of "playing with ideas" in history as well, but in my (admittedly limited to 4 universities) experience I've only found that in a handful (as in two) professors. Most weren't interested in teaching even the basics of historical theory and technique until people were juniors or seniors, and by that point it was fairly useless as the students had already learned that the way to an A was to faithfully parrot anything the professor said...method or actual thinking be damned.
Yeah. My own experience with History as a discipline matches that; mostly taught to "inform" rather than for practitioners as it were. I remember getting into a discussion with a couple of history grad students who weren't even aware of the micro-historical school (Ginsberg et al.) and had been, well, the only way to say it, is epistemologically brain-washed. Scary stuff.

Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
I was always a believer in giving people at least a grounding in the basics of method and theory, so that they had the tools for those "a-ha" moments when something came together for THEM and wasn't just handed to them as done by a professor.
Agreed, although I have noticed that a number of my colleagues, get really infuriated when I do that. Not that I care, particularly, but having one prof throw me up against a wall and berate me for teaching students to think was a very "illuminating" experience .
Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
Senior Research Fellow,
The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
Carleton University
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