THE INTELLECTUAL IMPERIALISM OF U.S. HIGHER EDUCATION
Ward Churchill, Since Predator Came: Notes from the Struggle for American Indian Liberation (Littleton, Colorado: Aigis Publications, 1995), ch. 9, pp. 245-64.
|Education should be
adapted to the mentality, attitudes, occupation, and
traditions of various peoples, conserving as far as
possible all the sound and healthy elements in the fabric
of their social life.
--David Abernathy, The Dilemma of Popular Education
Since schooling was brought to non-Europeans as a part of empire . . . it was integrated into the effort to bring indigenous peoples into imperial/colonial structures. . . After all, did not the European teacher and the school built on the European capitalist model transmit European values and norms and begin to transform traditional societies into "modern" ones?
--Martin Carnoy, Education as Cultural Imperialism
|Over the past decade, the
nature and adequacy of educational content have been
matters for increasingly vociferous debate among everyone
from academics to policymakers to lay preachers in the
United States. The American educational system as a whole
has been amply demonstrated to be locked firmly into a
paradigm of Eurocentrism, not only in terms of its focus,
but also in its discernible heritage, methodologies, and
conceptual structure. Among people of non-European
cultural derivation, the kind of "learning"
inculcated through such a model is broadly seen as
insulting, degrading, and functionally subordinative.
More and more, these themes have found echoes among the
more enlightened and progressive sectors of the dominant
Euroamerican society itself.
Such sentiments are born of an ever-widening cognition that, within any multicultural setting, this sort of monolithic pedagogical reliance upon a single cultural tradition constitutes a rather transparent form of intellectual domination, achievable only within the context of parallel forms of domination. This is meant in precisely the sense intended by David Landes when he observed, "It seems to me that one has to look at imperialism as a multifarious response to a common opportunity that consists simply as a disparity of power." In this connection, it is often pointed out that, while education in America has existed for some time, by law as a "common opportunity," its shape has all along been defined exclusively via the "disparity of power" exercised by members of the ruling Euroamerican elite.
Responses to this circumstance have, to date, concentrated primarily upon what might be best described as a "contributionist" approach to remedy. This is to say, they seek to bring about the inclusion of non-Europeans and/or non-European achievements in canonical subject matters, while leaving the methodological and conceptual parameters of the canon itself essentially intact. The present essay represents an attempt to go a bit further, sketching out to some degree the preliminary requisites for challenging methods and concepts as well. It should be noted before proceeding that while my own grounding in American Indian Studies leads me to anchor my various alternatives in that particular perspective, the principles postulated should prove readily adaptable to other "minority" venues.
As currently established, the university system in the United States offers little more than the presentation of "White Studies" to students, "general population," and minority alike. The curriculum is virtually totalizing in its emphasis, not simply upon an imagined superiority of Western endeavors and accomplishments, but also upon the notion that the currents of European thinking comprise the only really "natural" -- or at least truly useful -- formation of knowledge/means of perceiving reality. In the vast bulk of curriculum content, Europe is not only the subject (in its conceptual mode, the very process of "learning to think"), but the object (subject matter) of investigation as well.
Consider a typical introductory level philosophy course. Students will in all probability explore the works of the ancient Greek philosophers, the fundamentals of Cartesian logic and Spinoza, stop off for a visit with Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, and John Locke, cover a chapter or two of Kant's aesthetics, dabble a bit in Hegelian dialectics, and review Nietzsche's assorted rantings. A good leftist professor may add a dash of Marx's famous "inversion" of Hegel and, on a good day, his commentaries on the frailties of Feuerbach. In an exemplary class, things will end up in the 20th century with discussions of Schopenhauer, Heidegger and Husserl, Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead, perhaps an "adventurous" summarization of the existentialism of Sartre and Camus.
Advanced undergraduate courses typically delve into the same topics, with additive instruction in matters such as "Late Medieval Philosophy," "Monism," "Rousseau and Revolution," "The Morality of John Stuart Mill," "Einstein and the Generations of Science," "The Phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty," "Popper's Philosophy of Science," "Benjamin, Adorno and the Frankfurt School," "Meaning and Marcuse," "Structuralism/Post-Structuralism," even "The Critical Theory of Jurgen Habermas." Graduate work usually consists of effecting a coherent synthesis of some combination of these elements.
Thus, from first-semester surveys through the Ph.D., philosophy majors -- and non-majors fulfilling elective requirements, for that matter -- are fed a consistent stream of data defining and presumably reproducing Western thought at its highest level of refinement, as well as inculcating insight into what is packaged as its historical evolution and line(s) of probable future development. Note that this is construed, for all practical intents and purposes, as being representative of philosophy in toto rather than of western European thought per se.
It seems reasonable to pose the question as to what consideration is typically accorded the non-European remainder of the human species in such a format. The answer is often that coursework does in fact exist, most usually in the form of upper-division undergraduate "broadening" curriculum: surveys of "Oriental philosophy" are not unpopular, "The Philosophy of Black Africa" exists as a catalogue entry at a number of institutions, even Native American Philosophical Traditions" (more casually titled "Black Elk Speaks," from time to time) makes its appearance here and there. But nothing remotely approaching the depth and comprehensiveness with which Western thought is treated can be located in any quarter.
Clearly, the student who graduates, at whatever level, from a philosophy program constructed in this fashion -- and all of them are -- walks away with a concentrated knowledge of the European intellectual schema rather than any genuine appreciation of the philosophical attainments of humanity. Yet, equally clearly, a degree in "philosophy" implies, or at least should imply, the latter.
Nor is the phenomenon in any way restricted to the study of philosophy. One may search the catalogues of every college and university in the country, and undoubtedly the search will be in vain, for the department of history which accords the elaborate oral/pictorial "prehistories" of American Indians anything approximating the weight given to the semiliterate efforts at self-justification scrawled by early European colonists in this hemisphere. Even the rich codigraphic records of cultures like the Mayas, Incas, and Mexicanos (Aztecs) are uniformly ignored by the "historical mainstream." Such matters are more properly the purview of anthropology than of history, or so it is said by those representing "responsible" scholarship in the United States.
As a result, most intro courses on "American History" still begin for all practical intents and purposes in 1492, with only the most perfunctory acknowledgement that people existed in the Americas in precolumbian times. Predictably, any consideration accorded to precolumbian times typically revolves around anthropological rather than historical preoccupations, such as the point at which people were supposed to have first migrated across the Beringian Land Bridge to populate the hemisphere, or whether native horticulturalists ever managed to discover fertilizer. Another major classroom topic centers in the extent to which cannibalism may have prevailed among the proliferation of "nomadic Stone Age tribes" presumed to have wandered about America's endless reaches, perpetually hunting and gathering their way to the margin of raw subsistence. Then again, there are the countless expositions on how few indigenous people there really were in North America prior to 1500, and why genocide is an "inappropriate" term by which to explain why there were almost none by 1900.
From there, many things begin to fall into place. Nowhere in modern American academe will one find the math course acknowledging, along with the importance of Archimedes and Pythagoras, the truly marvelous qualities of precolumbian mathematics: that which allowed the Mayas to invent the concept of zero, for example, and, absent computers, to work with multidigit prime numbers. Nor is there mention of the Mexicano mathematics which allowed that culture to develop a calendrical system several decimal places more accurate than that commonly used today. And again, the rich mathematical understandings which went into Mesoamerica's development of what may well have been the world's most advanced system of astronomy are typically ignored by mainstream mathematicians and astronomers alike.
Similarly, departments of architecture and engineering do not teach that the Incas invented the suspension bridge, or that their 2,500-mile Royal Road -- paved, leveled, graded, guttered, and complete with rest areas -- was perhaps the world's first genuine superhighway, or that portions of it are still used for motorized transport in Peru. No mention is made of the passive solar temperature control characteristics carefully designed by the Anasazi into the apartment complexes of their cities at Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, and elsewhere. Nor are students drawn to examine the incorporation of thermal mass into Mandan and Hidatsa construction techniques, the vast north Sonoran irrigation systems built by the Hohokam, or the implications of the fact that, at the time of Cortez's arrival, Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) accommodated a population of 350,000, a number making it one of the largest cities on earth, at least five times the size of London or Seville.
In political science, readers are invited -- no, defied -- to locate the course acknowledging, as John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and others among the U.S. "founding fathers" did, that the form of the American Republic and the framing of its constitution were heavily influenced by the preexisting model of the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy of present-day New York, Quebec and Ontario). Nor is mention made of the influence exerted by the workings of the "Iroquois League" in shaping the thinking of theorists such as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Even less discussion can be found on the comparably sophisticated political systems conceived and established by other indigenous peoples - the Creek Confederation, for example, or the Cherokees or Yaquis -- long before the first European invader ever set foot on American soil.
Where agriculture or the botanical sciences are concerned, one will not find the conventional department which wishes to "make anything special" of the fact that fully two-thirds of the vegetal foodstuffs now commonly consumed by all of humanity were under cultivation in the Americas, and nowhere else, in 1492. Also unmentioned is the hybridization by Incan scientists of more than 3,000 varieties of potato, or the vast herbal cornucopia discovered and deployed by native pharmacologists long before that. In biology, pre-med, and medicine, nothing is said of the American Indian invention of surgical tubing and the syringe, or the fact that the Incas were successfully practicing brain surgery at a time when European physicians were still seeking to cure their patients by applying leeches to "draw off bad blood."
To the contrary, from matters of governance, where the Greek and Roman democracies are habitually cited as being sole antecedents of "the American experiment," to agriculture, with its "lrish" potatoes, "Swiss" chocolate, "Italian" tomatoes, "French" vanilla, and "English" walnuts, the accomplishments of American Indian cultures are quite simply expropriated and recast in the curriculum as if they had been European in origin. Concomitantly, the native traditions which produced such things are themselves deculturated and negated, consigned to the status of being "people without history."
Such grotesque distortion is, of course, fed to indigenous students right along with Euroamericans, and by supposedly radical professors as readily as by more conservative ones. Moreover, as was noted above, essentially the same set of circumstances prevails with regard to the traditions and attainments of all non-Western cultures. Over-all, the situation virtually demands to be viewed from a perspective best articulated by Albert Memmi: "In order for the colonizer to be a complete master, it is not enough for him to be so in actual fact, but he must also believe in [the colonial system's] legitimacy. In order for that legitimacy to be complete, it is not enough for the colonized to be a slave; he must also accept his role. The bond between colonizer and colonized is thus destructive and creative. It destroys and recreates the two partners in colonization into colonizer and colonized. One is disfigured into an oppressor, a partial, unpatriotic and treacherous being, worrying only about his privileges and their defense; the other into an oppressed creature, whose development is broken and who compromises by his defeat."
In effect, the intellectual sophistry which goes into arguing the "radical" and "conservative" content options available within the prevailing monocultural paradigm, a paradigm which predictably corresponds to the culture of the colonizer, amounts to little more than a diversionary mechanism through which power relations are reinforced, the status quo maintained. The monolithic White Studies configuration of U.S. higher education - a content heading which, unlike American Indian, African American, Asian American and Chicano Studies, has yet to find its way into a single college or university catalogue -- thus serves to underpin the hegemony of white supremacism in its other, more literal manifestations: economic, political, military, and so on.
Those of non-European background are integral to such a system. While consciousness of their own heritages is obliterated through falsehood and omission, they are indoctrinated to believe that legitimacy itself is something derived from European tradition, a tradition which can never be truly shared by non-Westerners, despite -- or perhaps because of -- their assimilation into Eurocentrism's doctrinal value structure. By and large, the "educated" American Indian or Black thereby becomes the aspect of "broken development" who "compromises [through the] defeat" of his or her people, aspiring only to serve the interests of the order he or she has been trained to see as his or her "natural" master.
As Frantz Fanon and others have observed long-since, such psychological jujitsu can never be directly admitted, much less articulated, by its principal victims. Instead, they are compelled by illusions of sanity to deny their circumstance and the process which induced it. Their condition sublimated, they function as colonialism's covert hedge against the necessity of perpetual engagement in more overt and costly sorts of repression against its colonial subjects. Put another way, the purpose of White Studies in this connection is to trick the colonized into materially supporting her/his colonization through the mechanisms of his/her own thought processes.
There can be no reasonable or "value neutral" explanation for this situation. Those, regardless of race or ethnicity, who endeavor to apologize for or defend its prevalence in institutions of higher education on "scholarly" grounds do so without a shred of honesty or academic integrity. Rather, whatever their intentions, they define themselves as accepting of the colonial order. In Memmi's terms, they accept the role of colonizer, which means "agreeing to be a . . . usurper. To be sure, a usurper claims his place and, if need be, will defend it with every means at his disposal. . . He endeavors to falsify history, he rewrites laws, he would extinguish memories -- anything to succeed in transforming his usurpation into legitimacy." They are, to borrow and slightly modify a term, "intellectual imperialists."
From the preceding observations as to what White Studies is, the extraordinary pervasiveness and corresponding secrecy of its practice, and the reasons underlying its existence, certain questions necessarily arise. For instance, the query might be posed as to whether a simple expansion of curriculum content to include material on non-Western contexts might be sufficient to redress matters. It follows that we should ask whether something beyond data or content is fundamentally at issue. Finally, there are structural considerations concerning how any genuinely corrective and liberatory curriculum or pedagogy might actually be inducted into academia. The first two questions dovetail rather nicely, and will be addressed in a single response. The third will be dealt with in the following section.
In response to the first question, the answer must be an unequivocal "no." Content is, of course, highly important, but, in and of itself, can never be sufficient to offset the cumulative effects of White Studies indoctrination. Non-Western content injected into the White Studies format can be -- and, historically, has been -- filtered through the lens of Eurocentric conceptualization, taking on meanings entirely alien to itself along the way. The result is inevitably the reinforcement rather then the diminishment of colonialist hegemony. As Vine Deloria, Jr., has noted relative to just one aspect of this process:
"Therein lies the meaning of the white's fantasy about Indians -- the problem of the Indian image. Underneath all the conflicting images of the Indian one fundamental truth emerges -- the white man knows that he is an alien and he knows that North America is Indian -- and he will never let go of the Indian image because he thinks that by some clever manipulation he can achieve an authenticity that cannot ever be his."
Plainly, more is needed than the simple introduction of raw data for handling within the parameters of Eurocentric acceptability. The conceptual mode of intellectuality itself must be called into question. Perhaps a bit of "pictographic" communication will prove helpful in clarifying what is meant in this respect. The following schematic represents the manner in which two areas of inquiry, science and religion (spirituality), have been approached in the European tradition.
In this model, "knowledge" is divided into discrete content areas arranged in a linear structure. This division is permanent and culturally enforced; witness the Spanish Inquisition and "Scopes Monkey Trial" as but two historical illustrations. In the cases of science and religion (as theology), the mutual opposition of their core assumptions has given rise to a third category, speculative philosophy which is informed by both, and, in turn, informs them. Speculative philosophy, in this sense at least, serves to mediate and sometimes synthesize the linearly isolated components, science and religion, allowing them to communicate and "progress." Speculative philosophy is not, in itself, intended to apprehend reality but rather to create an abstract reality in its place. Both religion and science, on the other hand, are, each according to its own internal dynamics, meant to effect a concrete understanding of and action upon "the real world."
Such compartmentalization of knowledge is replicated in the departmentalization of the Eurocentric education itself. Sociology, theology, psychology, physiology, kinesiology, biology, cartography, anthropology, archaeology, geology, pharmacology, astronomy agronomy, historiography geography demography -- the whole vast proliferation of Western "ologies,""onomies," and "ographies" -- are necessarily viewed as separate or at least separable areas of inquiry within the university. Indeed, the Western social structure both echoes and is echoed by the same sort of linear fragmentation, dividing itself into discrete organizational spheres: church, state, business, family, education, art, and so forth. The structure involved readily lends itself to -- perhaps demands -- the sort of hierarchical ordering of things, both intellectually and physically, which is most clearly manifested in racism, militarism and colonial domination, class and gender oppression, and the systematic ravaging of the natural world.
The obvious problems involved are greatly amplified when our schematic of the Eurocentric intellectual paradigm is contrasted to one of non-Western, in this case Native American, origin.
Within such a conceptual model, there is really no tangible delineation of compartmentalized "spheres of knowledge." All components or categories of intellectuality (b Eurocentric definition) tend to be mutually and perpetually informing. All tend to constantly concretize the human experience of reality (nature) while all are simultaneously and continuously informed by that reality. This is the "Hoop" or "Wheel" or "Circle" of Life -- an organic rather than synthesizing or synthetic view, holding that all things are equally and indispensably interrelated- which forms the core of the native world view. Here, reality is not something "above" the human mind or being, but an integral aspect of the living/knowing process itself. The mode through which native thought devolves is thus inherently anti-hierarchical, incapable of manifesting the extreme forms of domination so pervasively evident in Eurocentric tradition.
The crux of the White Studies problem, then, cannot be located amidst the mere omission or distortion of matters of fact, no matter how blatantly ignorant or culturally chauvinistic these omissions and distortions may be. Far more importantly, the system of Eurosupremacist domination depends for its continued maintenance and expansion, even its survival, upon the reproduction of its own intellectual paradigm -- its approved way of thinking, seeing, understanding, and being -- to the ultimate exclusion of all others. Consequently, White Studies simply cannot admit to the existence of viable conceptual structures other than its own.
To introduce the facts of pre-colonial American Indian civilizations into the curriculum is to open the door to confronting the utterly different ways of knowing which caused such facts to be actualized in the first place. It is thoroughly appreciated in ruling circles that any widespread and genuine understanding of such alternatives to the intrinsic oppressiveness of Eurocentrism could well unleash a liberatory dynamic among the oppressed resulting in the evaporation of Eurosupremacist hegemony and a corresponding collapse of the entire structure of domination and elite privilege which attends it. The academic "battle lines" have therefore been drawn, not so much across the tactical terrain of fact and data as along the strategic high ground of Western versus non-Western conceptualization. It follows that if the latter is what proponents of the White Studies status quo find it most imperative to bar from academic inclusion, then it is precisely that area upon which those committed to liberatory education must place our greatest emphasis.
Given the scope and depth of the formal problem outlined in the preceding section, the question of the means through which to address it takes on a crucial importance. If the objective in grappling with White Studies is to bring about conceptual -- as opposed to merely contentual -- inclusion of non-Western traditions in academia, then appropriate and effective methods must be employed. As was noted earlier, resort to inappropriate "remedies" leads only to cooptation and a reinforcement of White Studies as the prevailing educational norm.
One such false direction has concerned attempts to establish, essentially from scratch, whole new educational institutions, even systems, while leaving the institutional structure of the status quo very much intact. Although sometimes evidencing a strong showing at the outset, these perpetually underfunded, understaffed, and unaccredited, "community-based" -- often actually separatist -- schools have almost universally ended up drifting and floundering before going out of existence altogether. Alternately, more than a few have abandoned their original reason for being, accommodating themselves to the "standards" and other requirements of the mainstream system as an expedient for survival. Either way, the outcome has been a considerable bolstering of the carefully nurtured public impression that "the system works" while alternatives don't.
A variation on this theme has been to establish separatist centers or programs, even whole departments, within existing colleges and universities. While this approach has alleviated to some extent (though not entirely) difficulties in securing funding, faculty, and accreditation, it has accomplished little if anything in terms of altering the delivery of White Studies instruction in the broader institutional context. Instead, intentionally self-contained "Ethnic Studies" efforts have ended tip "ghettoized " -- that is, marginalized to the point of isolation and left talking only to themselves and the few majors they are able to attract -- bitter, frustrated, and stalemated. Worse, they serve to reinforce the perception, so desired by the status quo, that White Studies is valid and important while non-Western subject matters are invalid and irrelevant.
To effect the sort of transformation of institutional realities envisioned in this essay, it is necessary not to seek to create parallel structures as such, but instead to penetrate and subvert the existing structures themselves, both pedagogically and canonically. The strategy is one which was once described quite aptly by Rudi Dutschke, the German activist/theorist, as amounting to a "long march through the institutions." In this view, Ethnic Studies entities, rather than constituting ends in themselves, serve as "enclaves" or "staging areas" from which forays into the mainstream arena can be launched with ever increasing frequency and vitality, and to which non-Western academic guerrillas can withdraw when needed to rest and regroup among themselves.
As with any campaign of guerrilla warfare, however metaphorical, it is important to concentrate initially upon the opponent's point(s) of greatest vulnerability. Here, three prospects for action come immediately to mind, the basis for each of which already exists within most university settings in a form readily lending itself to utilization in undermining the rigid curricular compartmentalization and pedagogical constraints inherent in White Studies institutions. The key is to recognize and seize such tools, and then to apply them properly.
1) While tenure-track faculty must almost invariably be "credentialed" -- i.e., hold the Ph.D. in a Western discipline, have a few publications in the "right" journals, etc. -- to be hired into the academy, the same isn't necessarily true for guest professors, lecturers, and the like. Every effort can and should be expended by the regular faculty -- "cadre," if you will -- of Ethnic Studies units to bring in guest instructors lacking in Western academic pedigree (the more conspicuously, the better), but who are in some way exemplary of non-Western intellectual traditions (especially oral forms). The initial purpose is to enhance cadre articulations with practical demonstrations of intellectual alternatives by consistently exposing students to "the real thing." Goals further on down the line should include incorporation of such individuals directly into the core faculty, and, eventually challenging the current notion of academic credentialing in its entirety.
2) There has been a good deal of interest over the past 20 years in what has come to be loosely termed "Interdisciplinary Studies." Insofar as there is a mainstream correspondent to the way in which American Indians and other non-Westerners conceive of and relate to the world, this is it. Ethnic Studies practitioners would do well to push hard in the Interdisciplinary Studies arena, expanding it whenever and wherever possible at the direct expense of customary Western disciplinary boundaries. The object, of course, is to steep students in the knowledge that nothing can be understood other than in its relationship to everything else; that economics, for example, can never really make sense if arbitrarily divorced from history, politics, sociology, and geography. Eventually, the goal should be to dissolve the orthodox parameters of disciplines altogether, replacing them with something more akin to "areas of interest, inclination, and emphasis."
3) For a variety of reasons, virtually all colleges and universities award tenure to certain faculty members in more than one discipline or department. Ethnic Studies cadres should insist that this be the case with them. Restricting their tenure and rostering exclusively to Ethnic Studies is not only a certain recipe for leaving them in a "last hired, first fired" situation during times of budget exigency, it is a standard institutional maneuver to preserve the sanctity of White Studies instruction elsewhere on campus. The fact is that an Ethnic Studies professor teaching American Indian or African American history is just as much an historian as a specialist in 19th-century British history; the Indian and the Black should therefore be rostered to and tenured in history, as well as in Ethnic Studies. This "foot in the door" is important, not only in terms of cadre longevity and the institutional dignity such appointments signify vis-a-vis Ethnic Studies, but it offers important advantages by way of allowing cadres to reach a greater breadth of students, participate in departmental policy formation and hiring decisions, claim additional resources, and so forth. On balance, success in this area can only enhance efforts in the two above.
The objective is to begin to develop a critical mass, first in given spheres of campuses where opportunities present themselves -- later throughout the academy as a whole -- which is eventually capable of discrediting and supplanting the hegemony of White Studies. In this, the process can be accelerated, perhaps greatly, by identifying and allying with sectors of the professorate with whom a genuine affinity and commonality of interests may be said to exist at some level. These might include those from the environmental sciences who have achieved, or begun to achieve, a degree of serious ecological understanding. It might include occasional mavericks from other fields, various applied anthropologists, for instance, and certain of the better and more engaged literary and artistic deconstructionists, as well as the anarchists like Murray Bookchin who pop up more or less randomly in a number of disciplines.
By and large, however, it may well be that the largest reservoir of potential allies will be found among the relatively many faculty who profess to consider themselves, "philosophically" at least, to be marxian in their orientation. This is not said because marxists tend habitually to see themselves as being in opposition to the existing order (fascists express the same view of themselves, after all, and for equally valid reasons). Nor is it because, where it has succeeded in overthrowing capitalism, marxism has amassed an especially sterling record where indigenous peoples are concerned. In fact, it has been argued with some cogency that, in the latter connection, marxist practice has proven even more virulently Eurocentric than has capitalism in many cases.
Nonetheless, one is drawn to conclude that there may still be a basis for constructive alliance, given Marx's positing of dialectics -- a truly nonlinear and relational mode of analysis and understanding -- as his central methodology. That he himself consistently violated his professed method, and that subsequent generations of his adherents have proven themselves increasingly unable to distinguish between dialectics and such strictly linear propositions as cause/effect progressions, does not inherently invalidate the whole of his project or its premises. If some significant proportion of today's self-proclaimed marxian intelligentsia can be convinced to actually learn and apply dialectical method, it stands to reason that they will finally think their way into a posture not unlike that elaborated herein (that they will in the process have transcended what has come be known as "marxism" is another story).
This essay presents only the barest glimpse of its subject matter. It is plainly, its author hopes, not intended to be anything approximating an exhaustive or definitive exposition of its topics. To the contrary, it is meant only to act as, paraphrasing Marcuse, the Archimedean point upon which false consciousness may be breached en route to "a more comprehensive emancipation." By this, we mean not only a generalized change in perspective which leads to the abolition of Eurocentrism's legacy of colonialist, racist, sexist, and classist domination, but the replacement of White Studies' Eurosupremacism with an educational context in which we can all, jointly and with true parity, "seek to expand our knowledge of the world" in full realization that,
"The signposts point to a reconciliation of the two approaches to experience. Western science must reintegrate human emotions and intuitions into its interpretation of phenomena; [non-Western] peoples must confront . . . the effects [Western] technology. . . [We must] come to an integrated conception of how our species came to be, what it has accomplished, and where it can expect to go in the millennia ahead. . . [Then we will come to] understand as these traditionally opposing views seek a unity that the world of historical experience is far more mysterious and eventful than previously expected. . . Our next immediate task is the unification of human knowledge."
There is, to be sure, much work to be done, both practically and cerebrally. The struggle will be long and difficult, frustrating many times to the point of sheer exasperation. It will require stamina and perseverance, a preparedness to incur risk, often a willingness to absorb the consequences of revolt, whether overt or covert. Many will be required to give up or forego aspects of a comfort zone academic existence, both mentally and materially. But the pay-off may be found in freedom of the intellect, the pursuit of knowledge in a manner more proximate to truth, unfettered by the threats and constraints of narrow vested interest and imperial ideology. The reward, in effect, is participation in the process of human liberation, including our own. One can only assume that this is worth the fight.
 For an overview of the evolution of the current conflict, see Shor, Ira, Culture Wars: School and Society in the Conservative Restoration, 1969-1984 (Boston, MA: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986); for reactionary analysis, see Kimball, Roger, Tenured Radicals: How Politics has Corrupted Our Higher Education (New York: Harper & Row, 1990).
 Landes, David S., "The Nature of Economic Imperialism," Journal of Economic History 21 (December 1961), as quoted in The Age Imperialism, Harry Magdoff (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1969), p.13.
 One solid summary of the contributionist trend will be found in Duster, Troy, The Diversity Project: Final Report (Berkeley: University of California Institute for Social Change, 1991); for complaints, see Alter, Robert, "The Revolt Against Tradition," Partisan Review, vol.58, no.2 (1991).
 A good case can he made that there is a great disjuncture between the Greek philosophers and the philosophies later arising in western Europe; see Bernal, Martin, Black Athena: The Afro-Asiatic Roots of Ancient Greece, Vol. 1 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987).
 Marxian academics make another appearance here, insofar as they do tend to teach courses, or parts of courses, based in the thinking of non-Europeans. It should be noted, however, that those selected for exposition -- Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Vo Nguyen Giap, Kim II Sung, et al. -- are uniformly those who have most thoroughly assimilated Western doctrines in displacement of their own intellectual traditions.
 Probably the most stunning example of this I've ever encountered came when Will Durant casually attributed the thought of the East Indian philosopher Shankara to a "pre-plagiarism" (!!!) of Kant: "To Shankara the existence of God is no problem, for he defines God as existence, and identifies all real being with God. But the existence of a personal God, creator or redeemer, there may, he thinks, be some question; such a deity, says this pre-plagiarist of Kant, cannot be proved by reason, he can only be postulated as a practical necessity"; Durant, Will, The History of Civilization, Vol. 1: Our Oriental Heritage (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1954), p. 549. It should be remarked that Durant was not a reactionary of the stripe conventionally associated with white supremacism, but rather an intellectual of the marxian progressive variety. Yet, in this single book on the philosophical tradition of Asia, he makes no less than 10 references to -- Kant, all of them implying that the earlier philosophers of the East acted "precisely as if they were Immanual Kant" (p.538), never that Kant might have predicated his own subsequent philosophical articulations in a reading of Asian texts. The point is raised to demonstrate the all but unbelievable lengths even the more dissident Western scholars have been prepared to go in reinforcing the mythos of Eurocentrism, and thus how such reinforcement transcends ideological divisions within the Eurocentric paradigm.
 It should be noted, however, that the recent emergence of an "Afrocentric" philosophy and pedagogy, natural counterbalances to the persistence of Eurocentric orthodoxy, has met with fierce condemnation by defenders of the status quo; see Nicholson, David, "Afrocentrism and the Tribalization of America," Washington Post National Weekly Edition (October 8-14, 1990).
 A big question, frequently mentioned, is whether American Indians ever acquired the epistemological sensibilities necessary for their thought to be correctly understood as having amounted to "philosophical inquiry." Given that epistemology simply means "investigation of the limits of human comprehension," one can only wonder what the gatekeepers of philosophy departments make of the American Indian conception, prevalent in myriad traditions, of there being a "Great Mystery" into which the human mind is incapable of penetrating; see, e.g., Neihardt, John G. (ed.) Black Elk Speaks (New York: William Morrow Publisher, 1932), and Walker, J. R., Lakota Belief and Ritual (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1980). For an unconsciously comparable Western articulation, see Noam Chomsky's discussions of accessible and inaccessible knowledge in the chapters entitled "A Philosophy of Language?" and "Empiricism and Rationalism," in Language and Responsibility: An Interview by Mitsou Renat (New York: Pantheon Books, 1977).
 As illustration, see Washburn, Wilcomb E., "Distinguishing History for Moral Philosophy and Public Advocacy," in The American Indian and the Problem of History, ed. Calvin Martin (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp.91-97.
 For a solid critique of the Beringia Theory, see Goodman, Jeffrey, American Genesis: The American Indian and the Origins of Modern Man (New York: Summit Books, 1981); also see Ericson, Jonathan E., R. E. Taylor, and Rainier Berger, ed., The Peopling of the New World (Los Altos, CA: Ballena Press, 1982).
 An excellent analysis of this standard description of indigenous American realities may be found in Weatherford, Jack, Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World (New York: Crown, 1988). On cannibalism specifically. see Arens, W., The Man-Eating Myth: Anthropology and Anthropophagy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979).
 The manipulation of data undertaken by succeeding generations of Euroamerican historians and anthropologists in arriving at the official 20th century falsehood that there were "not more than one million Indians living north of the Rio Grande in 1492, including Greenland" is laid out very clearly by Jennings, Francis, The Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism and the Cant of Conquest (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975). For a far more honest estimate, deriving from the evidence rather than ideological preoccupations, see Dobyns, Henry F., Their Number Become Thinned: Native American Population Dynamics in Eastern North America (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1983); also see Thornton, Russell, American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987). Dobyns places the actual number as high as 18.5 million; Thornton, more conservative, places it at 12.5 million.
 During a keynote presentation at the annual meeting of the American History Association in 1992, James Axtell, one of the emergent "deans" of the field, actually argued that genocide was an "inaccurate and highly polemical descriptor" for what had happened. His reasoning? That he could find only five instances in the history of colonial North America in which genocides "indisputably" occurred. Leaving aside the obvious -- that this in itself makes genocide an appropriate term by which to describe the obliteration of American lndians -- a vastly more accurate chronicle of the process of extermination will be found in Stannard, David E., American Holocaust: Columbus and the Conquest of the New World (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).
 Morely, Syvanus G., and George W. Bainerd, The Ancient Maya (Standford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1983); Carmack, Robert M., Quichean Civilization (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973).
 Mexicano astronomy is discussed in Duran, D., Book of Gods and Rites and the Ancient Calendar (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1971); also see Radin, Paul, The Sources and Authenticity of the History of Ancient Mexico (Berkeley: University of California Publications in American Archeology and Ethnology, vol.17, no.1, 1920).
 Lister, Robert H. and Florence C., Chaco Canyon: Archaeology and Archaeologists (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1981); also see Mays, Buddy, Ancient Cities of the Southwest (San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 1962).
 Nabokov, Peter, and Robert Easton, American Indian Architecture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988); the "submerged" building principles developed by the Mandan and Hidatsa, ideal for the plains environment but long disparaged by the Euroamericans who displaced them, are now considered the "cutting edge" in some architectural circles. The Indians, of course, are not credited with having perfected such techniques more than a thousand years ago.
 Haury, Emil W., The Hohokam: Desert Farmers and Craftsmen (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1976), pp. 120~51; the City of Phoenix and its suburbs still use portions of the several thousand miles of extraordinarily well-engineered Hohokam canals, constructed nearly a thousand years ago, to move their own water supplies around.
 Cortez was effusive in his descriptions of Tenochtitlan as being in terms of its design and architecture, "the most beautiful city on earth"; Diaz del Castillo, Bernal, The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico, 1519-1810 (London: George Routledge & Sons, 1928), p.268. On the size of Tenochtitlan, see Zantwijk, Rudolf A. M., The Aztec Arrangement: The Social History of Pre-Spanish Mexico (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1985), p.281; on the size of London in 1500, Stone, Lawrence, The Family, Sex and Marriage in England, 1500-1800 (New York: Harper & Row, 1977). p.147; for Seville, Elliott, J. H., Imperial Spain, 1469-1716 (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1964), p.177.
 Between December 1880 and March 1881, Marx read anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan's 1871 book, Ancient Society, based in large part on his, 1851 classic, The League of the Hau-de-no-sau-nee or Iroquois. Marx took at least 98 pages of dense notes during the reading, and, after his death, his collaborator, Friedrich Engels, expanded these into a short book entitled, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State: In Light of the Researches of Henry Lewis Morgan. The latter, minus its subtitle, appears in Marx and Engels: Selected Works (New York: International Publishers, 1968).
 Crosby, Alfred W., Jr., The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1972); Bryant, Carol A., Anita Courtney, Barbara A. Markesbery, and Kathleen M. DeWalt, The Cultural Feast (St. Paul, MN: West, 1985).
 Wissler, Clark, Wilton M. Krogman, and Walter Krickerberg, Medicine Among the American Indians (Ramona, CA: Acoma Press, 1939); Taylor, Norman, Plant Drugs that Changed the World (New York: Dodd, Meade, 1965).
 Vogel, Virgil, American Indian Medicine (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1970); Guzman, Peredo, Medical Practices in Ancient America (Mexico City: Ediciones Euroamericana, 1985). On contemporaneous European medical practices, see McNeill, William H., Plagues and Peoples (Garden City. NJ: Anchor/Doubleday, 1976).
 For good efforts at debunking such nonsense, see Arciniegas, German, America in Europe: A History of the New World in Reverse (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986), and Brandon, William, New Worlds for Old: Reports from the New World and their Effects on Social Thought in Europe, 1500-1800 (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1986).
 This is nothing new, or unique to the treatment of American Indians. Indeed, the West has comported itself in similar fashion vis-a-vis all non-Westerners since at least as early as the inception of "Europe"; see Wolf, Philippe, The Awakening of Europe: the Growth of European Culture from the Ninth Century to the Twelfth (London: Cox & Wyman, 1968).
 For surveys of the effects, see Thompson, Thomas, ed., The Schooling of Native America (Washington, DC: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, 1978); Young, James R., ed., Multicultural Education and the American Indian (Los Angeles, CA: UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 1979), and Heath, Charlotte, arid Susan Guyette, Issue for the Future of American Indian Studies (Los Angeles, CA: UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 1985).
 Consider, e.g., the "Sixteen Thesis" advanced by the non-marxist intellectual Alvin Gouldner as alternatives through which to transform the educational status quo. It will be noted that the result, if Gouldner's pedagogical plan were implemented, would be tucked as neatly into the paradigm of Eurocentrism as the status quo itself. See Gouldner, Alvin W., The Future of Intellectuals and the Rise of the New Class (New York: Seabury Press, 1979). For marxian views falling in the same category, see Norton, Theodore Mills, and Bertell Ollman, ed., Studies in Socialist Pedagogy (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1978).
 The procedure corresponds well in some ways with the kind of technique described by Herbert Marcuse as being applicable to broader social contexts in his essay "Repressive Tolerance," in A Critique of Pure Tolerance, Robert Paul Wolff, Barrington Moore, Jr., Herbert Marcuse (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1969).
 The theme is handled well in Deloria, Vine, Jr., "Education and Imperialism," Integrateducation, vol. XIX, nos. 1-2 (January 1982). For structural analysis, see Arrighi, Giovanni, The Geometry of Imperialism (London: Verso, 1978).
 Probably the classic example of this, albeit in a somewhat different dimension, was the Gurkas, who forged a legendary reputation fighting on behalf of their British colonizers, usually against other colonized peoples; see McCrory, Patrick, The Fierce Pawns (Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippencott, 1966).
 See, e.g., Bloom, Allan, The Closing of the American Mind (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988); D'Sousa, Dinesh, Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus (New York: Free Press, 1991); Schlesinger, Arthur, Jr., The Disuniting of America (New York: W.W. Norton, 1992).
 Carnoy, Martin, Education as Cultural Imperialism (New York: David McKay, 1974); also see Whitt, Laurie Anne, "Cultural Imperialism and the Marketing of Native America," forthcoming in Historical Reflections (1995).
 A fascinating analysis of how this works, distorting the perspectives of perpetrator and victim alike, may be found in Blackburn, Richard James, The Vampire of Reason: An Essay in the Philosophy of History (London: Verso Press, 1990).
 Deloria, Vine, Jr., "Forward: American Fantasy," in The Pretend Indians: Images of Native Americans in the Movies, ed. Gretchen M. Bataille and Charles L. P. Silet (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1980), p. xvi.
 On the Inquisition, see Perry, Mary Elizabeth, and Anne J. Cruz, ed., Cultural Encounters: The Impact of the Inquisition in Spain and the New World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991). On the context of the Scopes Trial, see Gould, Stephan Jay, The Mismeasure of Man (New York: W.W. Norton, 1981)
 For an interesting analysis of many of these cause/effect relations, see Mander, Jerry, In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of Indian Nations (San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books, 1991) [ check out a review]. Also see McNeill, William H., The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force and Society Since AD 1000 (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1982).
 A Westerner's solid apprehension of this point may be found in Diamond, Stanley, In Search of the Primitive: A Critique Of Civilization (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1974); also see Thomas, Keith, Man and the Natural World: A History of Modern Sensibility (New York: Pantheon Books, 1983).
 The matter has been explored tangentially, from a number of angles. Some of the best, for purposes of this essay, include Asad, Talal, ed., Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter (New York: Humanities Press, 1973); Berkhofer, Robert, The White Man's Indian: Images of the American Indian from Columbus to the Present (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978); Todorov, Tzvetan, The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other (New York: Harper & Row, 1984); and Young, Robert, White Mythologies: Writing History and the West (London: Routledge, 1990).
 More broadly the thrust of this negation has always pertained in the interactions between European/Euroamerican colonists and native cultures; see Drinnon, Richard, Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian Hating and Empire Building (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1980).
 Aside from the paradigmatic shift, culturally-speaking, imbedded in this observation, it shares much with the insights into the function of higher education achieved by New Left theorists during the 1960s; see Davidson, Carl, The New Student Radicals in the Multiversity and Other Writings on Student Syndicalism (Chicago, IL: Charles Kerr, 1990).
 The salient example is the system of "survival schools" started by AIM during the mid-'70's, only two of which still exist in any form; see Braudy, Susan, "We Will Remember Survival School: The Women and Children of the American Indian Movement," Ms. Magazine, no. 5 (July 1976).
 For a case study of one initially separatist effort turned accommodationist, see Duchene, Maryls, "A Profile of American Indian Community Colleges"; more broadly, see Wilkenson, Gerald, "Educational Problems in the Indian Community: A Comment on Learning as Colonialism"; both essays will be found in Integrateducation, vol. XIX, nos.1-2 (January-April 1982).
 Further elaboration of this theme will be found in Churchill, Ward, "White Studies or Isolation: An Alternative Model for American Indian Studies Programs," in American Indian Issues in Higher Education, ed. James R. Young (Los Angeles, CA: UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 1981).
 For an excellent and succinct examination of the implications of this point, see Herget, Jurgen, And Sadly Teach: Teacher Education and Professionalization in American Culture (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991).
 Again, one can turn to Freire for development of the themes; see his Education for Critical Consciousness (New York: Continuum Books, 1982). For the results of a practical -- and very successful -- application of these principles in the United States, see TRIBES 1989: Final Report and Evaluation (Boulder: University of Colorado University Learning Center, August 1989).
 For overall analysis, see Deloria, Vine, Jr., "Indian Studies -- The Orphan of Academia," Wicazo Sa Review, vol. II, no.2 (1986); also see Barriero, Jose, "The Dilemma of American Indian Education," Indian Studies Quarterly, vol. 1 no. 1 (l984).
 As examples, Bill Devall and George Sessions; see their Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered (Salt Lake City, UT: Perigrine Smith Books, 1985). Also see Gorz, Andre, Ecology as Politics (Boston, MA: South End Press, 1981).
 Bookchin, Murray, The Ecology of Freedom (Palo Alto, CA: Cheshire Books, 1982); also see Chase, Steve, ed., Defending the Earth: A Dialogue Between Murray Bookchin and Dave Foreman (Boston, MA: South End Press, 1991).
 Stern, Fritz, The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Study in the Rise of Germanic Ideology (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1961); also see Reich, Wilhelm, The Mass Psychology of Fascism (New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1970).
 Churchill, Ward, and Elisabeth R. Lloyd, Culture versus Economism: Essays on Marxism in the Multicultural Arena (Denver: University of Colorado Center for the Study of Indigenous Law and Politics, 1990).