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A Hot New Hire!

Cornell's highly regarded English department will soon add a new scholar to its ranks: Grant Farred, a Duke literature professor who gained some prominence during the lacrosse scandal last year.

So reports KC Johnson, a professor at Brooklyn College and the most visible blogger covering the case (and the coverage of the case):

Cornell’s loss is Duke’s gain. This is, after all, the same Grant Farred who spent most of the 2006-2007 academic year leveling public assaults against the integrity of Duke students.

In a September 2006 Duke forum, he asserted -- without providing any evidence -- that the lacrosse players had “a tendency toward misogyny and arrogant sexual prowess.”

Farred didn't confine his attacks to just the lacrosse players. [He linked] the hundreds of Duke students who registered to vote with the legacy of “privilege, oppression, slavery, racism, utter contempt for black and native bodies” for the sole offense of wishing to defeat Mike Nifong at the polls. (That is the same Mike Nifong, of course, who the DHC would find guilty on 27 of 32 counts of ethical violations, leading to his disbarment.)

Farred (who in this picture bears an unmistakable resemblance to Dr. Evil ... just saying) will begin his joint appointment with the English department and the Africana Studies and Research Center this fall.

Another recent controversial figure attracted by the Africana Center was former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, who has just dropped a libel lawsuit against the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Still, a comment to Johnson's post points out that "Farred is not an identity studies appointment. Though he might be hired in part to increase the percentage of black faculty, he is being appointed by the department of English. They wouldn’t appoint him unless a majority of professors in that department wanted him."

What about Farred's scholarly work? Will he prove a valuable addition to Cornell's lit roster?


Andy Guess | Posted on August 16, 2007 (#)

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