August 20, 2004

One Quick Thought

In the area of things that I find outrageous is this portion of a job announcement I found from the University of Toronto for a classics professor:

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community. The University especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

I am particularly bothered by, inter alia, the implicit assumption that, ipso facto, a member of a minority group will necessarily "contribute to the further diversification of ideas" (like how I threw all that Latin in there?) just because of their minority status. I am also troubled by the assumption that "further diversification of ideas" is something that should be an end in and of itself, that is to the extent I even understand it. In any event, who is this "other" of whom they speak?

I have no great love or respect for diversity "studies" or "scholarship" (dig the scare quotes).

Here endeth the rant. Please continue with your normal activities while I sit here and mumble to myself.

Posted by Random Penseur at August 20, 2004 05:09 PM

I like how the University specifies "visible minority group members." I can imagine the interview where the Chair of the department has to tell an African-Canadian applicant that he is not black enough, or a transgenderd applicant to try again after a few more months of hormone therapy.

The rest of the job announcement:

Candidates that are members of more than one of the above categories are strongly encouraged to apply, irrespective of past scholarship in the field of Classics. Amputees with strong accents are particluarly prized.

Posted by: David at August 20, 2004 05:46 PM

Not "visibly" black enough was my thought. I liked how you finished the announcement!

Posted by: RP at August 20, 2004 05:59 PM

yes - this is too much.

nice latin.

Posted by: kbear at August 20, 2004 11:36 PM

I'm bothered by the need they found to express their desire for "visible minority group members." As if the understood assumption would naturally be that they are undesired. In fact, I find the announcement somewhat offensive, considering the points that you and David have already been made.

Posted by: Mick at August 21, 2004 10:38 AM

As a non-visible and fully assimilated minority I find that job posting offensive. Actually it's reverse racism! It's obvious that they themselves need a little diversification in their thinking and experience. As a former adjunct prof. at a public university, some of my anglo collegues were more than qualified to contribute to the discussion of literary diaspora.

A specific skin color, limp, or sexual experience DOES NOT make one more qualified or better able to diversify an environment! This just pissed me the hell off!

Posted by: Michele at August 22, 2004 11:23 PM

Michele, I could not have put it better myself.

Posted by: RP at August 23, 2004 09:03 AM

Minority report:
As a member of several of the minority groups mentioned I respectfully disagree. As a former classics student, my perspective on certain pieces of ancient lit be it Latin or Greek was different from the rest of my classmates. Call it what you want to, being respectful of different opinions is one of the strenghts of this country which I hope will survive this period of labeling dissent as "unpatriotic."
You had to read majority and minority reports to graduate from law school, I would hope that your firm would encourage diversity in its hiring practices. Nothing like being a Southerner in a NY Yankee law firm!

Posted by: Azalea at August 23, 2004 07:07 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?