Blogs > Cliopatria > Thanks and Congratulations ...

Sep 10, 2004 4:55 am

Thanks and Congratulations ...

Thanks to Kevin Murphy at Columbia and Caleb McDaniel at Johns Hopkins, I've updated the list of history graduate student blogs. Caleb suggests that you may want to have a look at fellow Johns Hopkins student, Jason Kuznecki's Positive Liberty, and at UCLA student, Linus Kafka's Snoblog. Kevin vouches that four anonymous or pseudonymous blogs, Baldanders Simplicius Simplicissimus, The Naked Tree, Peasants Under Glass, and Pickle in the City, are done by Columbia graduate students in history. The Life & Times of a History Ph. D. Student is the blog of a woman who studies Modern Near Eastern and British imperial history. Jeremy Boggs, a graduate student in American history at George Mason University, blogs at Clioweb.

Congratulations are in order for my colleagues, Timothy Burke and Jonathan Dresner. Professor Burke has expanded his portfolio in geeks and games by joining the Terra Nova group blog. He will continue posting primarily at Easily Distracted. Professor Dresner has recently been appointed an Assistant Editor at History News Network. Fortunately, both Burke and Dresner will continue to blog at Cliopatria.

Congratulations also to Political Animal's Kevin Drum for his first New York Times book review. It is of Arthur Schlesinger's War and the American Presidency. Kevin is rather tough on a book which makes an argument that would be close to his own. Yes, at 87, Schlesinger is past his prime. We should all have had such a prime. The other thing to be said here is that this review is another sign that excellent blogging can open other avenues. His blog's record is Drum's sole credential for this plum assignment in book reviewing.

Finally, you may want to join in or view the Chronicle of Higher Education's live colloquy with Tariq Ramadan here. You recall that this distinguished Muslim scholar was to have begun teaching this fall at Notre Dame. His books and furnishings had already been shipped from Switzerland to South Bend, when DHS asked INS to revoke his visa. My own sense is that this is very foolish and that Ramadan should be welcomed in the United States. We have much to learn from him and our lack of hospitality only reassures the enemies of freedom that we are one of them. CHE's colloqy begins live at 2:00 p.m. EST today. Your questions are welcomed in advance here.

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Alastair Mackay - 9/10/2004

Now I see the "Humor/Satire" heading to Ahmed's entry--I missed it the first time. That said, readers can jump over there and scan the comments. If any of Ahmed's regulars posted in a spirit of "fun" rather than, indeed, taking it seriously--I missed that, too.

The essay was more like an over-the-top addendum to the Nation article you linked. Equal parts interesting biographical detail, derision, and armchair psychoanalysis.

Thanks for the pointers, and I'll return later to Muslim Wakeup!

Manan Ahmed - 9/10/2004

I didn't mean to submit the link as a definitive guide to Mr. Ajami's thinking or scholarship. The posting is in the "Humor/Satire" section so it is not meant to be taken seriously. But sometimes humor is the best response. Several interesting links are included in the comments by others (particularly the The Nation piece on Ajami.) I should have just linked THAT. Silly me.

As for Muslim WakeUp!, it is a pretty serious online journal (plus blog) that is worth your time. It represents some of the progressive Muslims. There mission statement is here.

Alastair Mackay - 9/10/2004

Sorry, I'm still klutzy about the threading, my thoughts on Dr. Ahmed's link was posted above. The bolding of the final paragraph was a formatting mistake, my bad.

Alastair Mackay - 9/10/2004

Prof. Luker,
Thanks for the link to the CHE discussion. The questions Dr. Bollag transmitted seemed to include a fairly large proprotion of "softballs," but that could be politeness, or more likely, a reflection of the questions that were submitted. The questioners who would, with follow-up, have generated an enlightening discussions of the issues at hand would probably also have generated a great deal of heat. I didn't know what the most important issues about Dr. Ramadan's visa were before reading the colloquy, and I suspect I read only one side there.

You know better than I whether Dr. Ajami "has associated himself with the cancellation of Ramadan's visa." The WSJ piece I linked was more about his background than about the facts or merits of the visa cancellation.

Dr. Ahmed,
Thanks to you, too for the link to Achmed's essay. It opens:

"In the annals of the pseudo-academy, Johns Hopkins University professor Fouad Ajami ranks high as the bigot's favorite native, always ready to provide the needed soundbites to rationalize the latest racist thinking or imperial adventure."

Wow! That's about six ad hominem attacks in a single paragraph, depending on how one counts. I don't know "Muslim WakeUp!," but such writing certainly brings to mind the glory days of the CCP's "People's Daily," or perhaps the John Birch Society newsletter. I confess that I don't have the patience to read such intemperate material except as parody.


Manan Ahmed - 9/10/2004

Muslim WakeUp! has some pointed things to say about Mr. Ajami.

Ralph E. Luker - 9/10/2004

The Chronicle of Higher Education online discussion with Tariq Ramadan can be accessed here. I am sorry to see that Fouad Ajami has associated himself with the cancellation of Ramadan's visa.

Alastair Mackay - 9/10/2004

A discussion of the ins and outs of Dr. Ramadan's invitation, visa issuance, and subsequent visa denial would seem to be inadequate without reference to the background provided by Fouad Ajami in this 9/7/04 Wall Street Journal op-ed piece.

I hope you were able to cover it in yesterday's colloquy; any chance of posting a transcript?

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