Monday, August 26, 2013

Exporting the Ivory Tower
"Is it possible to export the liberal arts to places that restrict civil liberties?"

The title, the subheading, presumes too much. Europe and the english language give us the term "liberal arts" but not the arts themselves. The problem is the cordial relations of institutions with supposedly opposed philosophies.  But all institutions, as institutions, have interests in common.
Last summer, Yale-NUS president Pericles Lewis revealed that, in accordance with Singaporean law, students would not be allowed to hold political protests or form campus organizations affiliated with current political parties in Singapore. In response, Human Rights Watch chided Yale for “betraying the spirit of the university as a center of open debate and protest by giving away the rights of its students.” Faculty expressed vehement disapproval as well. Seyla Benhabib and Christopher Miller, Yale professors who have been vocal in their opposition to Yale-NUS, penned an op-ed in the Yale Daily News pointing out that “an institution bearing Yale’s name is [now officially] in the business of restricting the rights of students.”
see previous,
and repeats

The issue is less the dynamics, politics, and culture of the countries themselves, than the hypocrisy of foreign players.

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