Simple arithmetic foils dumb report!
Via Inside Higher Ed, we learned yesterday that the National Association of “Scholars” has issued a report on the alleged dominance of race, class, and gender in American history survey classes at both the University of Texas at Austin and at Texas A&M University. Its analysis, called “Recasting History: Are Race, Class, and Gender Dominating American History?,” claims that vitally important topics in political, intellectual, and military history (for example) are being ignored because of professors’ insistence on elevating “RCG” topics above all others:
We found that all too often the course readings gave strong emphasis to race, class, or gender (RCG) social history, an emphasis so strong that it diminished the attention given to other subjects in American history (such as military, diplomatic, religious, intellectual history). The result is that these institutions frequently offered students a less-than-comprehensive picture of U.S. history, 5.
The report’s methodology, such as it is, is a laughably incomplete review of just course syllabi and web pages to determine faculty research interests in “RCG” topics, as the NAS calls it: “[W]e divided course readings and faculty interests into 11 broad content categories well established in the discipline,” 10. So, how do the course reading assignments in UT and TAMU American history courses break down? Here are their numbers, found on p. 16 in the report. I’ve taken the numbers from a chart and arranged the above topics in descending order in their appearance in course readings on syllabi: Continue Reading »