The comparatively sheltered world of academic anthropology is tonight still recovering from the bombshell that was dropped on it a few days ago by a leading British university.
“The University of South London’s failure to reappoint the renowned anthropologist, Prof Emma West to the Duke of Edinburgh Chair for Racism Studies will have ‘dire consequences’, not just for this institution, but for anthropology as a discipline”, warned the UK’s leading culturologician.
“By denying such an energetic thinker a platform for her ground-breaking insights into cross-cultural understanding and tolerance, South London runs the risk of losing this fiercely independent scholar to another university, or even, God help us, internet-based educational media such as U-tube.”
And, before the audience had had time to absorb this warning, there were already reports of Professor West’s ideas - many of which are seen as spiritual touchstones for a whole generation of thinkers, being made available as lectures on the internet.
“Professor West is a highly experienced researcher and has been to places that we thought were just Victorian fables”, said a junior colleague, dolefully. “For someone so young to speak so fluently of Nigaragugua – a place last mentioned two generations ago in revered documentaries such as On the Buses, leaves us speechless. It’s as if she was from the deep and forgotten past. She hadn’t even been born back then.”
Many older researchers remember the shocking day when their mantra “all the bloody same” became …
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