URGENT: Support Job Security for College Teachers
UNIVERSITY SAYS NO TO STUDENTS
MINIMUM DEMANDS
Response to article on South Asia search
i lend you my name
R-E-S-P-E-C-T

To Whom It May Concern:

Here is a detailed plan for me to continue my work as full time college teacher here at Washington University, in accord with the wishes of many students and alumni. I request reassignment in Autumn 08-09, with the rank of Senior Lecturer in Humanities and Asian and Near Eastern Cultures and Civilizations. Each semester I propose to divide my time teaching Freshmen Seminars, Text and Tradition courses, and ANECC courses, and to continue my teaching in University College, and in the Master of Liberal Arts program. I would like to be affiliated in some way with the Center for the Study of Ethics and Human Values, the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities, the Center for the Humanities, and the Center for Advanced Learning. As you may know, I have little interest in supervising PhD research, although I may be willing to serve on an occasional committee. I most enjoy Freshmen and Pre-Freshman (Summer Scholars Program) teaching, in a field perhaps best described as "Environmental Humanities" and an approach best described as "Cooperative Education," and this is reflected in the proposal. I will continue to do my best to nurture our students' curiosity and creativity, and to give them maximum choice of topics and approaches. Most summers I plan to teach only one five-week course, giving me ample time to write, travel, and relax. This is a plan for sustainable low vision teaching, for which I have prepared carefully throughout my eight years teaching here. My eyesight is poor but I am well adapted, and quite capable of doing the work I love. I have adjusted well to my recent vision loss.

This plan includes many new courses, and also many well-established "signature courses" with the Religious Studies listing removed. For some reason, RS is no longer listing my courses, and I do not care to know why, or by whom, this decision was made. Although there may be conditions under which I would return to RS, I propose to move on, beyond the intellectual and pedagogical confines of any single discipline. This plan represents not so much a change in the direction of my teaching and research, but a return to my intellectual roots in the Hutchins College of the University of Chicago. Proposed courses will complement nicely the offerings of other faculty (see cluster proposals below), and will play to my strengths. For example, my unofficial Special Major was "Civilizational Studies," my "Individualized Study" degree in the University of Chicago MA Program in the Social Sciences was in "Ideology and Utopia," and I was a student of Wilhelm Halbfass, one of the world's leading critics of post-colonial theory, although I also studied with some leading proponents of this point of view. I studied the history of social science at The University of Chicago, and I always encourage my students to read the neglected classics, and to keep an open mind about discarded paradigms.

I always favor balance in the classroom, and I am quite adept at convincingly playing devils' advocate for points of view not my own. I have an "open bibliography" approach to teaching and a unique multi-track syllabus model. I favor an "Ethics and Values" based liberal arts curriculum, to serve the needs of ALL our students, including those from culturally conservative working class backgrounds (I was such a student). My teaching work is inseparable from my work as academic, career, and personal counselor. This approach is becoming increasingly popular, as students become disillusioned with the high cost of tuition and the impersonal. career-oriented approach to higher education. Washington University must compete with Bible colleges, teaching universities such as Truman State and Evergreen College, and the liberal arts programs of The University of Chicago. I believe I can help make us competitive.

I am qualified to teach American religion, South Asian civilization, and utopian social thought, and have done so quite successfully at Washington University. The proposed courses build upon the teaching I have done here for the last eight years (twenty syllabi, cross-listed in eleven disciplines), and will fit very well into our curriculum, and the new directions Washington University is taking. My courses will balance and complement other courses in Religious Studies, South Asian Studies, International and Area Studies, and many other disciplines. I plan to become an active member of the Society for Utopian Studies, the North American Students of Cooperation, and the Society for Popular Culture, to enhance my teaching and research.

All my signature courses (my entire portfolio, sans The Hindu Traditions and Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion) will be offered by me as private tutorials, upon demand. I request temporary assignment as ANECC "Staff" in Autumn 07, so that students who take my Cervantes Free University and Learning Cooperative courses may receive credit, if they wish. I look forward to developing our educational extension initiative, in coordination with local cooperatives, neighborhood organizations, and perhaps other educational institutions. Many students are requesting more cross-enrollment between schools, and I would like to help with this.

I request continuation of my duties as Four Year Advisor to my many current Advisees. I will have a lot of time to devote to my advising duties, especially in Autumn 07, when I will be temporarily unemployed. As you know, I am quite fair and neutral when wearing my "advising hat," although in other contexts I sometimes express my opinions, as I have a right to do. When advising students, I always pass on positive word of mouth, and never repeat anything negative about a course or professor. [Note: on Thursday, June 28, when I accessed my Advisee list, I noticed that all my Four Year Advisees have been taken offline. Please restore them]

Please continue my health insurance. Please maintain my website, for the sake of continuity (although, as you know, I have two alternate sites, and several domains). Please set the default WebFAC emailer address to jhbauer@sbcglobal.net beginning July 1, 2007.

I look forward to rejoining the College faculty, with honor and respect. I look forward to rejoining the Faculty Associate program, so that I may effectively continue my work with diverse student clubs.

Thank you for your respect. Thank you for respecting the wishes of our students and alumni. As you know, I will remain here, in St Louis, teaching and waiting.

Sincerely,

Jerome Bauer

New Course and Reclassification Proposals

___________________________________

I propose a two-semester sequence, "Cooperation, Utopia, and Spirituality," including "Cooperation, Ideology, and Utopia" every Autumn, and "Cooperation, Sustainability, and Spirituality" every Spring (based upon, and replacing, Focus 2310-11, "Cooperative Living, Community Building, and Sustainability"), clustered with the Hewlett Seminar, "Community Building, Building Community," and the introductory Environmental Studies courses. I volunteer to serve as Four Year Advisor for up to twelve students enrolled in this class per year. Enrollment will be capped at fifteen, with three spaces reserved for professional school students. This two semester sequence could be reclassified, or cross-listed, as a Focus course, with new numbers and a new course description.

Teaching different versions of this course over the last four years, as a volunteer, and advising the students who are attracted to it, has been my favorite experience at Washington University. Co-developing this course with our most socially and environmentally conscious students has helped us to identify a gap in our curriculum: the spiritual dimension of environmental studies. The course evolved organically to serve this need for many of our students. Building upon this experience, we have developed two robust, coherent, and academically sound syllabi that will work well as a two-semester sequence (although the order in which students take the courses should not matter).

 

GeSt/EnvSt/AMCS/IAS 1xx, "Cooperation, Ideology, and Utopia"

[Perhaps to be clustered with "Community Building, Building Community," "Cooperation, Sustainability, and Spirituality," "Introduction to Environmental Studies: Social Science," and "Introduction to Environmental Studies: Biology"]

 

This Freshman seminar examines the history and philosophy of the cooperative movement in America and the world. Why should we cooperate? What is the difference between cooperation and submission to authority? Are people naturally competitive or cooperative? This course examines the structures of thought used to buttress the status quo, and the wish-dreams for the future, called respectively "ideologies" and "utopias" by Karl Mannheim. We will read case studies of diverse utopian experiments, successful and unsuccessful, and examine the social theory behind these experiments. Special topics include eco-villages; Gandhi's practice of satyagraha ("firmly grasping the way things ought to be"); anarchist, libertarian, socialist, communist, conservative, and neo-conservative thought; and utopian science fiction. What can we learn from the past, to build a just and sustainable future? The course is structured so that students may freely pursue topics of interest within the broader topics covered by the class. Participation in the emerging St Louis cooperative movement is strongly encouraged.

 

GeSt/EnvSt/AMCS/IAS 1xx, "Cooperation, Sustainability, and Spirituality"

[Perhaps to be clustered with "Community Building, Building Community," "Cooperation, Ideology, and Utopia," "Introduction to Environmental Studies: Social Science," and "Introduction to Environmental Studies: Biology"]

 

This seminar is for students who are concerned about the global ecological and social crisis that, according to many, has the potential to threaten the survival of humanity. The course investigates ways to create a sustainable future on our planet. We will explore different aspects of alternative and experimental ways of living and working together, from a primarily humanistic and philosophical perspective. Special topics include the Kibbutz movement, sustainable capitalism, novels of Daniel Quinn, Gandhi´s practice of satyagraha (firmly grasping the way things ought to be), creation spirituality, the sociology of knowledge, utopian literature and science fiction, and the history and culture of the cooperative movement. The course is structured so that students may freely pursue topics of interest within the broader topics covered by the class. Participation in the emerging St Louis cooperative movement is strongly encouraged.

 

___________________________________CFH/GeSt/LH 2xx, "The University of Utopia."

[Potentially clustered with "The American School" and "Comparing Cultures and Civilizations"]

 

What are the aims of education? What is the difference between a liberal education and professional training? What is the difference between college education and graduate school? What would you do if you were named Chancellor of the University of Utopia, with an unlimited budget (assuming they use money in Utopia), Utopian charisma, and carte blanche to reform education "from the top down"? What can we do to reform education "from the bottom up"? Would you grade your students? Would you charge tuition? This course examines the history and philosophy of higher education reform efforts, including the work of Robert Maynard Hutchins, Robert Redfield, Allan Bloom, Rudolf Steiner, and others. We will also examine the educational systems described in classical utopian literature, the educational practices of utopian communities and of other cultures such as classical India, and the on-line universities of the present and future. What can we learn from these dreams and examples?

 

CFH/Hum/GeS/CompLit/LH/ANECC/IAS 2xx, "Comparing Cultures and Civilizations: Text and Tradition"

[Potentially to be clustered with "The American School" and "The University of Utopia"]

[Note: This course is based to some extent on Milton B. Singer's famous and influential course, "Comparison of Cultures and Civilizations," which I took the last time it was offered]

 

Washington University has a program in "Asian and Near Eastern Cultures and Civilizations," and the word "civilization" appears in many course titles, but what does it mean? How should we define this term? Should we continue to use this highly evocative and old-fashioned word, or should we replace it with some other concept, e.g. "area" or "global culture"? Is "civilization" a singular or plural category? Is there a "clash of civilizations," and if so, how can we mitigate or prevent this? The course will examine the intellectual history of the comparative study of civilization(s) and culture(s), including the work of Alfred L. Kroeber, Robert Redfield, Milton B. Singer, Samuel S. Huntington, and the Subaltern Studies series. Is the concept of "civilization," defined as a complex and enduring social, cultural, and historical structure, with "Great" and "little" Traditions, a good way to organize an academic discipline, so as to accord equal respect to scholars and teachers in the social sciences and humanities? Or is it best discarded, along with the rest of Romantic social thought? How would you construct a syllabus for a balanced and critical course in comparative civilization?

 

CFH/Hum/GeS/CompLit/LH/ANECC/IAS 2xx, "India and Europe, Orientalism and Occidentalism: Text and Tradition"

[Potentially to be clustered with "The Hindu Traditions," "Karma and Rebirth," "Aspects of Indian Society: Myth and Reality," and "Postcolonial Theory"]

 

This course examines the historical relations between India and Europe, from antiquity to the present, especially the images and stereotypes the people of each civilization have of the other. We will read from primary sources, including Megasthenes' Indica (until a few hundred years ago Europe's main source of information about India), the anonymous Ezourvedam (a Christian Veda forged by Jesuits), and Indian mythohistorical texts (Puranas). Interpretive texts will include Edward Said's Orientalism, Wilhelm Halbfass' India and Europe, the comparative theology of Francis X. Clooney, and the work of Ronald B. Inden and Paul Hacker. Special topics will include the Indo-Roman spice trade, Theosophical influence on Western and Indian culture, the history of Indological scholarship, the Romantic movement, and post-colonial theory and its critics.

 

AMCS/ANECC/IAS 3xx: Karma and Rebirth

[Potentially to be clustered with "Anthropological Perspectives on the Fetus," "Hindu Traditions," and "India and Europe, Orientalism and Occidentalism: Text and Tradition"]

 

This course examines the related concepts of karma (action and its consequences), and rebirth (the transmigration of souls, or metempsychosis), in the religious traditions of Indian origin, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. The course also examines concepts of karma and rebirth in East Asian religions and in Euro-American new religions, and concepts of metempsychosis in ancient Greece, early Christianity, and other religious traditions. Special topics include karma and medical ethics (abortion, euthanasia, suicide, cloning, organ donation); karma and the popular culture (cinema and television, science fiction and fantasy), dohada (pregnancy craving), and the hour of death.

 

University College/IS/GS/Anthro/Hist 3xx: Hindu Medicine and Indian Food

 

One cannot understand Hinduism without understanding the basics of Hindu medical and nutritional theory. The course covers the development of South Asian medicine, nutritional theory, and foodways, from prehistory to the present, with attenton to their religious significance. Students examine elements of Indian civilization by exploring systems of belief concerning food. The relations between the cuisines of India and other world civilizations are also studied.

 

GeSt/AMCS/CompLit/LH1xx, Freshman Seminar: Science Fiction and Religion: May the Force Be With You

 

This course examines religious and spiritual themes in science fiction and fantasy. We discuss millenarian, apocalyptic, theological, and alchemical themes in works by C. S. Lewis, Walter M. Miller, Terry Pratchett, and Philip K. Dick, and in Star Wars, Star Trek, the X-Files, Harry Potter, The Matrix, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and other films and TV programs. The course introduces genres such as Christian fantasy, Hindu science fiction, magical realism, and Gothic fantasy. We also examine new religious movements, or "cults," growing out of the fan subculture. How seriously should we take popular entertainment? What happens if we take it too seriously? No prerequisites.

 

University College/GS/IA/4xx; MLA 5xx: Fundamentalisms East and West

 

Fundamentalist Christian. Islamic fundamentalist. Jewish fundamentalist. Fundamentalist Zoroastrian. Hindu fundamentalist. Fundamentalist Catholicism. Fundamentalist feminist. Fundamentalist anthropologist. Market fundamentalism. All these usages are attested. Why call someone a fundamentalist? Who call themselves fundamentalists? Should we all stop using the word? This is a course on the historical roots of religious fundamentalism, how it has changed over time, and contemporary understandings and misunderstandings of the term, from conservative Anglo-American Protestantism to the "War on Terror." Graduate and Undergraduate options; available as an MLA Seminar.

 

GeSt/Hum/ANECC/AMCS/IAS 2xx, "Yoga Traditions: Text and Tradition"

[Potentially to be clustered with "The Hindu Traditions" and "Karma and Rebirth"]

 

This course will examine the theory and practice of Yoga, in historical and cultural context, from its origins in India to contemporary America. The philosophy of classical Yoga will be introduced, in comparison with other systems of Indian philosophy, and with other systems of Yoga, including Hatha Yoga and Integral Yoga. The practice of Yoga will be compared with other techniques of meditation, such as Buddhist and Jain meditation, and the practices of Tantra, alchemy, Ayurveda, and shamanism. The course will include guest speakers and field trips.

 

CFH/Hum/GeSt/CompLit/LH/ANECC/IAS/Film 2xx, "Miracles, Marvels, and Magic: Text and Tradition"

 

According to Christian tradition, only God can perform a (supernatural) miracle, but (preternatural) marvels may be performed by angels, demons, or human magicians. The first half of the course explores the philosophical and theological implications of the supernatural / preternatural distinction for the Abrahamic traditions; also, definitions of miracle, marvel, and magic; the intellectual history of Christian miracle apologetic; alchemy, "the occult", and the hermetic tradition; miracles and marvels in the scientific revolution; "magic realism: in literature; and miracle in popular culture (fantasy and science fiction, television and cinema). We will then compare the Christian concept of "miracle" with similar concepts in the other world religions, notably the "Siddhis" of Hinduism, the "Ascaryas" of Jainism, and the "Iddhis" of Buddhism, in order to understand the cultural functions of the miraculous and marvelous, and the social uses of these ideas in the maintenance of religious and scientific orthodoxies and canons.

 

FIVE YEAR PLAN: 2007-2012

 

Autumn 07

ANECC 330: "Topics in South Asian Literature and Culture" (to provide optional academic credit for tutorial courses).

 

Spring 08

GeSt/EnvSt/AMCS/IAS 1xx, Freshman Seminar: "Cooperation, Sustainability, and Spirituality"

AMCS/ANECC/IAS/Film 3xx: "Karma and Rebirth"

CFH/GeSt/LH 2xx: "The University of Utopia"

University College/IS/GS/Anthro/Hist 3xx: "Hindu Medicine and Indian Food"

 

Summer 08

GeSt/AMCS/CompLit/LH 1xx, Freshman Seminar, Summer Scholars Seminar: "Science Fiction and Religion: May the Force Be With You"

University College/GS/IA 4xx, MLA 5xx: "Fundamentalisms East and West"

 

Autumn 08

GeSt/EnvSt/AMCS/IAS 1xx, "Cooperation, Ideology, and Utopia"

GeSt/Hum/ANECC/AMCS/IAS 2xx, "Yoga Traditions: Text and Tradition"

CFH/Hum/GeSt/CompLit/LH/ANECC/IAS 2xx, "India and Europe, Orientalism and Occidentalism: Text and Tradition"

University College/IS/GS/Anthro/Hist 3xx: "Hindu Medicine and Indian Food"

 

Spring 09

GeSt/EnvSt/AMCS/IAS 1xx, Freshman Seminar: "Cooperation, Sustainability, and Spirituality"

AMCS/ANECC/IAS/Film 3xx: "Karma and Rebirth"

CFH/Hum/GeS/CompLit/LH/ANECC/IAS 2xx, "Comparing Cultures and Civilizations: Text and Tradition"

University College/GS/CompLit: "Ethics and Literature" [potential collaboration proposed by a colleague]

 

Summer 09

GeSt/AMCS/CompLit/LH 1xx, Freshman Seminar, Summer Scholars Seminar: "Science Fiction and Religion: May the Force Be With You"

University College/GS/IA 4xx, MLA 5xx: "Fundamentalisms East and West"

 

Autumn 09

GeSt/EnvSt/AMCS/IAS 1xx, "Cooperation, Ideology, and Utopia"

GeSt/Hum/ANECC/AMCS/IAS 2xx, "Yoga Traditions: Text and Tradition"

CFH/Hum/GeSt/CompLit/LH/ANECC/IAS/Film 2xx, "Miracles, Marvels, and Magic: Text and Tradition"

University College/IS/GS/Anthro/Hist 3xx: "Hindu Medicine and Indian Food"

 

Spring 10

GeSt/EnvSt/AMCS/IAS 1xx, Freshman Seminar: "Cooperation, Sustainability, and Spirituality"

AMCS/ANECC/IAS/Film 3xx: "Karma and Rebirth"

CFH/GeSt/LH 2xx: "The University of Utopia"

University College/GS/IA 4xx, MLA 5xx: "Fundamentalisms East and West"

 

Summer 10

GeSt/AMCS/CompLit/LH 1xx, Freshman Seminar, Summer Scholars Seminar: "Science Fiction and Religion: May the Force Be With You"

 

Autumn 10

GeSt/EnvSt/AMCS/IAS 1xx, "Cooperation, Ideology, and Utopia"

GeSt/Hum/ANECC/AMCS/IAS 2xx, "Yoga Traditions: Text and Tradition"

CFH/Hum/GeSt/CompLit/LH/ANECC/IAS 2xx, "India and Europe, Orientalism and Occidentalism: Text and Tradition"

University College/IS/GS/Anthro/Hist 3xx: "Hindu Medicine and Indian Food"

 

Spring 11

GeSt/EnvSt/AMCS/IAS 1xx, Freshman Seminar: "Cooperation, Sustainability, and Spirituality"

AMCS/ANECC/IAS/Film 3xx: "Karma and Rebirth"

CFH/Hum/GeS/CompLit/LH/ANECC/IAS 2xx, "Comparing Cultures and Civilizations: Text and Tradition"

University College/GS/IA 4xx, MLA 5xx: "Fundamentalisms East and West"

 

Summer 11

GeSt/AMCS/CompLit/LH 1xx, Freshman Seminar, Summer Scholars Seminar: "Science Fiction and Religion: May the Force Be With You"

 

Autumn 11

GeSt/EnvSt/AMCS/IAS 1xx, "Cooperation, Ideology, and Utopia"

GeSt/Hum/ANECC/AMCS/IAS 2xx, "Yoga Traditions: Text and Tradition"

CFH/Hum/GeSt/CompLit/LH/ANECC/IAS/Film 2xx, "Miracles, Marvels, and Magic: Text and Tradition"

University College/IS/GS/Anthro/Hist 3xx: "Hindu Medicine and Indian Food"

 

Spring 12

GeSt/EnvSt/AMCS/IAS 1xx, Freshman Seminar: "Cooperation, Sustainability, and Spirituality"

AMCS/ANECC/IAS/Film 3xx: "Karma and Rebirth"

CFH/GeSt/LH 2xx: "The University of Utopia"

University College/GS/IA 4xx, MLA 5xx: "Fundamentalisms East and West"

 

Summer 12

GeSt/AMCS/CompLit/LH 1xx, Freshman Seminar, Summer Scholars Seminar: "Science Fiction and Religion: May the Force Be With You"

 

Autumn 12

GeSt/EnvSt/AMCS/IAS 1xx, "Cooperation, Ideology, and Utopia"

GeSt/Hum/ANECC/AMCS/IAS 2xx, "Yoga Traditions: Text and Tradition"

CFH/Hum/GeSt/CompLit/LH/ANECC/IAS 2xx, "India and Europe, Orientalism and Occidentalism: Text and Tradition"

University College/IS/GS/Anthro/Hist 3xx: "Hindu Medicine and Indian Food"