Hundreds of scholars protest Harvard’s decision to deny tenure to Latinx studies professor
Boston Globe, 9 December 2019:
More than 200 academics from across the United States and other countries denounced Harvard University’s decision to deny tenure to a professor of Latinx Studies, in a letter sent to the university’s president on Monday.
Harvard’s decision on Lorgia García Peña [2018-19 MIT MLK Visiting Professor]— who teaches Latinx literatures and cultures, as well as colonialism and diaspora — demonstrates that the university “is ill-equipped to evaluate the depth, breadth, and import of these fields of scholarship from one of its most brilliant and nationally-recognized practitioners,” wrote the authors of the letter, addressed to Harvard President Lawrence Bacow.
The writers — many of whom work in related fields, such as Latin American Studies, Ethnic Studies, and African American and Black Studies — included well-known scholars such as author bell hooks, professor of polical science Juliet Hooker, and filmmaker Frances Negrón-Muntaner.
“As scholars committed to the advancement of knowledge, the pursuit of intellectual equity, and the demands of public justice, we find this decision shocking both in its failure to properly evaluate the stellar merits of Dr. García Peña’s scholarship, but also in its refusal to recognize the invaluable contributions of this type of work to the larger academic community,” they wrote.