Monday, October 19, 2009

The Economics of Black Studies, Pt. 1

How much funding goes toward African American educational and intellectual projects--projects that occur beyond conventional classroom spaces? How much should universities provide Black Studies programs? What steps should the programs take to secure more funding, and how do we optimize the support we already receive?

Mike Sell's Triple Front essay reminds us to consider the importance of addressing the three interrelated components of culture, politics, and economics. In many respects, we have always done a better job of discussing the culture and politics of Black Studies than its economics. Yet funding and the lack of funding have been vital to the rise and fall of programs, respectively.

And of course, to have a really serious conversation about the economics of black studies, we would need to move beyond only issues of funding and consider a broader set of concerns, including how black studies is produced, distributed, consumed, and valued and how programs struggle to develop a place and status on university campuses.

At the moment, I'm trying to collect more information on what we should be thinking about right here, right now concerning the economics of Black Studies. If you have suggestions or contributions, do drop me a line or leave a comment.

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