Williams College, a prestigious private liberal arts college in Williamstown, Mass., is accepting papers from academics for “New Voices in Science and Technology Studies: A C3 Symposium,” which is scheduled for Nov 1 through 3. If you want to submit a paper, you have until September 8. But unless you’re part of a “historically underrepresented group” (aka “not white”) don’t bother.
So which groups does Williams consider “historically underrepresented”? According to College Fix, if you’re African Americans, Alaska Native, Arab American, Asian American, Latinx, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander, you’re home free. (To be totally … well, partially — fair, the application provides an equal employment opportunity statement noting that people from all backgrounds are welcome.)
Chosen scholars will receive a $500 honorarium and be hosted by Williams College as they present their papers to the audience, organizers state, adding “we aim to create an inclusive, intellectually enriching experience for all involved, including the visiting speakers and the faculty and students of Williams.”
The call for papers also says they are looking for a broad approach to Science & Technology Studies (STS) at Williams. (And, no, that doesn’t mean “broad” as in “female,” though women are certainly welcome.) Rather, the organizers are looking for “papers from any disciplinary location — including but not limited to programs in STS or History of Science — so long as they offer new and significant insights into the imbrication of science and technology with society.” Clearly, not all new and significant insights are welcome.
College Fix reached out to the chairwoman of Science and Technology Studies, Laura Ephraim, who is the point of contact for the event. She has ignored repeated phone calls and emails. Others acting as though they have take Omertà include Williams’s media affairs office and several faculty members in Science and Technology Studies.
For all its emphasis on non-white participation in the symposium, the student body at Williams is predominantly white (54%), which I take as an indication that the university will gladly accept tuition payments from Caucasians for tuition but won’t countenance their Science and Technology ideas.
See if you can make sense out of any of this. It’s making my white brain hurt.
Cross posted at The Lid