Thursday, October 07, 2010

Robert Jensen, Ph.D.: The Real Deal

I was reminded again this morning of Robert Jensen, a (full) professor in the UofTexa Journalism School, whose work I have always admired. I have been aware of Jensen for around 20 years. We became acquainted (he wouldn't remember) at a Journalism academic conference in New Orleans in about 1991 or '92, when he was finishing his doctoral work.

In the wake of 9/11, he was one of those of the professoriate who showed enormous courage in pointing to the (unpopular) equivalency of that tragedy with the murders the US carried out i9n even just his own lifetime. Via Wiki :"Jensen drew widespread attention for an opinion piece he wrote for the Houston Chronicle on September 14, 2001, shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks.[8][9]

In the piece, Jensen wrote that the September 11th terrorist attacks were "reprehensible and indefensible" but "no more despicable than the massive acts of terrorism -- the deliberate killing of civilians for political purposes -- that the U.S. government has committed during my lifetime." [10]

Jensen's piece drew both praise and criticism. Some individuals demanded that The University of Texas fire Jensen. In response, University of Texas President Larry Faulkner wrote in a letter to the editor published in the Houston Chronicle that he was "disgusted by Jensen's article" and called Jensen "a fountain of undiluted foolishness on issues of public policy." [11]

I have assembled here a couple of videos and links to a handful of papers and presentations which I believe fairly represent why I am a Jensen partisan. (He's also married to singer Eliza Gilkyson, an older, somewhat closer acquaintance.)

Both of these are longish--around an hour. The first vid is Jensen on home turf, addressing a pro-seminar in qualitative research.

Robert Jensen, PhD from A.J. Avila on Vimeo.

I've posted this before, but being relatively recent, I believe it emblematic of his evolved stance.

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