I appreciate reader comments regarding my “Duke faculty duties” letter to Professor Karla Holloway, a signatory of the Duke faculty “Group of 88’s” “listening” statement advertisement and a member of the Campus Cultural Initiative committee.
A few readers said Holloway very likely will not respond. I hope she does, but I know she may not. In fact, she may not even read the letter. She could hit “delete” after the first few words.
I hope she doesn’t and instead responds. But even if she doesn’t respond, writing and publishing the letter has been useful.
In theory everyone at Duke can read the letter and the comment thread; and some certainly will.
They can then judge the letter and comments against remarks attributed to Holloway in a recent Chronicle article [excerpt]:
Holloway wrote in an e-mail that misreadings of the advertisement have attracted the most attention.The letter and readers’ comments constitute a civil and on-point rejoinder to what Holloway told The Chronicle. They’ll leave sensible people wondering if perhaps Holloway hasn’t gotten other similarly civil and on-point comments.
"It was extraordinarily telling that these respondents displaced the actual content of the ad for the fiction of their own meagerly articulated agendas," she wrote.
She added that she would sign the petition again "in a heartbeat."
Both [Professor] Kaplan and Holloway said they have received hate mail from strangers.
"The often vicious, frequently racist and generally poorly composed responses I have received speak for themselves," Holloway said.
"Those who cower under the cover of anonymous e-mail and who find their life's blood in producing unending streams of blogged nonsense are probably better left to these subaltern spaces," she added.
People who want to find out whether Holloway responds can check with her or at JinC from time to time in the next few weeks.
If Holloway doesn’t respond, people can make their own judgments as to why not. And they’ll have a better basis on which to judge what Holloway told The Chronicle than just Holloway’s statements.
The letter also gave me another opportunity to raise the matter of the University's silence regarding the racist attacks on Reade Seligmann on May 18. I plan to raise that matter as often as I can.
I’ve left replies to reader comments on the duties post.