Pennsylvania State University Slavery and American University Essay
In his essay, “Slavery and the American University,” Alex Carp quotes historian Craig Stephen
Wilder: “the high point of the African slave trade also marked, not coincidentally, the period in
which higher education in the colonies expanded most rapidly,” and describes how schools like
the University of Georgia sought to hide these shameful connections to the public. At the same
time, he presents the stories of academics at Princeton, Brown, and Georgetown who work
diligently to unpack and expose these cruel histories.
Similarly, in “Why is there so much Saudi Money in American Universities, Michael Sokolove
describes the MIT media lab, which he says exists thanks largely to contributions from
businesses like Aramco, Exxon Mobil, Shell and BP, and describes how universities help to
polish the reputation of corrupt tyrants. That being said, he also describes academics like Ruth
Perry and Shireen Al-Adeimi who protest and expose the Saudi royal family’s crimes.
Therefore, both authors express ambivalence in their depiction of how universities and
professional academics interface with the problem of their schools accepting immoral money.
How do American universities expose or conceal the crimes of our economic
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