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Adi Hastings amhastin at
Sun Dec 1 15:55:42 UTC 1996

On Sat, 30 Nov 1996, Lars Martin Fosse wrote:

> It seems to me that the basic problem is that the agencies that fund
> universitities these days are less and less interested in intellectual
> matters and more and more interested in pragmatic concerns. Sinology is
> being funded because China is economically and politically important, not
> because the funders think that China is such an interesting place. In a

Actually, at least in the U.S., "pragmatic" concerns were a main reason
for the development of area studies programs--essentially products of the
cold-war. Area studies got a big boost from WW II and its aftermath, when
the U.S. government put a lot of money into funding programs teaching
about various areas of "vital national interest" (e.g., Eastern European
and Soviet studies, South Asian studies, East Asian studies, etc.), and
this included linguistic training, of course. In the academic geography of
the U.S., various "centers" stand out as being particularly important for
this-or-that areal program (for South Asia, e.g., Chicago, Berkeley, and
others). Funding, especially governmental funding, is _never_ for purely
"intellectual" concerns.

Adi Hastings
Depts. of Anthropology and Linguistics
University of Chicago

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