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By 1975, empirics had consolidated their control of Chicano Studies. Its competitors were banished. Empirics subjugated the discipline, using their presence in research institutions, especially in California, to manage the field.1 In these research institutions, empirics had secured the new discipline by resolving the early crises in Chicano studies programs, often by dismissing the “founders” and political activists who had established these programs and renegotiating the relationship between Chicanos(as) and the academy. Academic success, even survival, meant acceptance of the American academic order. Although intellectually the empirics may have differed over perspectives, methods, and political views, these individuals accepted institution building as the first step to academic autonomy, followed by an analysis of the structures of oppression. Chicano(a) empirics brokered with institutions to fortify Chicano Studies spaces within the academy and built institutional links outside of the academy. This paralleled the endeavor to mesh institutional construction with academic production. Even though students and some scholars were unhappy with the new direction of Chicano(a) scholarship and Chicano Studies, the discipline was set and had to be sustained. It was imperative to defend the new homogeneity of the discipline against the “disciples of anarchy.”2 Ironically, just as empirics began to consolidate Chicano Studies as an academic discipline, many Chicano and Chicana students accelerated their critique of their home campuses’ Chicano Studies departments and programs.3 For some, Chicano Studies on their particular campus had not satisfied their expectations. They felt that these programs had not fulfilled El Plan de Santa Bárbara. In contrast, most faculty and administrators in Chicano Studies programs deemed they had been successfully institutionalizing Chicano Studies and El Plan. They could point to the increasing number of Chicano(a) students, 4 Chicano Studies as an Academic Discipline, 1975-1982 Chicano Studies as an Academic Discipline 95 the expanded curriculum, institutional structures, grant development, and so on. Given these contradictory views, conflict blossomed among Chicanos(as) on many campuses. The historian Mario García contends, for example, that the problems at San Diego State College arose when Chicanos(as) became part of the academic institution; one encountered a “deradicalization of the radicals.” García explained: “[O]ne conclusion concerns the fact that the radicalization that initiated Chicano Studies has become deflated; Chicano Studies, in turn, now represents a bureaucratic organization laden with incompetent and opportunistic faculty members whose sense of commitment to the students and the Chicano Movement leaves much to be desired.”4 The problem, García continued, was that El Plan’s answer to governance (the formation of juntas directivas) had not worked. The juntas had failed because they could fall prey to faculty control or because faculty avoided their political responsibilities. Moreover, as political scholar Theresa Aragón de Shepro observed at the University of Washington , faculty’s ability to co-opt oppositional forces within Chicano Studies was often assisted by administration.5 The solution to the crisis, García concluded, was to foment radicalism among all sectors of the university , especially the faculty. “Chicano Studies can and will be a viable structure,” he wrote, “but first it requires a competent, politically conscious , and, yes radicalized faculty.”6 How could this occur? The answer: Organized students must be active participants in decision-making.7 Historian Juan Gómez-Quiñones provided a different take to the problems in Chicano Studies. He began by acknowledging that the future of Chicano Studies was still an open question. As proposed by El Plan, the maturation of Chicano Studies necessitated self-­ determination and self-definition on college campuses. Because Chicano Studies aimed at self-knowledge, community knowledge, and social change, all depended on Chicano self-determination since Chicano Studies situated itself in opposition to the university. This placed Chicano Studies in a certain dilemma; it had to run counter to the university’s purpose of serving dominant society, yet remain part of the university. Given this challenge, the academy endeavored to change the objective and purpose of Chicano Studies. Administrators would encourage tendencies within Chicano Studies that would lead to the loss of autonomy of Chicano Studies programs. At the same time, the presence of a domesticated Chicano Studies provided the university with the façade of being tolerant, liberal, 96 Chicano Studies and progressive. Thus Chicano Studies found itself in constant tension between its advocacy role and the institutions’ demands for acquiescence that was further accentuated by the capricious behavior of administrators.8 The apparent conflict in Chicano Studies, GómezQui ñones maintained, resulted...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780816599530
Related ISBN
9780816512751
MARC Record
OCLC
844052292
Pages
288
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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