Monday, February 09, 2004

Awarding activism 

An advert on our announce list asks,
Do you have students who have done work that is outstanding, creative, and contributes to Women Studies activism and knowledge? If so, please nominate them for the Women's Studies Awards for Outstanding Student Work. The annual awards are given to student work that demonstrates innovative and thoughtful scholarship, creative multi-media and/or artistic pieces, or other innovative projects that deal with issues relevant to the field of Women's Studies.

We are also looking for nominations for Leadership and Activism that shows motivation and commitment to feminist causes/issues.

Our students rarely get the recognition they deserve for excelling, and these awards are one way to recognize their talent. (Emphases added)
Question: Is this the proper function of an academic department in a state university? To promote activism? The last sentence in the first paragraph could have survived just fine as Women Studies knowledge; one couldn't disagree with an award or scholarship that rewarded good scholarship or creativity. But "motivation and commitment to feminist causes/issues" merits an academic award? What am I missing here?