Tuesday, February 11, 2014

National Call to Reinstate Temple University's Dr. Anthony Monteiro and Dr. Muhammad Ahmed (Max Stanford)

We are not clear why Dr. Muhammad Ahmed (Max Stanford) is not part of the national call since both brothers are in the same situation. We just departed Philly and talked with Muhammad who showed us his termination letter. So please add Muhammad Ahmed to this conversation. --Marvin X

bcd60eb298aa070b762e420911165cdf_LPRESS CONFERENCE – National Call to Reinstate Temple University’s Dr. Anthony Monteiro

Feb 12, 2014. 11:00 a.m. At 1199c Union Hall, 1319 Locust Street (btw Broad & 13th)

Associate Professor of African American Studies, Dr. Anthony Monteiro, Ph.D., a  long-time advocate for Mumia Abu-Jamal, distinguished W. E. B. Du Bois scholar and community activist, has been dismissed from his position in Temple University’s African-American Studies Department. It is clearly a case of a “retaliation firing,” even though Temple administrators deem it simply “end of term” for Dr. Monteiro. For one report on the firing see this story at The Philadelphia Tribune.

 The National Call, below, contests the dismissal, protests the retaliatory firing and seeks Dr. Monteiro’s reinstatement.

If you are an educator and wish to sign this Call, send your name to  johanna.fernandez@baruch.cuny.edu AND mark.taylor@ptsem.edu, subject heading: “Signature Monteiro.”  Please give your name as you would like it listed and your institutional affiliation (which will be shown for identification purposes only).


 A National Call for the Reinstatement of

 Temple University’s Dr. Anthony Monteiro

WE UNITE with Philadelphia faculty members, labor, community and student organizations to call for the immediate reinstatement of Professor Anthony Monteiro as Associate Professor in African-American Studies. After Dr. Monteiro’s 10 years of distinguished service in Temple University’s historic Department, the first to offer a doctorate in African-American Studies, he has been informed that his contract will not be renewed, in a letter of Jan 6, 2014 from Dean Teresa Soufas of Temple’s Liberal Arts College. No reason was given for dismissal of so highly respected a scholar, particularly for his Du Bois scholarship, but also in African American Studies, generally.

WE DENOUNCE AND DEPLORE this apparent violation of Dr. Monteiro’s academic freedom and this disparagement of his dignity as scholar and person. In the absence of any reasons for Dr. Monteiro’s dismissal, this refusal to renew his contract must be labeled a “retaliation firing” based on the following indicators:

  • Retaliatory and threatening moves against faculty by administrators have recent precedent at Temple, especially from this Dean. Professor Monteiro’s dismissal came after he helped spearhead public campaigns that challenged the Dean’s attempt to strip the faculty of autonomy in administering of its department. In particular, Dr. Monteiro helped defend public efforts to secure African American scholars to Chair the African American Studies department, in spite of the Dean’s objection to the department’s own proposed candidates.

  • Scholar, Lewis Gordon, previous holder of Temple’s distinguished Laura Carnell Professorship, resigned protesting racist practices and “a series of retaliatory actions” that he and other Black and Jewish staff experienced from this Dean and other administrators. He recounted these at his website and in Temple’s own Faculty Herald publication.

  • Gordon, who had also served on Temple’s Great Teachers Award Committee, resigned along with his wife, an award-winning scholar and teacher in political science, also reports along with others, that, on at least two occasions the Dean ordered surveillance of Black and/or Jewish faculty in their classes and on campus, and also called the police to campus when another professor mentioned Dean Soufas’ ongoing attacks against black male faculty.

  • Not only was no reason given for Dr. Monteiro’s dismissal, administrators also appear to hold contempt for Dr. Monteiro’s work on community issues of mass incarceration, public education, and police corruption. Following two major events organized by Dr. Monteiro on political prisoners, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Russell Maroon Shoatz, which drew large participation from the local Black community, Temple began to prohibit Dr. Monteiro from reserving campus rooms. As a result, he has been prohibited from continuing to host important gatherings on campus, like his long-standing Free Saturday School for students and community, entitled “Philosophy and Black Liberation. This policy now prohibits his  organizing the W.E.B. Du Bois lectures and symposia, for which he has become known in scholarly circles. This essentially targets Monteiro’s academic freedom as well as his interaction with the community as a scholar, which in fact is called for by African American Studies’ own Mission Statement.  Dean Soufas has said publicly to the Department, “I do not see a Black Community.”

  • Graduate students in the African-American Studies Department have organized with Black Philadelphia groups to protest what they view as a series of attacks on the Department, reporting hostility and a climate of threat designed to intimidate them.

  • At a Department meeting before Dr. Asante had become Chair of African American Studies, the Dean pointed her finger, disparagingly, in Dr. Asante’s face. On at least two other occasions she threatened Dr. Asante with dismissal from his faculty post.

WE RECOGNIZE, CELEBRATE AND WILL NOT SEE DEMEANED DR. MONTEIRO’S SCHOLARSHIP AND SERVICE, in the light of which his recent firing can only appear as an act of flagrant racism and repression of academic freedom. Dr. Monteiro’s eminent record includes:

  • A distinguished publication recordfeaturing over 100 published articles and essays in varied journals. He is among the most frequently cited in his department, not only in African-American and Du Bois Studies, but also in political science, history, urban education, race and feminist studies, to name a few. Already, Monteiro has produced five articles on Nelson Mandela and Amiri Baraka, just since their recent deaths.

  • Ten years of exemplary and creative professional achievements at Temple since 2003serving as Associate Professor without tenure, after having left a tenured position at another institution for a promise of tenure at Temple. He was one key architect of the Center for the Study of Race and Social Thought at Temple, becoming its Associate Director in 2005. Although supporting Dr. Asante’s appointment as Department Chair, Professor Monteiro, along with others, was himself also nominated for that role. Further, he has served on five dissertation committees, and chaired one.

  • National and international renown for conceiving and directing scholarly events on W. E. B. Du Bois at Temple, hosting the annual Du Bois Lectures and Du Bois Symposia. These draw scholars from Columbia, Princeton, Drexel, UPENN and elsewhere. As a leader in Du Bois studies, the University of Pennsylvania selected Monteiro to bestow upon Du Bois its Emeritus Professorship in Africana Studies and Sociology. He is especially respected for his fresh theorization of Du Bois’ Black Reconstruction in America as form of “historical logic.”

  • Unusually strong student respect and support at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Monteiro’s Du Bois seminars are deservedly popular, as also his graduate course in Black Social and Political Thought. These draw students from multiple departments. In 2005 and 2007 he received merit points for scholarship and teaching. Understandably many of his students are in the forefront of today’s struggle for his reinstatement.

  • Innovative Planning of University & Community Relations in Temple’s North Philadelphia community. Dr. Monteiro started the ongoing Free Saturday School, granting Temple students of many disciplines a vibrant interaction with the community. He leads neighborhood studies of Martin Luther King’s work, and consistently shows up at public events, often bringing his sociological expertise to bear on mass incarceration issues. Monteiro thus embodies the Department’s own commitment to linking its discipline to “positive change in our communities” (“Mission,” second paragraph).

  • An embodying for our time of Du Bois’ tradition of political critique and public resistance in the face of systems of domination, whether in society or the academy. In this regard, we note his forming “The Radical Philosophy Circle” for Temple students, his decades of public support for innocent political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal (even hosting campus screenings of the award-winning documentary on Abu-Jamal, and featuring phone conferences with Abu-Jamal in his classes). He hosted at Temple a book party for Maroon the Implacable, a volume of essays by political prisoner, Russell Maroon ShoatzMonteiro also organizes support for the community’s political leaders, as with his conference in 2012, “Pam Africa: Our Revolutionary Daughter of the Dust.”

WE SCHOLARS STAND VIGILANTLY BEHIND DR. MONTEIRO knowing that today, throughout the U.S. academy and nation, programs in African American and Ethnic studies are all too frequently attacked or neglected by small groups of deans, provosts and board members. These often use their power to foster or tolerate misrepresentation, harassment, repression and removal of reputable scholars of color and conscience – those most necessary for equipping us all with knowledge for promoting and guarding a truly just society.

The reinstatement of Dr. Anthony Monteiro is essential for Temple University now to safeguard its historic reputation in African American Studies.

*This National Call is a project of Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal and was drafted by its coordinators.

Signatories (with institutions listed for identification purposes only):

Lewis R. Gordon. Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy, African American Studies, and Judaic Studies at University of Connecticut, Europhilosophy Visiting Chair, Toulouse University, France; Nelson Mandela Distinguished Visiting Professor, Rhodes University, South Africa.

Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D.Department of History and Department of Black and Latino/a Studies, Baruch College CUNY. EMAJ Coordinator.

Mark Lewis Taylor, Ph.D.
Departments of Theology, Religion & Society, Princeton Theological Seminary. EMAJ Coordinator.

Abdul Alkalimat, Ph.DUniversity of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)
African American Studies

Elisabeth Armstrong, Ph.D.Smith College, Women & Gender Studies

Subhasis Bandyopadhyay, Ph.D.Bengal Engineering and Science University
Dept. Humanities & Social Science/India

Allen H. Barton, Ph.D.Columbia University, Sociology Department (former Chair)

Tameka Cage-Conley, Ph.D.Literary Artist/Independent Educator & Scholar

Richard Curtis, Ph.D.
Seattle Central Community College

Jamie Owen Daniel, Ph.D.
Independent Scholar and Educator, English

Hester Eisenstein, Ph.D.Queens College and the Graduate Center (CUNY)Sociology

Joe Feagin, Ph.D.Texas A&M University, Sociology
(former President, American Sociological Association)

Douglas Ficek, Ph.D.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Philosophy

Ariane Fischer, Ph.D.Temple University, Intellectual Heritage Program

Joan P. Gibbs, Esq.Medgar Evers College (CUNY)

Jane Anna Gordon, Ph.D.University of Connecticut (Storrs)
Political Science & African American Studies

President, Caribbean Philosophical Association

Ellington T. Graves, Ph.D.
Virginia Tech, Africana Studies/Sociology

Farah Jasmine Griffin, Ph.D.Columbia University, English and Comparative Literature,
African American Studies

Robert L. Harris, Jr., Ph.D.Cornell University, Africana Studies and Research Center

Stephen N. Haymes, Ph.D.DePaul University, School of Education

Joy A. James, Ph.D.
Williams College

Ryan Cecil Jobson, Ph.D. cand.Yale University, Anthropology & African American Studies

Bob Hodges, MA, Ph.D. cand.University of Michigan, English

Waldo Katz-Fishman, Ph.D.Howard University, Sociology

Gregory Laynor, Ph.D. cand.University of Washington, English(Temple alumni)

Davil Lloyd, Ph.D.University of California/RiversideDistinguished Professor of English

Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Ph.D.Harvard University
History, Literature and Public Policy

Keon M. McGuire, Ph.D. cand.
University of Pennsylvania/Education & Africana Studies

Patrick McHenry, PhDGeorgia Institute of Technology
School of Literature,  Media & Communication

Steve Macek, Ph.D.North Central College (Naperville, IL), Urban and Suburban Studies

Gerald Meyer, Ph.D.
Hostos Community College (CUNY).

Gregory Meyerson, Ph.D.
North Carolina A&T State University, English

Mechthild Nagel, Ph.D.SUNY Cortland, Philosophy
Director, Center for Gender & Intercultural Studies

Yusuf Nuruddin, MBA, Ph.D. cand.University of Massachusetts/Boston. Lecturer in Africana Studies

Gary Y. Okihiro, Ph.D.Columbia University
School of International and Public Affairs

Alex Ortega, Ph.D.
UCLA, Health Policy & Management

Kamala Platt, Ph.D., MFA
Independent Scholar, educator & author
Meadowlark Center, KS & San Antonio, TX

Vijay Prashad, Ph.D.Trinity College
South Asian History, International Relations

Michael P. Predmore, Ph.D.Stanford University, Iberian & Latin American Studies

Richard Pressman, Ph.D.St. Mary’s University (San Antonio, TX)

Joseph G. Ramsey, Ph.D.University of Massachusetts/Boston

Russell Rickford, Ph.D.
Dartmouth College, Ass’t. Prof., History

David Roediger, Ph.D.University of Illinois, History

Robyn C. Spencer, Ph.D.Lehman College, History Department

Victor Wallis, Ph.D.Berklee College of Music, Liberal Arts Department

Carolyn Nur Wistrand, MFADillard University, School of the Humanities

Marvin X, MA 
Academy of Da Corner, downtown Oakland CA

1 comment:

  1. Although Dr. Monteiro and Dr. Ahmed (Stanford), both faculty members of the African American Studies Deparment, received the same termination letter from Temple University, the reasons may not be the same. Dr. Monteiro ‘s defiance of Dean Soufas’ unjust behavior, advocacy for Mumia Abu-Jamal and other political prisoners, and his accountability to the African-American community are clearly cause for the university’s alarm. Professor Monteiro’s firing, clearly, is one of retaliation. He has made the case. Recognizing the power of the people, Dr. Monteiro has mobilized the black community to recognize and challenge the wide-reaching implications of this retaliatory firing. Please read Dr. Monteiro’s Statement to the Press –“My Reinstatement and the Moral Regrounding of Temple University,” on 2/12/14. http://www.emajonline.com/call-for-monteiro/