As we read this week’s issue of The Eye, we keep coming back to the process of sourcing. There’s a rinse and repeat element to the process—the seeking out, calling up, and interviewing. It happens over and over until we, The Eye reporters, feel we’ve collected and heard from enough differing perspectives.
When we’ve finished writing our draft, there’s this nerve-wracking moment as we read it over and wonder frantically, did I talk to enough people? Did I miss a crucial source? Did I forget a perspective?
This week’s features, Pia Deshpande and Allison Stewart’s exemplify great sourcing.
Last fall, the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and the English department went looking for a cross-appointed assistant professor with expertise in indigenous studies. The search failed. The multiple perspectives and voices in Allison’s article, Indigenous Studies at Columbia: A Struggle for Consistency, paints a nuanced portrait of the struggle for consistency in the centre's Native American/indigenous studies track. My favorite line in her piece is this: “The question of representation of Native identity in CSER, then, becomes a question of pedagogy. For both professors and students, it is pedagogically imperative to have indigenous people teaching the classes on indigeneity. That is, when faced with the question of why identity matters in this story of CSER’s indigenous studies track, it becomes evident learning and teaching are changed by it.”
Pia’s A Silence Between Centers: American Studies at Columbia Lacks Diverse Perspectives, looks at the lack of diversity at Columbia's Center for American Studies—and asks whether a relationship with CSER is the way to go in the future. To accurately understand the issue of diversity in the American studies department, she talks to a plethora of sources, from departmental majors to alumni to students at our University. We were particularly moved by Pia’s source, Arielle Isack, who revealed she majored in American studies “in part to learn how to be American.”
Last but not least, our View From Here is written by an Eye oldie, Ana Espinoza. In her personal essay, she looks to the stars, exploring her increasingly unironic love for astrology.
I hope you appreciate this week’s issue of The Eye, and before we leave, happy October!
Juju, Kara, Lyric, and Parth