“Bryn Mawr Leads Intergalactic Age With Bithnian Partnership”

Bryn Mawr College's Homepage

I love my college. No, really, I love my college (well, alma mater, if you insist). My only complaint right now is that so much of the cool stuff appears to be happening now that I’ve left! It was bad enough to hear that Judith Butler is coming to Bryn Mawr (holding the 2011 Mary Flexner Lectureship), but now Bryn Mawr is going to “be partnering with the Bithnian University of Science and Technology in the first intergalactic partnership between a liberal-arts college and an alien research university.” Seriously. Aliens. I am so jealous.

Really, though, I’m just pleased to have gone to a college where they’ll celebrate April Fool’s Day is such awesome ways as an article announcing an intergalactic partnership:

“Global partnerships are so 2010. Bryn Mawr is simply beyond global, and we are boldly going where no college has gone before. Our students need to learn to be intergalactic citizens,” said McAuliffe in the announcement.

There’s even another article detailing opposition to the partnership dubbed the “Earther” movement. Quite possibly the best part in the whole thing is a quote attributed to Bethany Schneider, one of the most popular English professors at Bryn Mawr:

“The whole discourse of intergalacticism is thoroughly informed by a history of Western imperialism,” she argues. “From my perspective as a scholar of American-Indian studies, the expansion of U.S forms of education across both land and cultures is historically genocidal, and it doesn’t necessarily seem to be obvious that this is not simply a reproduction of the same on a galactic scale.”

Schneider wonders if the rubric of women’s education can be appropriately applied in a Bithnian context. “I’m concerned that we are imposing our gender categories on the Bithnians … gender categories that we ourselves already experience as extremely limited,” she says. “The Bithnians have a far more complicated, diverse, and, indeed playful understanding of gender than we do.”

“They have 300 different words for sex,” Schneider says. “Do we really want to bring them down to two? Is that right? Is that good?”

I adore Bryn Mawr. And honestly, with things like this, why wouldn’t I? Oh, Bryn Mawr.

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