Joshua Katz: Good news & bad

The good news is that our friends at the New Criterion have appointed Joshua Katz to serve as one of its Visiting Critics next season. Professor Katz is Cotsen Professor of Classics at Princeton. A linguist by training, a classicist by profession, and a comparative philologist at heart, he is the recipient of numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship on the languages, literatures, and cultures of the ancient and medieval world from India to Ireland via Greece, Rome, and the Near East.

An outspoken champion of free speech on campus, Professor Katz has written for several of our favorite outlets including Quillette, Law & Liberty, and First Things. We drew attention to Professor Katz’s July 2020 Quillette essay “A declaration of independence by a Princeton professor.”

The bad news is that Professor Katz is to be ritually denounced to incoming students in a rogues’ gallery on racism at Princeton in the virtual Princeton gallery To Be Known and Heard. It is, as Professor Katz’s Princeton colleague Sergiu Klainerman notes, “an official document that bears the copyright of the university’s Board of Trustees.”

Professor Klainerman calls out Princeton and comes to the defense of Professor Katz in the Tablet essay “Princeton’s Mixed-Up President Discards Free Speech and Demonizes Its Defenders.” Professor Klainerman is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, where he has taught since 1987. His essay deserves the attention of decent people everywhere.

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