Academic left

The Collapse of English Lit at Columbia

Featured image Scenes from the higher education apocalypse: I don’t know whether Columbia University’s graduate program in English literature is as premier in the field as it was back in the glory days of Lionel Trilling, but yesterday the Chronicle of Higher Education reported this: Columbia Had Little Success Placing English Ph.Ds on Tenure Track. “Alarm” Followed, and the University Responded The story is unfortunately behind the Chronicle‘s paywall, but when you »

Mandatory Ethnic Studies Too Much Even for the LA Times

Featured image No one objects in principle to a serious ethnic studies program, just as sensible people support “multicultural” perspectives rightly understood. The trouble with a lot of multiculturalist projects and various identity-studies programs in schools today is that they are highly politicized and ideological. This attracts some students, but it understandably turns off many students—perhaps a large majority. Hence the demand of zealous advocates for ethnic studies to make their subject »

It’s Official: Philosophy Is Lost

Featured image Has academic philosophy become as hopelessly politicized as other humanities? That’s a question treated in a forthcoming paper in Philosophical Psychology entitled “Ideological Diversity, Hostility, and Discrimination in Philosophy.” From the abstract: “We found that survey participants clearly leaned left (75%), while right-leaning individuals (14%) and moderates (11%) were underrepresented. Moreover, and strikingly, across the political spectrum, from very left- leaning individuals and moderates to very right-leaning individuals, participants reported experiencing »

Who Needs Wokileaks?

Featured image I got a large response from my latest whimsical Tweet yesterday: But who needs it, since most of the scandals of higher education today are out in plain sight? Such as this announcement for a brand new “Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Minor” at the University of Denver, which reads like a parody: The new Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) minor brings together the best of what the University has to »

Special Screening of No Safe Spaces, July 9

Featured image If you live in or near the Twin Cities, you should think about attending a special pre-release screening of the Dennis Prager/Adam Carolla film No Safe Spaces next Tuesday, July 9. No Safe Spaces, which deals with the insanity on America’s college campuses, won’t be released until the Fall, but we have arranged for a special screening, sponsored by Center of the American Experiment. Details are here. The showing will »

What a Conservative Learns In College

Featured image My youngest daughter graduated from college a few weeks ago. She wrote this piece for The College Fix. I am taking the liberty of posting it in its entirety. I just graduated from St. Olaf College after receiving an education I didn’t expect. That’s because as a conservative at my small, Minnesota-based liberal arts institution, I’ve spent the last four years defending myself against personal and political attacks from professors »

In One State, the Diversity Industry Is Under Attack

Featured image South Dakota’s legislature is considering a bill that would require the state’s universities to protect free speech and intellectual diversity. In that connection, some lawmakers have taken aim at the diversity industry: Several Republican lawmakers who were behind a bill to require the state’s university system to promote intellectual diversity are questioning the size, role and cost of diversity offices. The lawmakers, which include the House and Senate leadership, sent »

Will Oberlin Learn Its Lesson? (2)

Featured image I wondered on Thursday whether Oberlin would learn its lesson from the $33 million defamation verdict against the college, and explained why the answer was almost certainly No. You can strike “almost.” Today the New York Times reports that Oberlin’s president has confirmed that they are determined not to learn anything from the verdict: In an email to the Oberlin community on Friday, Carmen Twillie Ambar, the college president, said »

Oberlin Hunkers Down

Featured image This is a screen shot of Oberlin’s Twitter account. I assume that the account has been taken private within the last few days as a result of reaction Oberlin was getting to the jury verdicts against it in the Gibson’s case. Click to enlarge: There is a certain irony in the text: “Think one person can change the world? So do we. Maintained by the Oberlin College Office of Communications.” »

Cowardice at Harvard

Featured image While I’m still enjoying the schadenfreudey yumminess of Oberlin’s comeuppance, worth catching up with the latest news from Harvard. You may have followed the story of how Harvard recently removed law professor Ronald Sullivan and his wife (also a law professor) Stephanie Robinson, as deans of the undergraduate Winthrop House at Harvard. The campus wokerati targeted Sullivan for the sin of joining Harvey Weinstein’s defense team, which he did on »

Will Oberlin Learn Its Lesson?

Featured image Short answer: No, they won’t. Longer answer: Check out the dean of students (and also assistant to the president for equity, diversity, and inclusion!) Meredith Raimondo, who was near the center of the Gibson’s Bakery case for collaborating with students to harass Gibson’s Bakery. Raimondo came to the deanship from Oberlin’s department of “Comparative American Studies,” which, Oberlin’s website informs us, was “newly formed” around 2003. I’ll bet it was »

The Jury Hated Oberlin [with comment by Paul]

Featured image We wrote here about the lawsuit against Oberlin by a local store, Gibson’s, that alleged it was defamed by the college and its Dean of Students. Among other facts in the case, student protesters, accompanied by the Dean, handed out leaflets accusing Gibson’s of being “racist” because the store’s employees caught an African-American Oberlin student shoplifting a bottle of wine. Does that make sense to you? It didn’t make sense »

Dartmouth Celebrates a Dark Moment (with comment by Paul)

Featured image Dartmouth News reports that the college is celebrating an event that happened 50 years ago, on June 7, 1969: As part of the yearlong 250th anniversary commemoration, Dartmouth is revisiting various turning points in its history. On Friday, the clock turns back 50 years to the afternoon of May 7, 1969, when students who opposed the Vietnam War occupied the Parkhurst administration building. Paul and I, both Communists at the »

Accountability for Oberlin [With Comment by John]

Featured image Oberlin College in Ohio may be one of the most egregious politically correct campuses in the nation. Back in 2013, the campus closed down for a day of “racial sensitivity training” despite the fact that the administration knew that the supposed “racial incident” that prompted this “crisis” (someone spotted wearing Klan robes on campus) was a hoax. Then in 2016, Black Lives Matter and a number of super-woke Oberlin students »

The Infantile, Superficial Left (2)

Featured image Another one of the left’s favorite totems these days is “patriarchy,” along with “toxic masculinity,” in which women are “objectified” and “commodified,” kept in subjugation by “violence.” For example, Corey Robin’s attack on conservatives, The Reactionary Mind, dwells in its opening pages on the assertion that the subjugation of women is part and parcel of the central conservative principle (so Robin thinks) of maintaining power over women and minorities at »

The Cultural Revolution at Evergreen State

Featured image News items about outrageous events at college campuses have been coming in so fast the last couple weeks that it is impossible to keep up. At this point I’m starting to think Sir Roger Scruton is right that we should just “get rid of universities altogether.” There are a couple of stories I’m watching right now that I intend to find time to analyze in depth, but for the moment, »

The Infantile, Superficial Left

Featured image If you are a glutton for punishment like me and you read a lot of leftist academic journals (but I repeat myself. . .), you discover quickly that for the left, everything is violence. Literally violence, especially free speech, but also capitalism of course. Violence is the instrument of racism and domination. Another peculiar feature of leftist academic jargon today is to talk about “bodies”—especially “black and brown bodies,” which »