What happened? How can the academic community fight back?
For over fifty years, American higher education has been attacked by a powerful right-wing network of libertarian billionaires, ideologues, and ambitious politicians engaged in rolling back its efforts to provide the inclusive, high-level public education a democratic society requires. At the same time, because the academy has also had to cope with the austerity brought on by a neoliberal polity that seeks to defund the public sector, its leaders adopted corporate practices that have undermined the university’s ability to defend itself against the current culture wars. This presentation explains how this situation developed and how the academic community can fight back effectively against the most serious threat it has ever faced.
On August 18, we are pleased to have Professor Emerita Ellen Schrecker of Yeshiva University with us. Professor Schrecker is one of America’s most persistent and determined voices on the described matters. She has written extensively about McCarthyism, political repression, and American higher education. Her latest book is The Lost Promise: American Universities in the 1960s (2021). Earlier work, especially No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the University (1987) and Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America (1998), resonates today. Her forthcoming publication, The Right to Learn: Resisting the Right-wing Attack on Academic Freedom, is a collection of essays co-edited with Valerie C. Johnson and Jennifer Ruth and will be published by Beacon Press in 2024.
We are also pleased that Professor Jennifer Ruth will join us as a discussant. She is a film professor at Portland State University’s College of the Arts. FutureU’s founder Dr. Rubén O. Martinez, Michigan State University professor emeritus, will host the forum.
You can watch the forum live or archived at FutureU’s YouTube Channel. You can also join us in the ZOOM Room on August 18. Contact Frank A. Fear at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain an access link.
(Cover photo courtesy of The Chronicle of Higher Education)