The curse of totalitarianism and the challenge of critical pedagogy

by Henry A. Giroux
The forces of free-market fundamentalism are on the march ushering in a terrifying horizon of what Hannah Arendt once called “dark times.” Continue reading The curse of totalitarianism and the challenge of critical pedagogy

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Public Intellectuals Against the Neoliberal University

by Henry A. Giroux The University is a critical institution or it is nothing. — Stuart Hall Let me begin with the words of the late African-American poet, Audre Lorde, who was in her time a formidable writer, educator, feminist, gay rights activist and public intellectual who displayed a relentless courage in addressing the injustices she witnessed all around her.  She writes: Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into … Continue reading Public Intellectuals Against the Neoliberal University

Intellectuals as subjects and objects of violence

by Henry A. Giroux Edward Snowden, Russ Tice, Thomas Drake, Jeremy Scahill, and Julian Assange, among others, have recently made clear what it means to embody respect for a public intellectual debate, moral witnessing and intellectual culture. They are not just whistle-blowers or disgruntled ex-employers but individuals who value ideas, think otherwise in order to act otherwise, and use the resources available to them to address important social issues with what might be called a fearsome sense of social responsibility and civic courage. Their anger is not treasonous or self-serving as some critics argue, it is the indispensable sensibility and … Continue reading Intellectuals as subjects and objects of violence

Academic freedom and the purposes of universities

(Reflections on a talk by Stanley Fish) by Patrick Colm Hogan Academic freedom is an important concept in the United States. Indeed, it is a concept fundamental to our system of higher education. The basic idea of academic freedom is that the purposes of universities are not served if faculty members are intellectually subservient to state or religious doctrine or to public opinion. For example, if physics has to conform to the beliefs of Stalin or biology has to conform to the dictates of Hitler, then neither field will advance intellectually. Academic freedom is therefore of particular concern to faculty … Continue reading Academic freedom and the purposes of universities

Anarchism in the academy

by Jeff Shantz Anarchist academic David Graeber devotes the first section of his book Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology to his attempt to answer the question, “Why are there so few anarchists in the academy?”  For Graeber this is a pressing question given the veritable explosion of anarchist theory and lively debates over anarchism outside of the academy, especially within the numerous social movements which have emerged recently.  Despite the blossoming of anarchist thought and practice, David Graeber is perplexed that this flowering of anarchism has found little reflection in the academy.  Graeber seems to long for the type of … Continue reading Anarchism in the academy

Free speech, war, and academic freedom

by Peter Neil Kirstein To justify American expansionism, presidential war messages frequently contained nationalistic proclamations of American innocence and virtue. President James Knox Polk in seeking war with Mexico on May 11, 1846 as a mandate of the nation’s “Manifest Destiny,” demonized it as a “menace,” lied that it had invaded the United States and argued war was necessary to protect American democracy. “[W]e are called upon by every consideration of duty and patriotism to vindicate with decision the honor, the rights, and the interests of our country.”[1] President William McKinley in asking Congress for a declaration of war to … Continue reading Free speech, war, and academic freedom

Borderless pedagogy in the Occupy movement

by Henry A. Giroux A group of right-wing extremists in the United States would have the American public believe it is easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of a market society.  Comprising this group are the Republican Party extremists, religious fundamentalists such as Rick Santorum, and a host of conservative anti-public foundations funded by billionaires such as the Koch brothers[1] whose pernicious influence fosters the political and cultural conditions for creating vast inequalities and massive human hardships throughout the globe. Their various messages converge in support of neoliberal capitalism and fortress … Continue reading Borderless pedagogy in the Occupy movement