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

Beyond the politics of the Big Lie

by Henry A. Giroux “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. The American public is suffering from an education deficit.  By this I mean it exhibits a growing inability to think critically, question authority, be reflective, weigh evidence, discriminate between reasoned arguments and opinions, listen across differences, and engage the mutually informing relationship between private problems and broader public issues. This growing political and cultural illiteracy is not merely a problem of the individual, one that points to simple ignorance. It is a collective and social problem that goes … Continue reading Beyond the politics of the Big Lie

Dangerous pedagogy

by Henry A. Giroux All over the world, the forces of neoliberalism are on the march dismantling the historically guaranteed social provisions provided by the welfare state, defining profit making and market freedoms as the essence of democracy, while diminishing civil liberties as part of the alleged “war” against terrorism. Secure in its dystopian vision that there are no alternatives to a market society, free market fundamentalism eliminates issues of contingency, struggle, and social agency by celebrating the inevitability of economic laws in which the ethical ideal of intervening in the world gives way to the idea that we “have … Continue reading Dangerous pedagogy