(Schrecker 2010) Ward Churchill at the Dalton Trumbo Fountain


Schrecker, Ellen. Ward Churchill at the Dalton Trumbo Fountain: academic freedom in the aftermath of 9/11 [corrected]. AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom. 2010 Feb 22; 1. Available from: http://www.academicfreedomjournal.org/VolumeOne/Schrecker.pdf. Accessed 2011 Dec 30. Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/64Kid46Cm.

Through an in-depth analysis of the harassment and firing of Ward Churchill together with other case studies, Schrecker argues that the repressive legacy of 9/11 is doing damage to academic freedom in the USA comparable to that seen in the McCarthy era. Despite some apparently genuine misconduct on Churchill’s part, his academic freedom was seriously violated by failures of due process; by the investigators’ bowing to outside political pressure in deciding whether to investigate at all; by the imposition of penalties of disproportionate and politically motivated severity; and by the “nitpicking” standards applied to determine what counted as misconduct. As an example of this last point, “the committee criticized Churchill for citing books without supplying specific page numbers—a practice common among historians”, including Schrecker herself. Other cases examined by Schrecker showed similar levels of hostile bias.

 

 

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