June 28, 2017

"It’s been over 7 months since Trump was elected, yet my professors show no signs of putting their political digressions on hold."

"Because my English professors at Yale are largely liberal, the political message in my classes is always the same: Trump is a demagogue, American society is doomed, and English literature is our refuge. Liberal professors and students increasingly feel that it is their duty as professors and humanists to promote their vision of the political good. Meanwhile, the remaining campus conservatives have become less outspoken and remain fearful that they may suffer academically as well as socially for their views...."

Writes Finnegan Schick, who says he's "center-left, voted for Hillary Clinton, and... dislike[s]" Trump.

86 comments:

Birkel said...

The student recognizes that digressions are an abandonment of the core functions of the professors, the classes and the institution. The student may be a Democrat but my understanding is Democrats also want to get value for their purchases.

Or, phrased differently, Democrats don't want to be mugged by unreality.

Earnest Prole said...

the political message in my classes is always the same: Trump is a demagogue, American society is doomed, and English literature is our refuge

This is hardly news -- replace "Trump" with "the Republican" and it's the same message I heard in college thirty years ago.

Big Mike said...

I'm just stunned. Totally gobsmacked.

gspencer said...

I'm glad they keep telling me that they're the party of tolerance. I wouldn't know otherwise.

Dave from Minnesota said...

The anti-Trump thing reminds me of my youngster days.....growing up while Reagan was President. I think people forget the intense hatred that was out there for our 40th President.

Related...Eau Claire city council passed a climate change resolution yesterday. For the most part, it seems reasonable. Spending some money to make city hall more energy efficient for example. But they also mention the Paris agreement and in the discussion did some Trump bashing. I hate it when cities have foreign policies.

Chuck said...

I think there are areas of collegiate life where the left-wing bias really makes a difference.

One would be in the "climate change" academic/-industrial complex.

Another would be in the highest levels of academic governance; where budget decisions are made, where affirmative action policies are voted on, and where Afro-American Studies Departments are created.

But really; is there a serious problem about who is teaching Shakespeare, or Dickens? Is there really any politics going on, in macroeconomics, or accounting, or fluid mechanics or calculus?

We do have problems with liberalism's hegemony on campus. Title IX is one such area. But this story doesn't seem to make the case very effectively. I always worry when my side (let's just say "conservatism," generally) isn't doing a good job of making the case.

CWJ said...

"English professors at Yale are largely liberal,"

Only "largely" and only "liberal." That was my laugh line.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Profs of English lit have no better idea what makes a good society than a fish wife. These profs should exercise a little introspection.

Dave from Minnesota said...

From my personal experiences.....I can think of only 2 conservative professors who ever mentioned anything political in class time. One was an economics instructor (who was social rather liberal....his gay son may have been part of that) who talked about things like free market capitalism. Also that political disinvestment efforts don't hurt the companies nor that countries targeted. And a business professor who didn't like the administrative bloat in the administrative building. He said they could cut 30% (or something like that) of the staff and the university would not be negatively affected.

When my older brother was going to UW-Eau Claire, he said one of his history instructors organized a protest against then presidential candidate Bush. Wait, it was VP Bush coming to Eau Claire to campaign for Tommy Thompson. 1986. He used his class time to talk about it and invite his students to participate. They went (North high school) and did everything they could to try to shout all the Republican speakers down and prevent them from being
heard.
Anti-free speach nutjobs didn't start recently. They were teaching at UW-Eau Claire 31 years ago.

Chuck said...

On further reflection (and a longer look at the HeterodoxAcademy web pages) I am going to limit my comment to: "Thanks, Professor Althouse, for alerting me to the existence of that very interesting site. Going forward, I expect that site to produce some very compelling reading. I might never have know about it but for you."

Achilles said...

This is the core difference between the right and the left. You can be the only leftist in a group and the rightists will leave you alone. If you are the only rightist in a group of leftists you better shut up if you know what is good for you.

Snark said...

Trump is a demagogue, American society is undergoing a pressure testing with uncertain results, and these are not partisan facts. I will however allow for English Literature Derangement Syndrome.

Earnest Prole said...

"This just in"

Chuck said...

I'd love to see a poll of the Heterodox Academy's membership, on the personal aspects of Trump-as-president; Trump's effectiveness as president; Trump's credibility, etc.

They formed in September, 2015, it seems. That might reflect a response to Trump in particular (whose campaign kicked off in June of that year). Maybe they were Movement Conservatives before. Maybe some of them are like Professor Althouse, academics who voted for Obama but are fascinated by Trump.

Mark O said...

During Watergate, I was in law school at Duke. Nixon had been a Duke grad. Two of my classmates were law clerks for Judge Sirica. There was every incentive to rail against Nixon in class. It never happened.

Of course, today it would. In those days when I cooled myself beneath the beating of pterodactyl wings, being a law professor was considered to be a calling. Even Wally Dellinger was professional about teaching and not preaching.

Dave from Minnesota said...

On the evening of Nov. 8, Anna-Sophia Boguraev ’20 was studying for her Biology 102 midterm scheduled for the following day. She could not focus. As results from the polls poured in, it became increasingly apparent that Donald Trump would win the election. Boguraev panicked.

“I remember being incredibly stressed, because I knew I was in no state to study,” she said. “I was terrified, and I knew most people were like that.”
With a friend in class, she hastily submitted a message to the class forum site Piazza, urging the professor to postpone the midterm. Her post was one of dozens that night requesting to delay the exam, but she said there was no response from the teaching staff of the class, who deleted the students’ posts.
In that moment, Boguraev said she felt like the professor did not care about the effect the political situation had on his students.


Yale students.
Meanwhile, I am guessing the students at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College had no problem showing up in class like any other day.

Virtually Unknown said...

Maybe these guys should be at the Sheepshewanna School of Animal Husbandry if they can't take the stress of the life of the mind.

n.n said...

We're in the second trimester. It's late even for progressive liberals to abort this baby they have deemed unworthy, let alone conservative progressive liberals (i.e. left of center).

Virtually Unknown said...

In that moment, Boguraev said she felt like ...

That's what passes for thinking now at Yale. I think snowflakes is a bad term, because at least each snowflake is unique? These anxiety ridden intellectual wastrels are all alike.

Rae said...

Meanwhile, the remaining campus conservatives have become less outspoken and remain fearful that they may suffer academically as well as socially for their views...."

And physically. Conservatives have to be wary of Leftist violence on campus.

Roughcoat said...

My English profs were doing that when I was a college freshman in 1968.

Meet the new boss, same as ... etc.

Ecclesiastes 1:9-10.

Big Mike said...

I've quit tournament bridge, because I can't bring myself to say "no trump."

Bay Area Guy said...

Liberal Democrat perfessers at Yale in 2017? God and Man at Yale by William F. Buckley circa 1950.

Plus ca change

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

In the early 80s, University of Michigan Regents proposed a code of nonacademic conduct that would restrict students in speech and behavior off campus. Even if they went home to another state, they could suffer punishment for what they did or said.

Three friends and I showed up at the Regent meeting to speak on this code. We dressed in our best suits. We were met by a veritable swarm of students, dressed about as contrary to us as you could imagine. They eyed us with distinct suspicion. WE were clearly not THEM.

Then my friend got his chance to talk, and he EVISCERATED the code and the arguments for it. Citations and logic and wit.

And the swarm erupted in cheers. They were there to oppose the code. To support free speech.

Oh, and despite their outrageous garb, they were respectful. This was no mob, this was peaceful assembly.

Peaceful, and supporting free speech... I miss 80s radicals...

Robert Cook said...

I think it's bad pedagogically for a teacher to assert any opinion...unless it is just to spark classroom discussion and open debate.

I had a professor in college for two classes, INTRO TO PHILOSOPHY and THE NEW TESTAMENT, (in this class we read the New Testament beginning to end).

The professor never asserted an opinion on what any of it meant, (in either class). Rather, he asked the class what we thought, what our intepretation was. He guided the discussions but he never revealed his opinion.

I had another professor who taught comparative goverment, and though he might occasionally "suggest" something for us to consider, he also did not offer any value judgments as if they were holy writ with which we should not/could not agree.

That's they way to encourage thinking by the students rather than to see them as vessels into which to pour one's predigested certainties.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Roughcoast said "Ecclesiastes 1:9-10"

I had to look that up. Perfect. One of the good/bad things about getting older (I am 44) is that I never see/hear anything new when it comes to political and social issues and arguments. Its just the same stuff over and over and over. Does that 19 year old rebel think he is the first person to superimpose Trumps face over Hitlers?
The good news is that it makes it easier to debate someone. One of my favorites it "all the racist Democrat of the south are now Republicans".

Chuck said...

Martin L. Shoemaker said...
In the early 80s, University of Michigan Regents proposed a code of nonacademic conduct that would restrict students in speech and behavior off campus. Even if they went home to another state, they could suffer punishment for what they did or said.

I graduated just before you entered. Althouse graduated the year I arrived in Ann Arbor.

I remember just one or two classes in all my time there, where a prof or a TA went off on leftwing politics. And both cases they were self-professed personal statements, not loyalty demands.

The campus was far-left in general. One thing I recall was the campaign (before the fall of the Soviet Union and the release of KGB documentation) to exonerate the Rosenbergs. Oops! But there were no more anti-war protests. The draft had just ended. And without anybody on campus being drafted, nobody seemed to care too much about us bombing the Vietnamese, the Laotians and the Cambodians. Also; Gerry Ford -- Republican and Michigan grad -- became President during that time.


Virtually Unknown said...

and these are not partisan facts.

Ummmm. Yes they are. You partisans have been stressed out by losing and election you thought you had won, and are freaked out because the "deplorables" you guys drummed out of the party didn't just disappear, like they were supposed to. Problems like that are why Stalin was a big believer in the efficacy of machine guns and mass graves, he wasn't stupid enough to believe that the people he betrayed would just disappear on their own.

William said...

Rasputin was an ignorant,superstitious horndog. Among the Czar's coterie and advisers, he was the only one who cautioned against going to war. Smart people aren't universally right about everything, and ignorant people are aware of things that lie beneath the perception of smart people. Smart people, however, are more articulate and self confident in selling their points. It's only in democracies that ignorant people can win elections, and even then it's an uphill struggle. America has prospered because of its ignorant masses and their electoral victories.

tcrosse said...

Demagogue is a slur only if you hate the Demos that is getting Gogued. Obama, for instance, did some successful demagoguery on a quite fashionable Demos. Hillary, OTOH, lacked the flair for it.

MountainMan said...

I received my BS in 1973 and my MS in 1974. In my five years in college, through all the classes I took, I never heard a political opinion expressed by any of my professors - not in English, history, political science, economics - nothing. Not one. And this was all during the late stages of Vietnam and Watergate. The focus was entirely on the subject at hand. I got a great education at one of the nation's premier engineering schools. And it was cheap, too, I paid for all of it out of my own pocket and left school with money in the bank.

I feel sorry for many of today's university students and how they are being cheated, educationally and financially.

Ralph L said...

I first heard the shibboleth "Diversity" in 1981 from another student. My faculty were apolitical in class, but then I was a math major who took science courses.

Now the nature shows I otherwise enjoy are flooded with (bio) diversity as the highest virtue.

Fen said...

I still remember when Gordon Liddy gave his Apex Predator speech on campus. It was one of those "how the real world works" presentations. All of the students gave him a standing ovation while all the professors gaped in shock.

Next day the student paper was filled with liberal professors expressing dismay that the students had failed them, disgraced a fine liberal arts college, all the time and energy the professors had spent to forge enlightened young men and women was for naught. They sounded despondent, almost suicidal.

I saw my opening. It was a small school. So I parroted some bromide about a flaw in Liddy's theory, something about Apex Predators forgetting there is always something bigger and badder out there. I used terms like "community", and threw in a precursor of Warren's "you didn't build that, you had help" bs. Overnight I became the toast of the faculty.

Which later translated into perks like grade inflation, extensions for late papers, etc. All for parroting back what the sophisticates wanted to hear.

Liddy you bastard, I read your book :)

Dave from Minnesota said...

MountainMen (and others).....was it National Review contributor?....who recently had a column on the evolution of the political college professor. Something like this (and this matches my experiences and those of friends).

In the 70s, professors, if liberal, were professionals first, and political animals a very distant second.
In the 80s, those hippies and 70s liberals had worked their way through higher ed (as students) and took over their teaching roles. This is what I recall from my brother...the worst political preachers in the 80s at his school were young guys with long hippy hair. (but I believe they washed it).
In the 90s forward (I don't recall the exact breakout in the article) is when it started to reach all levels.

Think about the....can't recall the person's title, but someone very high up in a school, sent out an email talking about the "glorious sexual experiences you'll have while attending.......". Meaning literally banging each other crazy while at his (or her's) school. I don't see the chancellors of the 1980s sending out an email like that.

William said...

I didn't pay that much attention to politics when young. Sex, sports, and money were the real attention grabbers. I have a vague memory that I was liberal back then. I probably would not have noticed the political views of my professors because I agreed with them and because they were so superfluous to the real business of life.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Fen, you tell them what they want to hear. I read that the graders for GMAT tests tend to be fairly liberal, so for one of my essays, I did a bunch of shtick on global warming. Yeah, I got a very good grade.

To amend my post above about the 70s forward....when I was in undergrad, circa 1992, one of my liberal professors was very proud that in the 1970s they brought......Rockwell?....the Nazi to come on campus and speak. He said as reprehensible as this person was, they (the faculty) supported free speech. As did the students.

Now that I think back about that.....here was a liberal who in 1992 supported opposing viewpoints, and back in 1970s, really supported extreme opposing viewpoints.

Dave from Minnesota said...

William...I think today that is still the case with most students. Most everyone I know who went to UW-Madison didn't go because they wanted to immerse themselves in a leftwing Atheist culture. They went because (A) the school has an excellent reputation, and (B) to party.

rhhardin said...

Digressions can be the point.

Cavell was going to write an essay proving that Coleridge wrote Biographia Literary without digression.

BL is known for being all digression.

rhhardin said...

Literaria

Seeing Red said...

English Lit is a refuge? Stuff written by dead white guys?

Seeing Red said...

American society is always undergoing pressure testing, Snark, so I don't understand your comment. That's a well, duh, stmt.

JPS said...

I'm remembering the piece Daniel Bonevac wrote for the WaPo last fall (pre-election) on being a Trump supporter in academia:

"Once, a student said to me, 'You’re a conservative, aren’t you?' I responded that I was disappointed that he could tell, because I try to present views on all sides fairly, keeping my own views in the background. He answered: 'I know. That’s how I could tell.'"

Chuck, 10:55:

"Is there really any politics going on, in macroeconomics, or accounting, or fluid mechanics or calculus?"

In my discipline, which is about as far removed from politics as anything is, the default political position is liberal. It's not so much a set of arguments as an affiliation, a tribe to which we are all assumed to belong. For the second time in my career I am one of two right-of-center faculty members in a department of 40+. Does it come up much? Only at faculty meetings when someone makes an outrageously inflammatory political remark a propos of nothing; or at social occasions when someone starts venting, pissed off at the politics of the day and feeling sure we're all good liberals here.

At my last department, not long after Paul Wellstone died, we had a visiting speaker from UMinn. A senior colleague of mine asked about the rumors that the funeral-goers had turned the event into a political rally, booing the Republicans who showed up. (A staunch liberal and a personally decent man, he was convinced this was made up by partisans on the right to make liberals look bad.) "Of course we did," our guest replied, puzzled. "We hate them."

Relevance to our research? Zero. Typical of the culture in which I choose to work anyway? Absolutely.

Sebastian said...

"Center-left" intern at The New Criterion. Riight.

But I think prog faculty should keep it up. For young progs in spe, the one thing worse than being non-prog is to be boring. Which their uncool badgering elders will soon be.

mockturtle said...

I think it's bad pedagogically for a teacher to assert any opinion...unless it is just to spark classroom discussion and open debate.

I had a professor in college for two classes, INTRO TO PHILOSOPHY and THE NEW TESTAMENT, (in this class we read the New Testament beginning to end).

The professor never asserted an opinion on what any of it meant, (in either class). Rather, he asked the class what we thought, what our intepretation was. He guided the discussions but he never revealed his opinion.

I had another professor who taught comparative goverment, and though he might occasionally "suggest" something for us to consider, he also did not offer any value judgments as if they were holy writ with which we should not/could not agree.

That's they way to encourage thinking by the students rather than to see them as vessels into which to pour one's predigested certainties.


Thank you, Cookie! This was largely the case during my college years. And I certainly don't think an English prof should be proselytizing about politics.

Seeing Red said...

While correlation is not causation, via Insty:

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Mental Health Problems Rising Among College Students, says NBC News of all places: “College counselors are seeing a record number of students like Ebeling, who are dealing with a variety of mental health problems, from depression and anxiety, to more serious psychiatric disorders.”

“Seeing?” You spelled causing wrong.

Seeing Red said...

Maybe all that pressure testing by Obama is why we got Trump.

The "uncertain results" makes me lmao. You must be a history major to not know what could happen.

readering said...

Professors can get away with this because Trump's approval ratings are much lower with young people than the population in general. Doesn't seem likely to improve by 2020.

gregq said...

I can't wait for Kevin to show up, and tell us about the steps he's put into place to make sure all those conservative students get their free speech rights back!

I'm sure it will happen, any second now.

tcrosse said...

Back in the 60's as UW Madison the profs seemed to stick to the curriculum in the lecture hall. It was in after-hours meetings that guys like George Mosse, Harvey Goldberg, Gerald Marwell, and N.J. Demerath among others would hold forth on the issues of the day.

Ann Althouse said...

"The professor never asserted an opinion on what any of it meant, (in either class). Rather, he asked the class what we thought, what our intepretation was. He guided the discussions but he never revealed his opinion."

That's the way I taught, but I think students wanted to know what I regarded as the correct answers. Sometimes they'd ask me outright. I'd say it should be of no interest and was certainly not the issue under discussion. It was a waste of time, at best. A digression. And I think they thought it was a way to do well on the exam, but when I saw exams that seemed to be trying to imitate what I thought, I felt embarrassed.

gregq said...

Personally, I can't wait for the "Dear Colleague" letter from OCR that points out that political statements by professors, TAs, and / or other students create an "unsafe environment" that is not conducive to education, and the OCR expects that colleges and Universities will put into place procedures to punish any professor who engages in, or allows others to engage in, political intimidation.

Those procedures will require, of course, a "preponderance of the evidence" standard whenever any student with a minority (i.e. conservative) point of view brings a complaint.

Schools that do not successfully protect students with minority (i.e. conservative) points of view will face serious sanctions.

It's for the children! We must create a Safe Space!

tcrosse said...

Learning to Kiss Up is a skill that can be of some value in later life.

DKWalser said...

When I was in school, on sensitive subjects I adopted a strategy of intentionally taking a position against what I thought was the professor's view. I felt that the professor would bend over backwards to try to treat me fairly. For example, in my philosophy class, on my final exam I wrote in favor of legalized abortion (at BYU, in the early 1980s, this was NOT the professor's position). I'm not sure if my strategy worked or if I just wrote well, but I consistently got high marks. I don't think that strategy would work today.

n.n said...

JPS:

I try to present views on all sides fairly, keeping my own views in the background. He answered: 'I know. That’s how I could tell'

It's funny because it's true.

Oh, well. That was yesterday.

Ralph L said...

He answered: 'I know. That’s how I could tell.'"
I hope he got an A for using his noggin.

readering said...

Tension between law school exams (on the one hand, on the other) and the bar exam (pencil in one of these choices).

Clyde said...

Let me guess: Demagoguery in opposition to a demagogue is no vice, right?

Alex said...

So if I'm taking English Literature 200, instead of Shakespeare we should be spending the 90 minute lecture period on Trump-ism? That's what passes for educumation?

buwaya said...

"But really; is there a serious problem about who is teaching Shakespeare, or Dickens? Is there really any politics going on, in macroeconomics, or accounting, or fluid mechanics or calculus?"

It varies of course, but using our kids experience with the UC system -

Yes it does matter a great deal who is teaching Shakespeare or Dickens. To begin with, they aren't likely to be teaching Shakespeare or Dickens at all (or Milton or Pope or...) , or if they are it is in some idiotic manner, a feminist, queer reading. Heck, even in trendoid lit classes like "Science Fiction" you will find a "climate change" or "queer" emphasis.

And then there is the tendency to cut out whole traditional areas of the liberal arts, like the classics. Latin, Greek, and ancient lit are a tiny fraction of classes in the liberal arts schools of the UCs. They actively push kids into the "studies" things and away from the classics.

As for macroeconomics - yes it does make a difference. The spin in this can be subtle or intense, but it is mainly politically driven. Macro can be a very ideological thing.

Tarrou said...

Welp, he may claim to be left wing and to have voted for Hillary, but he's questioned leftist insanity, which makes him a Nazi. Welcome to the party!

exiledonmainstreet said...

readering said...
Professors can get away with this because Trump's approval ratings are much lower with young people than the population in general. Doesn't seem likely to improve by 2020."

That might change if they actually find themselves employed after graduation.

In the meantime, I am sure you need to console yourself, poor dear.

Warren Fahy said...

Ann, with some distance from the university gravitational field, why don't you weigh in? Should there still be a place for learning about the past, even if it was largely comprised of dead white guys? Or how about we ditch the "white" and the "guy" part and focus on the ideas. Can we still do that? You were recently part of the environment that is trying to screen out contributions on those bases. I'm white, and I'm male, but I would never presume to take credit for anything anybody did who was not me but who happened to share those characteristics. I'm pretty sure only a really lame excuse for a person would try to claim credit for mine or Abraham Lincoln's or Newton's or Beethoven's achievements. That's why I can say I'm genetically grateful for the bag of people fate spilled in front of me to give me the life I'm living, such as it is. Race, gender and the rest don't enter into my pride or shame. Is there some presumption that I got favors? The reverse presumption, say directed at Obama during his life, is equally in play. Is there an obligation for university's to rise above all of that, if they want to be society's beacons of enlightenment for the human race?

Birkel said...

Point to consider:

If a great number of Leftists push a political agenda that is never answered by people with divergent views within the academy, are those people with divergent views doing any favors for the students? At what point do those voices of reason (like I expect Althouse herself was and is) get overwhelmed, retire or otherwise leave an institution that is actively hostile to cruel neutrality, leaving every student and the institutions worse than before?

Or, should we just trust that the institutions that are hollow will be replaced and simply watch the decay?

I'm not sure I can see an end game that is a net positive out of the Long March.

Drago said...

gregq: "I can't wait for Kevin to show up, and tell us about the steps he's put into place to make sure all those conservative students get their free speech rights back!"

It will be important to Kevin that the conservatives keep their gaze down, never looking the totalitarians directly in the eyes, as they humbly and meekly "request" that their moral superiors "entertain' the modest proposal to treat conservatives as human beings deserving of "some" consideration,though not as much as leftist students, naturally. No no. To ask for more would be too outrageous and triggering for leftist masters and cause them to assault the conservatives for daring to consider themselves equals.

Kevin wouldn't want that.

Maybe a very concise and polite email request would be better.

Warren Fahy said...

And isn't a question mark the university's ideal answer?

robother said...

When Professor Althouse "saw exams that seemed to be trying to imitate what I thought, I felt embarrassed." An embarassment of Cs?

Tommy Duncan said...

JPS said:

"Once, a student said to me, 'You’re a conservative, aren’t you?' I responded that I was disappointed that he could tell, because I try to present views on all sides fairly, keeping my own views in the background. He answered: 'I know. That’s how I could tell.'"

Political correctness forbids the mention of alternative points of view. That is its purpose: To eliminate any mention of non-conforming opinions. Considering alternative points of view is a "tell" that you are a conservative.

In Stalin's era politically incorrect discussions ensured a steady supply of labor in the gulags.

Rob McLean said...

"center-left, voted for Hillary Clinton, and... dislike[s]" Trump.

It's interesting how the authors of every one of these articles that defend Trump (or are annoyed at the constant attacks on him) always point out that they don't like Trump, either, to display their bona fides. It's as if they were afraid if they actually came out and admitted they were Trump fans, their opinions would be immediately discarded.

Fen said...

They would be shunned by their friends snd colleagues. Likely fired too, over some un-related hyper-technicallity.

I think Althouse took some heat simply for normalizing us deplorables with debate.

Francisco D said...

Good Lord!

I find myself in complete agreement with Cookie.

There is hope for the world!

tcrosse said...

It's interesting how the authors of every one of these articles that defend Trump (or are annoyed at the constant attacks on him) always point out that they don't like Trump, either, to display their bona fides. It's as if they were afraid if they actually came out and admitted they were Trump fans, their opinions would be immediately discarded.

The corollary is those who attack Trump but swear they didn't vote for Hillary.

Jim at said...

"Professors can get away with this because Trump's approval ratings are much lower with young people than the population in general."

Yeah. Because leftist college profs didn't spew their hyper-partisan shit before Trump!

You people have been screeching this crap for decades. I know. I experienced it.
Trump is simply the latest target.

tcrosse said...

Professors can get away with this because Trump's approval ratings are much lower with young people than the population in general.

College kids are by definition uneducated.

Michael K said...

My English profs were doing that when I was a college freshman in 1968.

My original experience was in 1956-59 with engineering and there was zero politics. When I came back in 1960 to do pre-med, I was an English major and still saw no political bias anywhere.

It was mostly a 60s thing and my theory is that the lefties stayed in grad school to avoid the draft and became the college professors ten years later,

hombre said...

'In one sense, then, Trump’s America really is “victimizing” students and faculty, insofar as academics has taken a backseat to politics. The real victim of Trump’s presidency may turn out to be a generation of adults whose liberal arts educations were hijacked by political debate.'

Trump is doing this on purpose. Bad, bad Trump!

MountainMan said...

Dave from Minnesota said: “MountainMen (and others).....was it National Review contributor?....who recently had a column on the evolution of the political college professor.”

I missed that article and really can’t comment on it. Until recently the closest contact I have had with any college faculty has been reading this blog and Instapundit! After I retired about a year ago I began pursuing more fully one of my interests, Civil War and ante-bellum history and historic site preservation, and that has brought me into contact with a number of current or former faculty, some quite well-known nationally as Civil War historians and authors. But they tend to be a pretty conservative lot, with some exceptions. I did attend a seminar last year where the featured speaker was a retired professor who is one of the country’s most respected Civil War scholars. After his presentation he went on a rant for a couple of minutes about the current state of teaching of American History in our colleges and universities. It was not encouraging.

James K said...

"But really; is there a serious problem about who is teaching Shakespeare, or Dickens? Is there really any politics going on, in macroeconomics, or accounting, or fluid mechanics or calculus?"

Maybe not the last three, but macroeconomics? Definitely. That's how we get the elevation of Piketty to god-like status.

As to the problem? I know first-hand that hiring decisions can be influenced by politics, which means the best people aren't necessarily being hired, and the lefty bubble is self-sustaining. Then there's the content of classes. Surely you're aware of all the attacks on the traditional canon in literature and philosophy, and the substitution of gender and ethnic studies.

buwaya said...

A typical example of what has been done to English Lit - In this case to, of all things, Science Fiction -

https://english.berkeley.edu/courses/1507

Capek, Karol: R.U.R; Dick, Philip: Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep; Hoffman, E.T.A.: The Tales of Hoffman; Ishiguro, Kazuo: Never Let Me Go; Mieville, China: Perdido Street Station; Wells, , H.G.: The Island of Doctor Moreau

"This course will examine in depth the history of speculative fiction and its engagement with the thematics and topoi of the new life sciences—representation of cloning, ecological dystopias, hybrid life-forms, genetic engineering dystopias. While science is the thematic point of departure of speculative fiction, the concerns of this course will be the literary. How does literature’s encounter with the projected realities of the new biology revise our conceptions of the subject? Could there be a Leopold Bloom of the genetically engineered, a subject whose interior voice is the free-flowing expression of experience? Behind the endless removes of social, material and technological mediation stand the construction of a flesh and blood body, separated from itself through the workings of consciousness. If indeed the post/modern subject requires a psychic space shaped by the authenticity of ‘being’, a consciousness deeply rooted in the human experience, then how do we represent that being whose point of origin is the artificial, the inauthentic? These are some of the questions to be addressed in this course. "

Ahem.

The book selection, not bad at all. China Mieville for instance is a commie but he is a whacking good writer. The touchy-feely spin? That isn't Science Fiction.

The Godfather said...

Back in the ‘60’s when I was an undergraduate at an Ivy League U, the Young Democrats had an unfair recruiting advantage over the Young Republicans. Once a year, the YDs would sponsor a speech by one of the segregationist southern governors – Barnett, Wallace, Faubus, etc.; all Democrats of course. Everyone wanted to hear these speakers, but you had to be a member of the YDs to get in. So a lot of students joined the Young Dems just to get into that one speech. Now, the interest in hearing the segregationists didn’t reflect support for their position; generally quite the contrary. But these were figures that we all heard about in the news (i.e., in those days we read about them in the newspapers and heard them mentioned on radio and TV). Although we had a few unreconstructed southern segregationists at that U, most students wanted to hear these speakers in order to “know the enemy”, and to use their stupid and hateful words to oppose their positions more effectively. But as far as I know, no one harassed these speakers or prevented them from being heard, or threatened the audience with physical harm. It was a different era. There were no antifa.

That U was very political and very left wing (for example, among the student body and some of the faculty, Pres. JFK was regarded as right wing). Yet as a conservative I found that I could succeed in class without betraying my views, but only if I worked very hard to support them. In classes where I was not particularly engaged, I could get my “gentleman’s B” by spouting the conventional liberal wisdom.

mockturtle said...

Godfather claims: I could get my “gentleman’s B” by spouting the conventional liberal wisdom.

I thought it was a 'gentleman's C'. Does this reflect grade inflation?

gregq said...

Capek, Karol: R.U.R; Dick, Philip: Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep; Hoffman, E.T.A.: The Tales of Hoffman; Ishiguro, Kazuo: Never Let Me Go; Mieville, China: Perdido Street Station; Wells, , H.G.: The Island of Doctor Moreau

"This course will examine in depth the history of speculative fiction and its engagement with the thematics and topoi of the new life sciences—representation of cloning, ecological dystopias, hybrid life-forms, genetic engineering dystopias. ...

Ahem.

The book selection, not bad at all. China Mieville for instance is a commie but he is a whacking good writer. The touchy-feely spin? That isn't Science Fiction.


How they could even dream of covering that, and not include "Brave New World", is beyond me. They should also have "Beyond This Horizon", by Heinlein, but that's at least arguable.

Missing Brave New World makes it a joke, IMAO.

Rick said...

Dave from Minnesota said...
In the 70s, professors, if liberal, were professionals first, and political animals a very distant second.


These professors are still around - although an endangered species in the infected Departments of humanities (contrary to some comments English is fully infected). The problem is that this group has zero political power.

The same is true of the radical students. They are a minority on campus but through their control of the institutions (campus paper, student government) and support of the activist faculty, radicalized institutions (like Title IX and ResLife), and the University Senior Leadership no one has a weapon to oppose them. As a result the radical flower claiming to feel unsafe if someone says race preferences violate the American ethos of equal protection gets action. And when 30 radicals scream in the faces of a handful of students studying in the library or threatening non-conformers those students are told to grow a backbone.

Decent professors have no influence in this. They would have to band together and assert themselves. Most don't want to do this because they agree with the radicals goals and rationalize the targets should just go along. They also know they would be shunned by many and avoided by most (like Althouse) were they to join such an effort.

Kevin said...

I can't wait for gregq and Drago to turn what I've written in probably 20 posts about fighting for our free speech rights with more speech and the rule of law, into some version of a personal demand for all conservatives to build gas chambers for the left and then respectfully walk into them in strict alphabetical order.

Oh wait...

jaed said...

"This course will examine in depth the history of speculative fiction and its engagement with the thematics and topoi of the new life sciences—representation of cloning, ecological dystopias, hybrid life-forms, genetic engineering dystopias.

No "Bloodchild"? No Brave New World?

Kevin said...

"This course will examine in depth the history of speculative fiction

So the Trump-Russia story is just how they're discussing speculative fiction in the present day.

Sample Commenter said...

Professors can get away with this because Trump's approval ratings are much lower with young people than the population in general.

Nothing imparts wisdom better than lack of life experience!