Where Free Speech Goes to Die

January 31, 2016

By Katha Pollitt at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Trigger warnings, safe spaces, micro-aggressions — over the past year or so, pundits, politicians and other serious people had a lot of fun bemoaning academia as a liberal la-la land where hands are held and minds are coddled. I’m rather old-school when it comes to free expression. I didn’t go for author and Northwestern professor Laura Kipnis’ notorious essay cheering professor-student affairs, but surely it was overkill for grad students to bring charges against her under Title IX for having a “chilling effect” on student victims’ willingness to come forward. Wouldn’t writing a letter to the editor have sufficed? As for dropping Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” from the Literature Humanities core class at Columbia after students demanded trigger warnings about its accounts of rape: Wasn’t it bad enough that Ovid was shipped off to Romania? Must his beautiful poems follow him into exile?

Read more here.

Schools: Yale University