Stanley Fish At The NY Times Opinionator: ‘Sex, the Koch Brothers and Academic Freedom’

Full post here.

Denying CUNY’s gift of an honorary degree to playwright Tony Kushner does not necessarily stifle academic freedom. Fish revisits his original post.

‘My general point is that academic freedom is a useful notion only if it is narrowly defined. More things escape its ambit than fall within it.’


LeVay and Wallen are behaving as so many in the Kushner controversy did; they are crying academic freedom whenever a university does something they don’t like, and by doing so, they cheapen the concept.

because academic freedom issues:

“…arise when the university either allows its professors to appropriate the classroom for non-academic purposes, as some think John Michael Bailey did, or allows itself to become the wholly owned subsidiary of another enterprise, as FSU may have done.”

It must take a certain courage to point this out at the NY Times.

Art can serve many masters: religion, politics, ideology, commerce etc…but I suspect good art (a play, in this case) does more, at least staying faithful to simply giving pleasure…or sustaining dramatic tension?

David Mamet wakes from Brechtian slumber, and conservatives rush in.

Related On This Site: Fish defended Ward Churchill’s academic freedom too: From The Stanley Fish Blog: Ward Churchill Redux…

Broad, but maybe not broad enough.  Martha Nussbaum says the university needs to be defend Socratic reason and still be open to diversity:  From The Harvard Educational Review-A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.’

A lot of this could be avoided by keeping political and aesthetic judgments apart, argues Roger Scruton: Repost-’Roger Scruton In The American Spectator Via A & L Daily: Farewell To Judgment’

One thought on “Stanley Fish At The NY Times Opinionator: ‘Sex, the Koch Brothers and Academic Freedom’

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