Matt Beard reflects on the academic politics of the early 20th century- and the ideas of Weber and Arendt- in order to draw lessons for our own time, in which politics is infringing on questions of academic integrity.
I was in Ljubljana in early June to speak at a conference, “What Kind of Government?” You can watch recordings of the talks including my own talk “Revitalising Democracy: Citizen Juries as a Response to the Failure of Expert Rule.”
When I was in law school in the 1990s, Critical Race Theory was emerging from the legal academy. In my own personal history, it began with Patricia Williams’ book The Alchemy of Race and Rights: A Diary of a Law Professor. Later in law school I encountered Critical Race Theory through the works of Derrick Bell and Kimberlé Crenshaw. Critical Race Theory was radical and exciting.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has published a three-part reflection on her experiences of being insulted and attacked on social media by a former student and mentee, someone she had sought to help. For those who have experienced such attacks—and more and more of us have—it is shocking and disorienting to have people we consider friends or trusted colleagues join or even lead online attacks.
John Douglas Macready considers the importance of Arendt’s analysis of loneliness as the fertile ground for totalitarian and ideological politics. The widespread anxiety over the global eruption of right-wing populism, which was exacerbated by the election of Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, and the succeeding four years of his presidency, produced a renewed interest in the political theory of Hannah Arendt,
While her personal library is at Bard College, Hannah Arendt left her personal papers to the Library of Congress. For years those papers have been available in-person at the library and, in part, over the web via an outdated, clunky, and incomplete digital interface. This week the Library of Congress launched its new website for the Hannah Arendt Papers.
We are living at a time when any action that one disagrees with leads not to a discussion and engagement but to a complaint and a demand for punishment. This is especially true at the top universities in the country. Disagreements that should be fodder for intellectual growth are now opportunities to exert power and punish one’s perceived enemies.
Foucault was the most influential critical thinker and philosopher when I was in college in the 1980s. In the 1990s at Berkeley, the ghost of Foucalt loomed large at the cafes he was rumored to have frequented in the 1960s. For nearly half a century, Foucault’s thinking has been at the forefront of academic life in the humanities and social sciences. But that may be changing.