The Chronicle of Higher Education
June 4th, 2015
The controversy swirling around a Northwestern University professor’s
essays about what she has called "sexual paranoia" on campuses poses a
philosophical debate. When does a university’s responsibility to protect
sexual-assault victims from retaliation violate a professor’s right to
But to people here at Northwestern the issues are not just academic; they are personal. The stakes, and the emotions, are high.
Two female graduate students who filed complaints about a February essay — published in The Chronicle Review
and written by Laura Kipnis, a professor in the department of radio,
television, and film — say the resulting media firestorm has been
vicious. They have been maligned, and their academic careers, they say,
are threatened. The students, one Northwestern professor said, "became
academic villains of the week."