Thursday, June 4, 2015

For Northwestern, the Kipnis Case Is Painful and Personal

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 free speech?
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."

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