UK “cancel” situation : Amia Srinivasan

In 29th June LRB, “Cancelled”.

  • “That is why I described the change in campus culture as a shift in the way students attempt to wield power, rather than as a symptom of students’ weakened constitutions” (snowflakes, triggered, fearful of difficult ideas). “Headiness not merely of thinking about politics, but for the first time actually doing politics.”
  • “Too often it leads students to exercise power through university bureaucracies, evincing a trust in institutional authority that sits in the tension with any properly leftist politics, … complain to a university administrator about them. With further consequence once the state has given itself legislative tools: education sec Gavin Williamson, “if universities are not prepared to defend free speech, the government will” ; “would the state of Britain’s democracy or universities be better off today if this activity had been subject to state inquisition”. “state coercively regulating student activism in this way should give any non-authoritarian pause.”, “Embolden authorities and bureaucracies as a means of enacting cultural change”.
  • “What would a government seriously committed to academic freedom do?”. “The real danger comes not from complaining students, but from the university administrators. who – sometimes under political pressure – too often cravenly seek to appease them.” => scrap student fees, freeing them from seeing themselves as consumers entitled to having their preferences met, and university’s from acting like commercial service-providers. Fight precarity, fair wages, (unsurprising that students increasingly think of academics is disposable). Cf case of Brighton Univ, May 2023, firings.
  • Teaching is by its nature an intergenerational affair, and inevitably involves trying to make sense of shifting cultural norms and worldviews.
  • + some good stabs at distinguishing through “ideological contorsions” of “conflation of free speech and academic freedom” for one, and…
  • and, UK update: May 2023, Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act, & appointment of “the UK’s first ‘free speech tsar'”, Arif Ahmed, prof philo Cambridge, libertarian.


Citer ce billet
Claire Joubert (2023, 4 juillet). UK “cancel” situation : Amia Srinivasan. Ce que fait un angliciste. Consulté le 15 juin 2024, à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/na13

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