To De-Politicize Art Schools, Students Need to Fight Back  

It has never been harder to teach artistic individualism in America. A religious devotion to the causes of social justice dominates the ideas of professors in the academy, and David Randall’s report “Social Justice Education in America” has made clear that their evangelical zeal for teaching students the merits of intersectional political activism is topped … Continue reading “To De-Politicize Art Schools, Students Need to Fight Back  “


Dear Humanists: You Have Done That Yourself

Every time I read an op-ed piece from some English professor (and isn’t it always an English professor?) whining about the demise of the humanities, in The Chronicle of Higher Education or elsewhere, I’m reminded of that great scene from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.    You know the one. As Anakin Skywalker and his erstwhile friend and … Continue reading “Dear Humanists: You Have Done That Yourself”


Speaking Out Against Censorship in Academia

As academia becomes ever-more entrenched in groupthink, it can be intimidating to be a lone voice that refuses to toe the ideological line. And for good reason: failure to at least appear to agree with the ideological consensus on campus can result in a number of professional—and personal—consequences. But those potential consequences haven’t deterred one … Continue reading “Speaking Out Against Censorship in Academia”


UVA and the Dangerous Politicization of Our College Campuses

It is no secret that our colleges and universities have witnessed a sea change in campus culture over the past two decades. Political correctness has run rampant. High-profile incidents such as the Yale Halloween costume controversy and phenomena such as safe spaces and building re-namings have captured public attention. College officials, however, assure us that … Continue reading “UVA and the Dangerous Politicization of Our College Campuses”


‘Wokeness’ Infiltrates College Music Departments

Inevitably, college music departments have succumbed to pressure to promote “social justice” and fight racism. It’s hard to see much injustice or racism in music, but that doesn’t matter to activists intent on showing that they’re in the vanguard of America’s transformation. Consider, for example, the announcement back in September by the music department at … Continue reading “‘Wokeness’ Infiltrates College Music Departments”


For Teacher Training, Drop Critical Theory and Add Character

With the pandemic, more parents are discovering what their children are being taught in public schools—from explicit how-tos in sex-ed class to narratives of power that divide everyone into oppressors and oppressed. Yearning for a richer emphasis on cultural literacy, character, and civil discourse, parents are turning to alternative curricula, such as Core Knowledge and … Continue reading “For Teacher Training, Drop Critical Theory and Add Character”


Where Did ‘Cancel Culture’ Come From?

“People that work at universities and newspapers should be the most intellectually free people in the world.” Few would vocally disagree with these words recently said by former New York Times writer Bari Weiss. And yet, despite living in the freest country in the world, it’s become increasingly risky for students, academics, and journalists even … Continue reading “Where Did ‘Cancel Culture’ Come From?”


They’ve Got to Get Rid of Western Civ—They Have To 

For ten years I served on the GRE Literature Exam committee. The exam is one of the special subject matter exams separate from the regular GRE (with math, verbal, analytical sections), and several English departments require that applicants take it. Each year five of us would meet for several days at Educational Testing Service’s campus … Continue reading “They’ve Got to Get Rid of Western Civ—They Have To “



If All Men are Created Equal, Why Do We Need Grades?

I just finished a fascinating book, The Recovery of the West, by polymath Englishman Michael Roberts. Roberts became famous as a poet, but was trained as a scientist and spent much of his life as a teacher. Brief history of grading The book was published in 1941. A teacher in a typical English school at … Continue reading “If All Men are Created Equal, Why Do We Need Grades?”