Additional Information on Ellen Schrecker

* While Schrecker has long championed the free speech rights of academics whose views roughly accord with her own professed radical politics, she has not extended that courtesy to other professors. For example, she stayed silent in 2005 when DePaul University suspended adjunct professor Thomas Klocek for engaging a Palestinian student group in an argument. That same year, Schrecker similarly declined to take an interest in the case of University of Colorado professor (and evangelical Christian) Phil Mitchell, who was fired for assigning his students a book on 19th century Protestantism. And in 2005 as well, Schrecker declined to defend Kansas State University professor Ron Johnson, who was fired from his post as an advisor to the school’s newspaper after administrators capitulated to campus protesters upset at the paper’s supposed inattention to “diversity issues.”

According to Schrecker: “What [early] women’s studies did have in common with African American studies … was its connection to a major social movement. The field grew directly out of second-wave feminism…. [I]t had a strong political agenda, one that was readily embraced by its early practitioners, former New Left activists who viewed their teaching and research as part of the broader feminist struggle against the patriarchal oppression of women.” Schrecker approvingly quotes historian Marilyn Boxer’s assertion that: “From the beginning, the goal of women’s studies was not merely to study women’s position in the world but to change it.”

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