American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Calendar: The Fight for Academic Freedom at CUNY: Past and Present

Published March 24, 2011

ASHP/CML is cosponsoring a series of three public programs at The Graduate Center on the history and ongoing struggle for academic freedom in the U.S.

Sylvia Ward image
Credit: Sylvia Ward

Rehearsing for McCarthyism at City College

Friday, February 4, 4-6 pm

This session examines City College in the 1930s when students and faculty confronted the issues of free speech and academic freedom–culminating in the 1940-42 Rapp-Coudert hearings during which numerous faculty members were fired for “communist subversion.” Panelists: Paul Buhle, American Civilization, Brown University; Blanche W. Cook, History, The Graduate Center; Henry Foner, former president, Fur and Leather Workers Union; and Stephen Leberstein, History, City College Center for Worker Education.

Moderated by Stephen Brier, Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies, The Graduate Center.

Defending Academic Freedom in an Atmosphere of Terror

Wednesday, February 9, 7-8:30 pm

Scholars from New York area academic institutions examine how the passage of the U.S.A. Patriot Act has influenced federal monitoring and intimidation of university-based faculty and students.

Panelists: Mahmoud Mamdani, Anthropology, Columbia; Joan Wallach Scott, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; and Eric Foner, History, Columbia.

Moderated by William Kelly, Provost, The Graduate Center.

A Conversation with the Critical Art Ensemble

Friday, March 4, 6:30-8:30 pm

Scholar, poet and critic Ammiel Alcalay discusses the intersection of art, activism and policy with artist and co-founder of Critical Art Ensemble Steve Kurtz, who was arrested last May under the U.S.A. Patriot Act, and Rebecca Schnieder, who is representing the CAE defense fund.

The programs accompany the exhibition “Activism and Repression: The Struggle for Free Speech at CCNY, 1931-42,” which will be displayed in the lobby of The Graduate Center from February 4 to March 4, 2005–and featured online on the Virtual New York City website. For more information about the events (cosponsored with the Center for the Humanities, the Office of the Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Center for Continuing Education and Public Programs at the CUNY Graduate Center, and the Professional Staff Congress-CUNY), click here.

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