An arrest warrant was issued Monday for Northwestern Prof. Wyndham Lathem, 42, in connection with the stabbing death of Trenton Cornell-Duranleau, 26, a cosmetologist from Michigan. Police are also seeking University of Oxford employee Andrew Warren, 56. The stabbing occurred at Lathem’s address and Cornell-Duranleau’s body showed lacerations.
Women’s Studies Professor Kevin Allred at Montclair State University is back in the news. Allred previously attracted national attention (while on the Rutgers faculty) after he was reportedly ordered to go through a psychiatric evaluation after students “felt threatened” by him following Trump’s election. Now, Allred (who teaches a course on Beyonce) posted a comment that he hoped someone would kill Donald Trump. As should come as little surprise to many who know my view of the First Amendment, I view this statement as protected speech and hyperbolic. However, it was reckless, hateful, and worthy of condemnation.
I have previously discussed the legendary career of Judge Richard Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Widely viewed as the father of Law and Economics, Posner remains one of greatest influences on American jurisprudence in the history of this country. I have long been a great admirer of his work and teach his theories as part of my torts course. It is for that reason that I was delighted when my co-counsel sent me the interview below where Judge Posner expressed support for the proposal that I have advanced for many years to reform the Supreme Court. Posner agrees with the proposal to expand the Supreme Court to nineteen members.
Another controversy over free speech was triggered this week on social media by an academic expressing hateful views. Various people have called for San Diego State University Political Science Professor Jonathan Graubart to be fired after denouncing those wishing Sen. John McCain best wishes for his recovery. Graubart called McCain a “war criminal” and said that he was “annoyed” by all of the expressions of sympathy for his dire cancer prognosis. Others at the school supported and shared his views.
A new study has called for a concerted effort to cite academics of color and greater diversity to make from the hold of “white heteromasculism” on research. Geographers Carrie Mott (professor at Rutgers University) and Daniel Cockayne (professor at University of Waterloo in Ontario) has identified the reliance on research by white males as a “system of oppression” benefitting “white, male, able-bodied, economically privileged, heterosexual, and cisgendered.” Cisgendered refers people whose gender identity matches their birth sex.
We previously discussed the controversy surrounding Trinity College Professor Johnny Williams and his posts against white people, including an inflammatory reference to people considered bigots and how we should “Let Them. F**king Die.” Williams teaches classes on race and racism and clearly wanted to get others to read this hateful screed.. As I am mentioned in the earlier post, I do not believe that Williams should have been punished for his postings as a matter of free speech and academic freedom. The College has now reached the same conclusion but the question remains whether the College will take a similar principled position for academics espousing such views about other races.
Columbia University has reached a settlement in one of its most controversial cases of alleged sexual assault. Paul Nungesser, who was accused of raping a fellow classmate who became known as “mattress girl,” will receive a settlement. Emma Sulkowicz carried around a mattress on campus in protest, even taking the mattress to graduation. She received college credit for the protest as a form of performance art. Nungesser had lost twice over motions of dismissal and was pursuing an appeal