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University drops world's oldest erotic novel written in English from curriculum
t remains one of the most widely banned books in history, shocking readers with its 'pornographic' content centuries before Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

Nearly 270 years on, it seems that modern day students are proving equally squeamish, as Fanny Hill, the first ever erotic novel written in English, has been dropped from the University of London curriculum for fear of offending students.

Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, was first published in 1748. Written while the author was in debtors prison in London, it’s the story of an ageing courtesan who looks back with “stark naked truth” on her scandalous life.

The book incensed the British clergy and censors upon its publication. However, heteronormative descriptions in Fanny Hill of “maypole[s] of so enormous a standard” appear to be proving too much for university students.

Judith Hawley, professor of 18th-century literature at Royal Holloway, University of London, said that after decades of teaching the provocative text on various courses, Fanny Hill is being dropped from the latest curriculum following a consultation with students.

Speaking on a Radio 4 discussion on sex and freedom of speech, Dr Hawley said that including pornographic texts on any syllabus risked students “slap[ping her]... with a trigger warning”.

“In the 1980s I both protested against the opening of a sex shop in Cambridge and taught Fanny Hill,” she said.

“Nowadays I’d be afraid of causing offence to my students, both that I can understand why a senior academic imposing a pornographic text on the students would come across as being objectionable and that the students would slap me with a trigger warning [so] that I now self-censor myself.”

One of the most heavily censored texts of the English literary canon, Fanny Hill has been removed completely from the course “The Age of Oppositions, 1660-1780”, which examines libertine literature.

Following the students’ request, the rest of the reading list for the course now comes with a “trigger warning”, explaining that Restoration and 18th-century texts “sometimes reflect the unpleasant prejudices of their time, just as they sometimes work to complicate or challenge those attitudes.

"Racism, sexual violence, and self-harm were part of society then, as in different ways they are now.”

Students are encouraged to speak to staff if there is a “cause for concern”.

Dr Hawley also confirmed that students had complained about a number of other texts, including Room by Emma Donoghue, the story of a young boy held captive with his abductee mother, and Shakespeare’s King Lear.

Speaking to The Times about what concerns the students had about King Lear, Dr Hawley said: “Apart from gouging out of eyes [and] the death of Cordelia? Actually what most offends students is depictions of violence against women and suicide.

"I had some objections to Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, not because it represents the appalling effect British colonialism had on a Nigerian tribe but because one of the characters hits his wife and commits suicide.”

She continued: “It is important not to exaggerate claims that students are stifling free speech on campus. We hope we have struck a balance between encouraging discussion of difficult issues without making life difficult for students who might feel coerced by academics.”
IlliberalLeft  Literature  Education  db  Campus  Censorship 
20 hours ago by walt74
Stop Telling College Students Free Speech Is Traumatizing Them
One fairly common idea that pops up again and again during the endless national conversation about college campuses, free speech, and political correctness is the notion that certain forms of speech do such psychological harm to students that administrators have an obligation to eradicate them — or, failing that, that students have an obligation to step in and do so themselves (as has happened during recent, high-profile episodes involving Charles Murray and Milo Yiannopoulos, which turned violent).

Such claims of harm — often summed up as “speech is violence” — aren’t typically invoked in response to actual Nazis, or anything like that. Rather, they are used to argue against allowing speakers like Murray and Yiannopoulos — who, for better or worse, do fit in the conservative mainstream — or even significantly more moderate ones like Emily Yoffe, who has expressed skepticism about certain claims pertaining to the prevalence of sexual assault on campus. In one instance students successfully canceled a showing of American Sniper by arguing the film’s ostensible Islamophobia would make “students feel unsafe and unwelcome” — though the screening was later uncanceled.

Now, given the fog of culture war that has descended on this subject and the tendency of opportunistic (mostly) conservative outlets to hype these kinds of events, it isn’t clear how common they actually are — people often forget the polls suggesting that college students, broadly speaking, tend to hold pro-free-speech views. But either way, it is hard to take seriously the idea that an American Sniper showing or an Emily Yoffe appearance, or even a Yiannopoulos talk, is so potentially psychologically harmful that established norms about free expression — which protect both College Republicans and Palestinian students advocating on behalf of their people — should be tossed out the window.

So it’s weird, in light of all this, to see the claim that free speech on campus leads to serious psychological harm being taken seriously in the New York Times, and weirder still to see it argued in a manner draped in pseudoscience. Yet that’s what happened. In a Sunday Review column headlined “When Is Speech Violence?” Lisa Feldman Barrett, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, explains that “scientifically speaking,” the idea that physical violence is more harmful than emotional violence is an oversimplification. “Words can have a powerful effect on your nervous system. Certain types of adversity, even those involving no physical contact, can make you sick, alter your brain — even kill neurons — and shorten your life.” Chronic stress can also shrink your telomeres, she writes — “little packets of genetic material that sit on the ends of your chromosomes” — bringing you closer to death.

In light of all this, she writes, it makes sense to think seriously about banning certain campus speakers:

The scientific findings I described above provide empirical guidance for which kinds of controversial speech should and shouldn’t be acceptable on campus and in civil society. In short, the answer depends on whether the speech is abusive or merely offensive.

Offensiveness is not bad for your body and brain. Your nervous system evolved to withstand periodic bouts of stress, such as fleeing from a tiger, taking a punch or encountering an odious idea in a university lecture.


What’s bad for your nervous system, in contrast, are long stretches of simmering stress. If you spend a lot of time in a harsh environment worrying about your safety, that’s the kind of stress that brings on illness and remodels your brain. That’s also true of a political climate in which groups of people endlessly hurl hateful words at one another, and of rampant bullying in school or on social media. A culture of constant, casual brutality is toxic to the body, and we suffer for it.

That’s why it’s reasonable, scientifically speaking, not to allow a provocateur and hatemonger like Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at your school. He is part of something noxious, a campaign of abuse. There is nothing to be gained from debating him, for debate is not what he is offering.
This is a weak and confused argument. Setting aside the fact that no one will ever be able to agree on what’s “abusive” versus what’s “merely offensive,” the articles Barrett links to are mostly about chronic stress — the stress elicited by, for example, spending one’s childhood in an impoverished environment of serious neglect and violence. Growing up in a dangerous neighborhood with a poor single mother who has to work so much she doesn’t have time to nurture you is not the same as being a college student at a campus where Yiannopoulos is coming to speak, and where you are free to ignore him or to protest his presence there. One situation involves a level of chronic stress that is inflicted on you against your will and which really could harm you in the long run; the other doesn’t. Nowhere does Barrett fully explain how the presence on campus of a speaker like Yiannopoulos for a couple of hours is going to lead to students being afflicted with the sort of serious, chronic stress correlated with health difficulties. It’s simply disingenuous to compare the two types of situations — in a way, it’s an insult both to people who do deal with chronic stress and to student activists.

It’s also worth pointing out that this sort of scaremongering — Milo is coming and he is shrinking your telomeres! — could become a self-fulfilling prophecy for some students. There’s an intriguing area of behavioral science known as mind-set research, and one of its tenets is that the relationship between stress and humans’ response to it is partially mediated by how people expect stress to affect them. In one intriguing study, for example, a group of Australian college students were given a psychological test and then told — at random — that it revealed they were either good at dealing with stress or bad at it. Then they watched, on a MacBook, a very disturbing ten-minute video of a car wreck, after which they were asked to “close their eyes and relax” for three minutes. When they opened their eyes, the researchers running the study asked them to estimate the number of times the film’s sounds and images intruded on their consciousness during the interlude, and how distressing they found the film overall. As it turned out, the students who were told at random they were good copers were less affected by the film — they experienced, on average, about four and a half intrusions during the three-minute interlude, and rated their distress level at 5.65 on a 10-point scale. The “poor copers,” on the other hand, experienced about 18 intrusions and rated their distress level at almost an 8. It’s an interesting finding – albeit one conducted on a fairly small sample of 33 students – and there are other studies which also suggest that the way we are primed to respond to stress can affect how we eventually do.

Now, it would be just as much of a stretch to say that a single column like Barrett’s could cause students to self-traumatize as it would be to say that an upcoming Yiannopoulos appearance could traumatize them. But in the aggregate, if you tell students over and over and over that certain variants of free speech — variants which are ugly, but which are aired every moment of every day on talk radio — are traumatizing them, it really could do harm. And there’s no reason to go down this road, because there’s no evidence that the mere presence of a conservative speaker on campus is harming students in some deep psychological or physiological way (with the exception of outlying cases involving preexisting mental-health problems). This is a silly idea that should be retired from the conversation about free speech on campus.
FreeSpeech  Campus  MicroAgressions  Feminism  db 
21 hours ago by walt74
Google Campus São Paulo: Uma Visita Pelo Espaço De Inovação | Best Images Collections HD For Gadget windows Mac Android
Google Campus São Paulo: uma visita pelo espaço de Inovação Tela quebrada? Bateria viciada? Canaltechfix: a sua, a nossa assistência técnica! with Internet site Google Campus São Paulo: Serviço: Google Campus São Paulo Horário: Segunda a Sexta, das 9h às 19h Rua Coronel Oscar Porto, 70 – Paraíso – São Paulo Entrada gratuita […]
IFTTT  WordPress  Technology  canaltech  google  campus  são  paulo  tecnologia 
4 days ago by wotek
Mom's long personal account of #college #visit tour w her freshman & junior admit kids ^cr
Mom's long personal account of #college #visit tour w her freshman & junior admit kids (more in comments)
visit  16ccc  college  bullsi  mother  mommyblog  twt  tour  campus  travel  california 
4 days ago by csrollyson
Useful advice for #college #visits, esp the "less typical things" you can do ^cr
Useful advice for #college #visits, esp the "less typical things" you can do
college  16ccc  visit  bullsi  twt  list  howto  campus  experiential 
4 days ago by csrollyson
College faculty member & mother gives her impressions of son's experience ^cr
Insight: Mother & college faculty gives her impression of #college #tours, as a "consumer"
college  visit  parent  faculty  student  son  family  bullsi  twt  16ccc  comparison  campus  tour 
14 days ago by csrollyson
yes, campus activists have attempted to censor completely mainstream views – the ANOVA
This past week, the Los Angeles Times was kind enough to run a revised version of an argument I had made here in the recent past – that Republican support of colleges and universities has collapsed, likely because of constant incidents on campus that create a widespread impression of anti-conservative bias, and that since our public universities are chartered and funded as non-partisan institutions, and because Republicans control enormous political power, our institutions are deeply threatened. I stand by that case.

I have gotten the usual grab bag of responses, most of them unmoored from specific principles about who should be able to say what on campus, and some of them directly contradictory with each other. As is typical, the number one rhetorical move has been to insist that student activists are only targeting the worst of the worst, Milo Yiannopoulos and Richard Spencer and the like. The idea is that people with mainstream views are entirely free to say whatever they want without issue because they don’t directly threaten marginalized people. That idea is factually incorrect, as anyone with the barest grasp on the facts should know.
culture  trump  left  speech  campus  censorship 
25 days ago by since1968
Data on Campus Censorship Cases
I’ve noticed that people tend to only hear about campus free speech cases which fit their particular narrative (either of conservatives censoring liberals or of liberals censoring conservatives). Apolitical cases (for instance, Valencia College’s censorship of students who protested forced transvaginal ultrasounds) tend to become less widely known, as do cases of liberal censorship among conservatives and conservative censorship among liberals. In addition, people hear more about cases of censorship at famous colleges (such as Harvard or Yale) than they do about the less famous colleges that most people actually go to.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is a well-respected organization which specializes in campus free speech and other civil liberties. My sample was the list FIRE maintains on its website of cases it has worked on in the past (for instance, by sending the college a letter or engaging in litigation). I took every fifth case and coded it as censorship of conservative, censorship of liberal, or apolitical censorship. There were 88 cases in my sample. I dropped five for being FIRE suing about bad policies with no clear indication of whom they would be used against, four for being sexual misconduct policies (which are not instances of censorship), and two for being miscellaneous instances of inadequate college due process (which, again, are not censorship). This left me with 77 cases.

Of the 77 cases, I coded 20 (26%) as censorship of liberals, 40 (52%) as censorship of conservatives, and 17 (22%) as apolitical censorship. An example of censorship of conservatives is refusing to allow Christians to organize a student group; an example of censorship of liberals is not allowing PETA supporters to hand out flyers; an example of apolitical censorship is suspending a professor for saying, during a review session for a test, that the questions he was asking were so difficult he was on a killing spree.

I made a few judgment calls which I want to discuss. One instance of a hate speech code was coded as “censorship of liberals” because surrounding discussion suggested it was intended to censor pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel protests. While some people would consider sexual harassment law to be inherently liberal, I classified (for instance) the censorship of a crew team’s shirts saying “check out our cox” as apolitical censorship, since lewd puns are not a political sentiment. (Of course, if sexual harassment law was used to censor a political statement, I classified it as “liberal” or “conservative.”) I classified socialists as liberal and libertarians as conservative, in spite of both groups’ probable objection to such a classification. “Nationwide disinvitation of speakers,” a single FIRE case, was classified as conservative because 9/10 of the most disinvited speakers are conservative, but note that Bill Ayers is also on the list. (It is also a judgment call that I (a) didn’t treat each disinvitation as a separate case and (b) included “nationwide disinvitations” at all.)

ETA: I’d also like to note that the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is not a random sample of college censorship cases. Presumably they do not pursue every case brought to their attention, and there may be systematic biases in which students contact FIRE. For example, conservative students may trust FIRE more and be more likely to call them when campus censorship occurs, or conversely FIRE may pursue more cases of liberal censorship to combat its image as a defender of the right wing. These results should be taken with a grain of salt.

In conclusion: there is a definite tendency for censorship on college campuses to be censorship of conservative viewpoints, perhaps because conservative viewpoints tend to be underrepresented in academia. However, about a quarter of college censorship in this sample is of liberal viewpoints and a quarter is of apolitical viewpoints; this suggests it is a mistake to assume that censorship on college campuses is solely of conservative viewpoints. However, given the limitations of my data, I’d strongly advise against drawing any conclusion from it firmer than “censorship of both liberals and conservatives occurs on college campuses, and conservatives probably face more.”
Campus  FreeSpeech  Censorship  IlliberalLeft  IlliberalRight  Left  Right  db 
4 weeks ago by walt74
The New York Times Higher Ed Leaders Forum: Up in Arms Over Free Speech – Jonathan Haidt
How can administrators and faculty encourage healthy debate and diversity of thought? Have students become intolerant of opposing views? For higher ed leaders, it is one of the most charged debates of the moment, and a challenge to bridge the moral and political divides on their campuses.
JonathanHaidt  dv  Psychology  FreeSpeech  Campus 
5 weeks ago by walt74
At SF State, Community Service Was Another Form of Campus Activism
SF STATE NEWS -- Community service became especially important in San Francisco during the Summer of Love because of the influx of tens of thousands of young people into the city, SF State Humanities Lecturer Peter Richardson said. People were getting sick, going hungry or couldn’t find proper housing, he said.

“I think part of it was that the city wasn’t supporting the Summer of Love. They kind of resisted it. A lot of city officials were saying, ‘don’t come.’ And people in the Haight-Ashbury realized that they had to do it themselves,” Richardson said.
hum  faculty  research  campus 
8 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Latest SF State Magazine Features 'Scrappy' Gay Rights Crusader Cleve Jones
SF STATE NEWS -- Social justice and activism are at the heart of what it means to be a Gator, and that’s evident in the cover story of the spring/summer 2017 edition of SF State Magazine.

Cleve Jones, who attended San Francisco State University from 1977 to 1984, is profiled in the cover story. Jones’ four decades of activism are explored, from his internship at San Francisco City Hall in the office of Supervisor Harvey Milk to his help creating the AIDS Memorial Quilt in the 1980s to his present-day work as a union organizer fighting for the rights of hotel workers.
plsi  alumni  hotshots  campus 
10 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Faculty members Richardson, Green: Journalism Took on New Slant in Mid-1960s
SF STATE NEWS -- SF State Humanities Lecturer Peter Richardson’s book, “A Bomb in Every Issue,” chronicles Ramparts magazine, which began as a Catholic quarterly in 1962. By 1967 the publication was breaking major stories on Vietnam, the CIA and the Black Panthers. It took leftist politics and merged it with celebrity culture. It ran stories the mainstream media wouldn’t touch and then publicized it a way that the mainstream media couldn’t ignore, Richardson said. The magazine eventually folded in 1975, but former employees went on to found Rolling Stone and Mother Jones magazines — which still carry that muckraking and independent spirit.

Professor of English Language and Literature Geoffrey Green said “new journalism” is often associated with the Summer of Love even though it began much earlier with non-Summer of Love subject matter. “The new journalism was a sense that you could cover a story but do so with an artistic individuality that transformed it into a literary statement,” he said.

All nonfiction inherently has that subjectivity, Green said. “Every biography, if it’s any good, the biographer has formed a kind of shape or contour that gives it life,” he said. Without a particular perspective it would be seen as a shapeless chronology and if it’s only slant then it becomes a polemic, he added.
hum  eng  faculty  research  campus 
10 weeks ago by sfstatelca

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