“Academic Freedom Under the Gun: A Report from Kansas” out now

The AAUP’s Journal of Academic Freedom has a fantastic new issue out. It includes articles about white virtual mobs attacking black professors, the use of biometrics to monitor faculty, and more. And this gem:

“Academic Freedom under the Gun: A Report from Kansas,” by Elizabeth Esch, Megan Jones, and David Roediger

The authors are two professors of American studies at KU (Esch and Roediger), where I trained, and the indomitable Megan Jones, a graduate student whose work on this issue will save lives. Here is the abstract:

Faculty and students at the University of Kansas fought the recent implementation of concealed carry of guns on campus. The struggle involved taking on not just the state legislature and national practices of limiting research on gun violence, but also fighting a university administration that would not challenge, and indeed raised fears of violating, a dubiously constitutional state law that made “lobbying” against guns illegal. Thus the fight against campus carry was from the beginning a fight about academic freedom. Trying to prevent guns in the classroom revealed another level of crisis in the state of Kansas, an existing problem of a university administration that in the name of good relations with a hostile legislature fails to stand up to elected officials regarding basic protections of student, staff, and academic speech and of the right to organize around a workplace health and safety issue.

You can read the whole thing online for free.

See the source image

Above, protestors rally on KU’s Wescoe Beach to prevent the carrying of guns on campus. 

And you know what would be totally awesome? If you are thankful for this work, support it with a direct donation to students and graduates working for gun-free campuses. They’re supposed to be studying–and paying to do it–and they are also doing the work of fighting against armed campuses. If you need some suggestions on how to do that, please let me know and I’ll help you find a student you can support.


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