The radical transformation that universities are undergoing today is no less far-reaching than the upheavals that it experienced in the 1960s. However today, when almost 50 per cent of young people participate in higher education, what occurs in universities matters directly to the whole of society.
On both sides of the Atlantic curious and disturbing events on campuses has become a matter of concern not just for academics but also for the general public. What is one to make of the growing trend of banning speakers? What’s the meaning of trigger warnings, cultural appropriation, micro-aggression or safe spaces? And why are some students going around arguing that academic freedom is no big deal?
What’s Happened To The University? offers an answer to the questions of why campus culture is undergoing such a dramatic transformation and why the term moral quarantine refers to the infantilising project of insulating students from offence and a variety of moral harms.
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Students are too often micromanaged and policed while on campus, and it needs to stop.
Whether it’s the Holocaust or A Midsummer Night’s Dream, lecturers should not have to tip-toe around issuing trigger warnings to stop students being distressed.