On February 18 (2021), I innocently tweeted that I had decided to give all my students A’s this term, or allow them to award themselves whatever grade they felt was fair. Little did I know that within hours the media would be contacting me, wondering what in the world was going on. Let me first explain what, exactly, is going on, and then why I made my decision.

The class in question is a senior seminar in comparative literature. There are 9 students. We are just past the half-way mark in the term, and each and every one has done…


Can We Stop this “Intolerant Left is the Intolerant Right” Nonsense — Especially When It’s Racist?

I’ve always liked Matt Taibbi’s work. I especially got hooked on his political reporting for Rolling Stone, which I found insightful, well-researched, and witty. I probably still have a few print issues of the magazine in my library, highlighted and underscored. …


Why “Justice” and “Open Debate” Don’t Fit Together in Trump’s America

A Letter on Justice and Open Debate” (aka “The Letter”) published in Harper’s online edition of 7 July 2020, has become the latest, and perhaps worst, instance of celebrities thoughtlessly piling on to sign a ridiculous, ill-conceived, attention-getting “Open Letter.” Some are already regretting signing it. To his credit, when approached to sign, Pulitzer-Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen declined. He said that the letter was described to him as being a “liberal letter,” and that he “wasn’t a liberal.” Good for him. …

David Palumbo-Liu

Stanford Prof. Words: Washington Post, The Guardian, Jacobin, The Nation, Truthout, Al Jazeera, Vox, Buzzfeed, The Hill. On human rights, race, politic, culture

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