Mary Grabar Reviews NAS Conference

Ashley Thorne

Writer and English teacher Mary Grabar, who came to NAS's conference "A Mighty Maze" this month, reviews its reviewer in an article on her website Dissident Prof. She takes issue with Peter Schmidt's characterization of the NAS and our conference in his two Chronicle of Higher Education articles published the week of the event. 

An excerpt from Grabar's critique:

For Schmidt NAS clings to a “romanticized past,” a standard that never really existed.  And the motivations for those clinging to the romanticized past have to do with fear of “affirmative action, ethnic-studies departments."  Hence, Schmidt succeeds in dismissing NAS’s claim even as he pretends to simply describe it.  The complaint about the lack of willingness to engage in debate is met with lack of willingness to engage in debate.

Schmidt furthermore cites critics of the organization, and at that Cary Nelson, former president of the AAUP, the American Association of University Professors, who a few years earlier had been an invited panelist to the NAS conference, where he used terms of abuse like "fascist" and "reactionary" to describe the organization in his opening remarks, and where he insulted an undergraduate who had stepped up to the mic to ask about the biased readings in her journalism class.

h/t George Leef on Phi Beta Cons

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