The Sunshine State Descends into Darkness (Again)
Florida's all-out assault on academic freedom in higher ed
Worse than McCarthyism? In this episode of Banished, we explore the all-out assault on academic freedom in higher education in Florida. Turns out there’s a long history of campus witch-hunts in the state. We spoke with Robert Cassenello (history professor at University of Central Florida), Paul Ortiz (history professor at the University of Florida), James Grossman (executive director of the American Historical Association) and Ellen Schrecker (professor emerita at Yeshiva University). Episode transcript available here.
References & Links:
Will Florida's "Stop WOKE Act" Hold Up in Court?, Banished podcast episode, November 1, 2022.
Stacy Braukman, Communists and Perverts Under the Palms: The Johns Committee in Florida, 1956-1965, University Press of Florida, 2012.
Daniel Golden, “‘It’s Making Us More Ignorant’: Governor Ron DeSantis’s anti-critical-race-theory legislation is already changing how professors in Florida teach,” Atlantic, January 3, 2023.
Karen L. Graves, And They Were Wonderful Teachers: Florida’s Purge of Gay and Lesbian Teachers, University of Illinois Press, 2009.
Josh Moody, “DeSantis Aims to Turn Public College Into ‘Hillsdale of the South,’” Inside Higher Ed, January 11, 2023.
Emma Pettit, “The Inquisition: State intrusion on higher ed is nothing new. Decades ago, Florida lawmakers tried to purge campus ‘immorality,’” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 11, 2022.
Pettit, “‘Private Little Hell’: A Florida committee once hunted for gay people on Florida’s campuses. Sixty years later, the effects linger,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 28, 2022.
Pettit, “A Florida University Is Quickly Assembling a List of Courses on Diversity. Why? DeSantis Asked,” January 3, 2023.
Victor Ray, “Florida Man Calls the Thought Police,” The Nation, January 11, 2022.
Christopher Rufo, "The Conservative Counter-Revolution Begins in the Universities,” YouTube, January 12, 2023.
Ellen Schrecker, “Yes, These Bills Are the New McCarthyism,” Academe Blog, September 12, 2021.
Schrecker, No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities, Oxford University Press, 1986.
Adam Steinbaugh, “Why Florida’s betrayal of the First Amendment to ‘Stop WOKE’ should concern everyone, including conservatives,” November 29, 2022.
Cathy Young, “Ron DeSantis, Chris Rufo, and the College Anti-Woke Makeover,” The Bulwark, January 16, 2023.
United Faculty of Florida website; UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement
“The Committee,” documentary film about the Florida Legislative Investigative Committee (or “Johns Committee”)
Florida HB 7 (aka the Stop WOKE Act)
Florida HB 233