Long list of prominent historians come to defense of H.S. teacher dismissed for writing a novel





[Click here for background.]

Dear Editor,

We were shocked and disappointed that the Horace Mann school would dismiss a faculty member for writing a novel, and we applaud the many Horace Mann students who courageously and thoughtfully protested this action and advocated for academic freedom. This shows Horace Mann students at their finest.

We believe that academic freedom should be the cornerstone of an educational institution. In our own work and in our classrooms, we strive to create an environment where students and faculty are free to think critically. We believe this is crucial not just for our schools but for our country. As the Horace Mann student petition stated, “democracy is a primary ethical value that [can] be promoted and protected best through an educational system that respects academic freedom.” We agree that a free and democratic society demands actively engaged citizens who are willing to question the world around them.

Given Horace Mann’s reputation, we believed that the school would consider academic freedom a principle to be celebrated, rather than an action to be punished. Restrictions on academic freedom invariably have chilling effects. We can only imagine the impact this will have on the entire community at Horace Mann and the various ways it will now hinder the school’s efforts to provide a free and challenging intellectual environment.

Sincerely,

Edward Ayers, President of the University of Richmond (beginning July 2007); Buckner W. Clay Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and Hugh P. Kelly Professor of History,
University of Virginia; Recipient of the Bancroft Prize (2004), Albert J. Beveridge Award, and J. Willard Hurst Prize

Julian Bond, Professor, Department of History, University of Virginia; [Former] Chairman, N.A.A.C.P.

Brian Balogh, Mayo Distinguished Teaching Professor of History; Co-Director, American Political Development Program, University of Virginia

Eileen Boris, Professor and Hull Chair of Women’s History and Affiliate Professor of History and Law and Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara; Recipient of the Philip Taft Prize (1994)

William H. Chafe, Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of History; Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Duke University

Katherine Charron, Assistant Professor of History, North Carolina State University

Paul Clemens, Professor of History; Chair of History Department, Rutgers University

Andrew Cohen, Assistant Professor of History, Syracuse University

Stephen Cushman, Professor of English, University of Virginia

Victoria de Grazia (HM Parent 2002), Professor of History, Columbia University

John Dittmer, Professor Emeritus of History, Depauw University; Recipient of the Bancroft Prize (1994), Lilliam Smith Book Award (1993), McLemore Prize (1995), and the Herbert Gutman Prize (1994)

Greg Dorr, Postdoctoral Associate, Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology, and Medicine. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jed Esty, Associate Professor of English, University of Illinois

Jon Earle, Associate Professor of History, University of Kansas; Ray Allen Billington Chair in U.S. History at Occidental College and the Huntington Library, 2006-2007

Ann Fabian (Former HM Parent), Professor of American Studies and History, Chair of American Studies, Dean of Humanities, School of Arts and Sciences Rutgers University.

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University; President of the Society of American Historians (2006-2007); President, American Historical Association, 2000; President, Organization of American Historians, (1993-94); recipient of Los Angeles Times Book Award for History; Bancroft Prize; Parkman Prize; Lionel Trilling Award; Owsley Prize. Finalist, National Book Award; Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award

Susan Fraiman, Professor of English, University of Virginia

Joanne Freeman, Professor of History, Yale University

Scot French, Associate Professor of History, University of Virginia; Director of Virginia, Center for Digital History

Paul Gaston, Professor Emeritus of Southern and Civil Rights History, University of Virginia

Gary Gallagher, John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War, University of Virginia

Grace Hale, Associate Professor of History and American Studies, University of Virginia

Nancy Hewitt, Director, Institute for Research on Women; Professor of History, Rutgers University

Hugh Hochman, Associate Professor of French and Humanities, Reed College

Michael Holt, Williams Professor of History, University of Virginia

Woody Holton, Associate Professor of History, University of Richmond

Watson Jennison, Assistant Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Stephen Kantrowitz, Associate Professor of History, University of Wisconsin

Temma Kaplan, Professor of History, Rutgers University

Peter Kastor, Assistant Professor of History; Assistant Professor of American Culture Studies, Washington University

Jennifer Klein, Associate Professor of History, Yale University; Recipient of the Ellis Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians (2004); Recipient of the Hagley Prize (2004)

Juliette Landphair, Dean of Westhampton College, University of Richmond

Ann Lane, Professor of History and Women’s Studies

Steven F. Lawson, Professor of History, Rutgers University

Susana Michele Lee, Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University

Adriane Lentz-Smith, Assistant Professor of History, Duke University

Marc Lerner (HM 1989), Assistant Professor of History, University of Mississippi

Nicholas Lemann, Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism, Columbia University

Andrew Lewis, Visiting Assistant Professor of History, Hamilton College

Matt Lassiter, Associate Professor of History, University of Michigan

Nelson Lichtenstein, Professor of History, University of California, Santa Barbara; Recipient of the Philip Taft Prize (2003)

Danielle McGuire, Faculty, Horace Mann School

Allan Megill, Professor of History, University of Virginia; President, Journal of the History of Ideas

Paul Milazzo, Assistant Professor of History, Ohio University

Jennifer Morgan, Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University

Andrew Morris, Assistant Professor of History, Union College

Amy Morsman, Assistant Professor of History, Middlebury College

Jenry Morsman, Adjunct Professor of History, Middlebury College

Stephen M. Norris, Assistant Professor of History and Director of Film Studies, Miami University

James Oakes, Professor of History and Humanities Chair, Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Peter Onuf, Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor, University of Virginia

Rosalind Rosenberg, Professor of History, Barnard College, Columbia University; Executive Board of the Society of American Historians

Joshua Rothman, Associate Professor of History, University of Alabama

Anne Rubin, Associate Professor of History, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Winner of the 2006 Avery O. Craven Award from the Organization of American Historians

Reuel Schiller, Professor of Law, Hastings College of the Law, University of California

Peter Sheehy, Faculty, Horace Mann School

Herbert Sloan, Ann Whitney Olin Professor of History, Barnard College, Columbia University

Michael Socolow, Assistant Professor of Communication and Journalism, University of Maine

Doug Smith, National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, 2006-2007; Assistant Professor of History, Occidental College

Emily Straus (HM 1991), Assistant Professor of History, SUNY Fredonia

Alan Taylor, Professor of History, University of California at Davis; Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, Bancroft Prize, and Albert J. Beveridge Award (1996)

Scott Taylor, Assistant Professor of History, Siena College

Timothy Tyson (Book Day speaker and civil rights lecturer at HM, 2005, 2006), Senior Scholar, the Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University; Visiting Professor of American Christianity and Southern Culture, Duke Divinity School; Adjunct Professor of American Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Philip Troutman, Assistant Professor of Writing, The George Washington University

Craig Werner (Keynote speaker for Book Day at HM, 2006), Professor of Afro-American Studies, Chair of Integrated Liberal Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison


comments powered by Disqus
History News Network