The Politics of Sex at Universities

This post was originally published at Public Seminar on December 20, 2017.

In this column, I like to write about the conversations that I imagine might restore our political culture in the United States. Yet in the past several weeks, the wave of sexual harassment revelations that have hit educational, along with media, corporate, political, and athletic, institutions has claimed my attention over and over.

Readers of Public Seminar know that the New School has not been exempt from the spotlight trained on private behavior that has public consequences. If you don’t mind, I will not repeat our tale of woe here. My information is incomplete and unreliable. As importantly, the people who have been most immediately affected may be understandably fragile and resent new attention, while the rest of us are — well, very tired.

But it really doesn’t matter whether I tell you one sexual harassment story or another, does it?  If we have learned anything since the Harvey Weinstein case emboldened women to speak out, while charges of sexual harassment can differ in their narrative details and settings, the thematic categories are numbingly similar and recognizable to all of us. So it is at The New School: you already know our story. I don’t have to tell you. What? You say that you want to tell me your story? Alright then: here are some guidelines for submission that publisher Jeff Goldfarb and I posted last week. We have one letter from our colleague in sociology, Andrew Arato, that published this morning, and at least one contribution on the way from outside The New School. Keep your eye on this page.

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