Stephen Leberstein: Open Season on Academics

The year began with threats of violence against Frances Fox Piven, distinguished professor of sociology and political science at the Graduate Center, following Glenn Beck’s repeated denunciations of Piven on his Fox network show and the posting of her home address on his blog. At the same time, Kristofer Petersen-Overton, a PhD student in political science hired to teach a course on Middle Eastern politics at Brooklyn College, was fired just days before his first class following a complaint to the Chancellor by Assemblymember Dov Hikind. Continue reading

The Ongoing Attack on Academic Freedom: Which Way Forward?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 6.30 PM
Light Refreshments 5:30-6
PSC-CUNY Union Hall
61 Broadway, 16th floor
(photo ID required)

Keynote speaker:

Frances Fox Piven : Professor of Political Science and Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center, author of Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America

Additional speakers:

Anita Levy , Associate Secretary, Academic Freedom Dept., AAUP on the national context
Blanche Wiesen Cook (invited) on political implications
Clarence Taylor on the historical context
Kristofer Petersen-Overton on the vulnerability of contingent faculty
Stephen Leberstein, moderator

Refreshments at 6 PM, program at 6:30 in the union hall.

Panel Discussion: Academic Freedom and the New McCarthyism

March 14, 2011 @ 6.30 PM
CUNY Graduate Center, rm 201 (basement level)
365 Fifth Avenue
B/D/F/M/N/Q/R to 34th St-Herald Square

Our university is once again under attack. Such vitriolic opponents of academic freedom as Fox News pundit Glenn Beck and NY Assemblyman Dov Hikind have recently targeted City University of New York faculty members Frances Fox Piven and Kristofer Petersen-Overton, respectively, in the worst academic witch-hunts seen in years. A defense campaign for Petersen-Overton successfully demanded that the Brooklyn College administration reinstate him after he was fired on egregious grounds, while Piven’s situation is now eliciting national concern for what these threats portend for left-wing academics at universities everywhere. Continue reading