Extended Ban

Extended Ban

 

A thought occurs to me: would other university administrators take a similar line? I have to admit that the idea that I would ever be forbidden to attend an academic gathering never entered my head, but that is the reality I now face. So far as I know it is unprecedented. But what about other institutions—would they also ban me? I haven’t been to a philosophy talk in the USA in nine years, so I don’t know. If I proposed to attend a colloquium at some other American university, would I be forbidden from attending? The question divides into three parts: would university administrators ban me, would faculty ban me, and would students ban me? Certainly I have not been invited to give a talk at an American university since 2013, but what about my attending someone else’s talk? What precise grounds could be given for such a ban? None that I can think of, but that doesn’t seem to matter. One would think that the position of the University of Miami would generalize, so that other places would have equal grounds for keeping me out—for example, if I was a deemed dangerous. Or would the mere possibility of protest be sufficient to have me banned? I really don’t know—and that says a lot. Perhaps I should do an experiment and mention to (say) NYU that I plan to attend a colloquium of theirs: what would happen? Would administrators step in to threaten me with expulsion? Would the faculty advise me that I am not welcome? Would the students rise up in protest? The terrible truth is that all these things strike me now as eminently possible. What a world we live in. I expect no improvement in 2023.

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3 replies
  1. Colin McGinn
    Colin McGinn says:

    So far no one has contacted me to say they would have no objection to my attending a colloquium in their department.

    Reply
  2. paul reinicke
    paul reinicke says:

    I would be fairly astonished if the ban extended beyond the reach of the University of Miami. (Though there is a Miami University in Ohio — no relation.) I suspect it has to do with the (unsettled?) lawsuit.

    Reply
    • Colin McGinn
      Colin McGinn says:

      You suspect wrong: the lawsuit was settled long ago (2016); my codefendants were Edward Erwin and the University of Miami. Also, they were banning me before the lawsuit. I have learned not to be astonished by anything that Americans are prepared to do.

      Reply

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