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ERIC Number: EJ943360
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 34
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2680
"Silence and Cowardice" at the University of Michigan: World War I and the Pursuit of Un-American Faculty
Cain, Timothy Reese
History of Education Quarterly, v51 n3 p296-329 Aug 2011
Numerous faculty members at the University of Michigan and institutions across the nation found themselves victims of hysteria and anti-German extremism during World War I. Through an examination of restrictions on speech before American entry into the war, investigations into the loyalty of more than a dozen educators, and considerations of the shifting allegiances at the University of Michigan, this article reveals the extent to which an academic community turned on its own members in difficult times. It demonstrates the roles that faculty members played in removing their colleagues, the paucity of evidence needed to convince institutional leaders of professors' unfitness, and the conflict within a university. Moreover, it shows that the challenges for heterodox faculty were not limited to those who taught German and did not end with the conclusion of the war. The nationalism of the war years intensified and definitions of anti-American expanded amid the First Red Scare. Still, allegations of disloyalty did not inevitably lead to termination, as institutional leaders weighed professors' usefulness and whether they were on permanent appointments before deciding their futures. The Michigan case also sheds light on national organizations, including the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the National Security League (NSL), and the National Civil Liberties Bureau (NCLB), and how their actions--and inaction--were implicated in the ongoing struggles for academic freedom during this period. Finally, by locating the Michigan events in the broader national context, this article highlights the larger limits to one's understandings of the scope and effects of persecution of allegedly disloyal academics during the late 1910s. (Contains 130 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan