‘Canceled’ Professor Creates ‘Faculty for Common Sense’ to Combat Wokeness

University Professor ‘Canceled’ by Students Creates ‘Faculty for Common Sense’ to Combat Wokeness.

Background

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Canadian academic, Eric Kaufmann, is set to embark on a pioneering journey at the University of Buckingham. After a 20-year-long career, Kaufmann, who previously held a position at Birkbeck, University of London, left his role as Head of Politics, citing targeted criticism due to his right-leaning views. 

Combatting Wokeness

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As a result, the professor has announced that he’s creating a unique course at his new institution, focusing on the concept of ‘wokeness’.

The ‘Woke’ Curriculum and its Objectives

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Starting in January 2024, Kaufmann will lead the Centre for Heterodox Social Science and introduce his new course called ‘Woke: the Origins, Dynamics and Implications of an Elite Ideology’.

Evaluating Woke Culture

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The course is expected to be the first of its kind, striving to evaluate ‘woke’ culture empirically and analytically, steering clear of specific political or normative perspectives.

The Curriculum’s Content

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Kaufmann, a Vancouver native, has laid out the 15-week module that will delve into a theoretical, historical, and social-scientific analysis of cultural socialism.

Its description also mentions an examination of the concept of ‘woke’ against the backdrop of global population shifts and techno-economic developments.

Impetus for Change

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Kaufmann believes these explorative steps are necessary, following what he perceives to be a concerted effort over the past five years to remove him from his position at Birkbeck, due to his right-leaning views on issues such as ethnicity, national identity, left-wing ideology, and religion.

Feeling compelled to resign at the end of August, he brought a 20-year career to a close.

Kaufamnn’s Motivations

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Sharing his story in The Critic, Kaufmann revealed his motivations for leaving Birkbeck and his aspirations for Buckingham – the only ‘free speech university’ in Britain.

The Need For a Counterpoint

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He emphasized the need for a counterpoint to the progressive-controlled monoculture of academia, which he believes distorts the teaching and research mission of universities.

Upholding Academic Freedom

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Kaufmann argues that the academic landscape at British universities has deteriorated due to the moral absolutism of certain young, illiberal progressives who use pressure, public reputational attacks, and social media to limit academic freedom.

Upholding Academic Freedom

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This situation led him to feel constantly under threat, and therefore resulted in self-censorship to avoid repercussions.

He stressed his aspiration to promote objectivity and viewpoint diversity, rejecting indoctrination or narrow restrictions on knowledge exploration.

Kaufamann’s Ultimate Goal

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In the coming year, he also plans to launch a London-based Masters course on the Politics of Culture, aiming to investigate the interaction between the woke left and populist right.

Kaufmann’s ultimate goal is to achieve a politically balanced student intake, to minimize self-censorship.

The Backstory

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Born in Hong Kong to a former Canadian diplomat, Kaufmann spent his childhood in British Columbia before moving to the UK in the 90s.

In a recent Daily Mail report, the professor claimed to have been ‘canceled by 1,000 cuts’ over a five-year campaign at Birkbeck.

Kaufmann’s Academic Challenges

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During that time, he experienced being targeted on social media, receiving a public call to be fired via an open letter to the Master of Birkbeck, and being avoided by colleagues who feared they would also be ‘canceled’ by their association with him.

His Commitment To Promoting Free Academic Discourse

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Despite these challenges, Kaufmann remains committed to promoting free and open academic discourse.

A Call to Action

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In the face of these challenges, Kaufmann hopes that his new initiative will serve to protect and promote the principles of free speech, equal treatment, due process, and objective scientific truth, which he believes are under threat from a new ‘woke’ ideology.

A Threat To Civilization’s Foundations

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Kaufmann sees this ideology as a threat to civilization’s foundations and expresses concern about its deep penetration in universities, schools, and elite institutions globally, as he declared in an interview with GBNews.

Combating The Perceived Threat

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The professor’s move to the University of Buckingham, ranked as the UK’s top school for ‘freedom of expression’, appears to be a strategic step towards combating this perceived threat.

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This article was produced by TPR Teaching.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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