The New York Times has published an article on the sexual harassment case of University of Miami philosopher Colin McGinn. Professor McGinn was forced to resign his tenured position because of sexual harassment complaints by a first-year graduate student. In an e-mail, the professor requested she have sex with him three times over the summer; in another e-mail, he mentioned masturbation with a more ribald reference. The article describes how philosophy as one of the humanities is singularly known as the last redoubt of male privilege and domination. Women are marginalised, abused and rarely cited in the literature. Trust me it is even more pronounced when women in order to succeed at the male-country club of philosophy play the game of persecuting non-tenured women as well! This was very much in evidence in the DePaul persecution of Namita Goswami whose Ph.D. was granted by Emory University.
AAUP Illinois Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure produced an extensive report on the Namita Goswami case. It encountered egregious examples of violation of her academic freedom and sexism in the DePaul philosophy department’s approach to her promotion and tenure case. Statements of supposedly rational adults in that department accused Dr Goswami of lacking intelligence and in not possessing sufficient thinking skills. (Note the final paragraphs of the Times article on just this type of sexist, demeaning abuse!) The DePaul Department of Philosophy’s witch-hunt against Goswami who dared teach non-continental (white male European) philosophy, stated that her best publications were those that were co-authored with her husband. And what made this situation more shocking and despicable was DePaul President The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider’s, CM. refusal, even with the national press covering the racism and sexism at DePaul, to protect academic freedom and grant tenure to Dr Goswami who had also won a coveted teaching award at DePaul.
In my work as chair of the AAUP Ill Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, I have never witnessed an egregious persecution of a colleague with such blatant, shameless sexism. The record as revealed speaks for itself. I am pleased that Professor Goswami has sued DePaul and hopefully that university will finally pay a price for its persecution of its faculty from Norman Finkelstein to Mehrene Larudee to Namita Goswami and the DePaul 3. I think the New York Times reporter, Jennifer Schuessler, might have checked into this case that was covered by her paper and other major news publications as an example of the very sexism and bias against women, particularly women of colour, that she reported in the vicious, cruel and misogynist world of academic philosophy.