Dr Kevin Barrett Previews My Appearance on His Radio Programme

This is a link to my scheduled appearance on Dr Kevin Barrett’s Truth Jihad radio show on Friday, March 11, 2011 from 2:00-3:00 PM CST.  In the photo, I am the one on the left. The venue was the Historians Against the War (Iraq war) conference in 2008 where I gave a paper at the University of Texas at Austin. It was there where I spoke at great length to Dr Howard Zinn, my professor and advisor at Boston University, and thanked him for his inspirational teaching and assisting me in recognising the pursuit of truth can be controversial and perilous: but necessary in asserting one’s humanity.

I received an impassioned but civil email from an individual who strongly disagrees with Dr Barrett’s views on any number of matters. This person urged me to challenge Dr Barrett. I see my role as the interviewee to communicate my views on academic freedom and American foreign policy. To the extent there is a “debate” with Dr Barrett, I will gladly participate but I am not there to unmask or denigrate but to articulate positions on which I have knowledge and expertise. I confess to enjoying venues with controversial  figures because it gives me a chance to measure my positions against others and to more importantly demonstrate by example that dialogue and civility between disparate ideological groups are quite conducive in maintaining democracy and free speech.

See below the text and image from his website:

Second hour: Academic freedom fighter Peter N. Kirstein makes his first appearance on Truth Jihad Radio! Peter N. Kirstein is professor of history at St Xavier University in Chicago. He has an M.A. and Ph.D. degree from Saint Louis University and an A.B. from Boston University. His undergraduate mentor and advisor was Howard Zinn. He is also vice president of the Illinois Conference of the American Association of University Professors and chairs its Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure. In 2002 he was involved in one of the most controversial academic freedom cases of the new century. He was suspended and reprimanded for an antiwar email as a response to an event solicitation at the Air Force Academy. He later became known as a leading defender of Norman Finkelstein‘s academic freedom.

An author of a book and many articles, Kirstein concentrates on the atomic bomb, foreign policy and academic freedom. Frequently they intersect. His recent involvement in the Namita Goswami tenure case at DePaul University has been covered by the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chronicle of Higher Ed and Inside Higher Ed. Professor Kirstein was included in David Horowitz, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.

Peter Kirstein and colleagues

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