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Honoring Educators (Back to School Special); Q&A is Friday 1-2pmET
Welcome back to Lucid, and hello to all subscribers. Due to the holiday weekend, our next Q&A will be on Friday, Sept. 1, 1-2pmET rather than on Sunday evening. Paying subscribers will receive a link to register for the Zoom meeting on Friday morning. If you'd like to join us, you can upgrade your subscription or sign up as a paying subscriber here:
Many schools and universities in the U.S. have already started classes, but others, like my institution, begin right after Labor Day. This fall I am teaching courses on propaganda (timely!) and War and Cinema (World War One through drone warfare). Due to my teaching schedule, the main Lucid essay will be published on Wednesday rather than Tuesday, starting this week. The lunchtime Friday Q&As and monthly Sunday evening Q&As will remain the same.
In the meantime, in honor of "back to school" for educators, administrators, students, and staff, here is a roundup of my essays on threats to democratic models of education and what happens to educational institutions when authoritarianism takes hold.
To start, here is a syllabus on Italian Fascism if you'd like to learn more about the regime that influenced Adolf Hitler and many other dictators.
Here is an essay on attacks on critical thinking and academic freedom in far-right countries such as Hungary and in Republican America. As I conclude:
"What happens on campus reflects and often anticipates democratic decline.”
And here's a post about the role of informers in and out of the classroom. It moves from the Fascist era to today. In it, I also discuss being placed on Professor Watchlist, the site run by Turning Point USA to intimidate academics and try and get them fired. And here is the 2021 CNN piece that prompted that authoritarian action: it called out "parent's rights" as a smoke screen for far-right activism.
Want a primer on PragerU? Here is my essay on the far-right propaganda machine now in Florida schools. Its content brings a toxic mix of conspiracy theories, racism, homophobia, anti-feminism, and neoliberalism to children and teens.
Finally, let's give our support to school librarians, who were already overworked and underpaid before becoming targets of the far-right. Here is an essay on the civic function of libraries and their importance for democracy. It is dedicated to librarians and library staff across America, and to a family member who worked for many years as a library clerk in an elementary school.