Sussex Global Studies school responds to right-wing classes
Head of Global Studies faculty affirms her commitment to challenge all forms of discrimination.
Head of the Global Studies faculty and Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor Equalities and Diversity , Professor Andrea Cornwall, sent out an emailed response from the Global Studies school about recent classes, regarding how to treat right-wing attitudes, being held within the university.
Professor Cornwall states that the classes were held to contextualise what we mean by right-wing. She states that being right-wing now constitutes some “positions and views that would once have been cast as extreme”. The lecturer felt it was necessary to start a conversation about what it means to be right-wing now by referencing the recent appearance of neo-nazi stickers on campus and her personal observation among faculty who have felt under attack.
As a head of school, the professor wanted to “fully affirms her commitment” to challenge all forms of discrimination, whether anti-semitism, homophobia, racism, able-bodiedism, sexism or any form of prejudice that works to compound structural disadvantage.
Andrea continued to say that she would “fiercely” defend the rights of those who are under prejudice in the current climate.
The “right-wing” workshops which were aimed on how to deal with “right wing attitudes and politics in the classroom”, came to light when the Daily Telegraph published an article accusing Sussex University of undermining free speech.
Professor Cornwall echoed the message the Vice Chancellor had for his students, about the importance of creating spaces for deliberation in which dissenting voices and versions can come into dialogue. Expressing that “it is only through listening to each other actively and thoughtfully that we can bridge our differences and bring us together as a community”.
Professor Cornwall went on to state that there are also occasions, that may take place in the classroom, on the bus, in the street, where we “hear forms of speech that express hate for minorities and on the basis of difference, and when we see aggressions that deny particular groups of people a right to dignity and respect”.
The Head of School emphasised that this is a moment “for us to affirm those values of kindness, dignity and respect that should underpin everything we do as a University that seeks to make a positive contribution to creating a better world for all”.
She goes on to write:
“These values can be shared by everyone across the political spectrum
“values that are undermined by those who treat people differently because of the colour of their skin, their ethnicity, their religion, their nationality, their sexuality, their age, their gender or any other structural dimension of difference
“It is where we see these values being flouted that we find ourselves moved to act”.
Claims that the class was discriminatory to students with right-wing views were raised with ex-student, Harry Howard, mentioning moments where he felt that he was treated unfairly in Sussex for showing an interest in right-wing philosophers whilst studying politics.