At the Chronicle of Higher Education, Andrea Long Chu weighs in on the Avital Ronell Title IX case at NYU. Chu, who worked as Ronell’s teaching assistant last year, writes that it is an open secret at NYU that Ronell is abusive. Chu also takes note of the protective arguments offered by some of Ronell’s peers, who view the sexual-harassment case as an opportunity to think about larger structural issues: “When scholars defend Avital—or ‘complicate the narrative,’ as we like to say—in part this is because we cannot stand believing what most people believe. The need to feel smarter is deep. . . . We would be intellectually humiliated to learn that the truth was plain: that Avital quite simply sexually harassed her student, just as described. Sometimes analysis is simply denial with more words.”
Mitchell S. Jackson. Photo: John Ricard.
The VQR talks with Mitchell S. Jackson, author of the forthcoming book, Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family.
The Brooklyn Book Festival has announced the schedule for this year’s events. Bookforum’s panel, “Backlash: The Legacy of 1968,” will take place on September 10th at 7pm at Books Are Magic in Brooklyn.
At the New Republic, Alex Shepard reports on the spate of problems at Barnes & Noble. On Tuesday, former CEO Demos Parneros filed a lawsuit against the bookseller, alleging that it enabled rumors that he was fired because of sexual harassment allegations. The company quickly responded, telling the New York Times that Parneros was indeed let go because of “sexual harassment, bullying behavior and other violations of company policies.” Shepard writes that aside from the drama around Parneros’s termination, the lawsuit is notable because it portrays a company in crisis, one that “is struggling in every conceivable aspect of its business, which means that finding a new CEO—let alone a buyer capable of turning the company around—will be exceedingly difficult.”