I spent six months investigating China's influence in American universities, and I found an epidemic of self-censorship. Most worryingly, Columbia University cancelled several talks because they were afraid of offending the Communist Party.
What?! Columbia University selected programs deemed too "politically sensitive" and "asked the Columbia Global Center in Beijing to cancel them.” Canceled events included *women’s rights*, writes h/t
Discussions about the ways politics can undermine research and pedagogy usually focus on the left v. right within the U.S. However, there are many other ways in which politics can lead to biases and censorship. For instance:
Thanks to for including me in this piece. I’d like to say a little bit more about Confucius Institutes from the perspective of someone who’s been teaching in & helping run Chinese programs for more than (gulp) a decade.
Airline flying to Taiwan? Don't you dare refer to it as an independent country online. Pay the values tariff. Film studio? Change that scene and pay the values tariff. Academic with Chinese funding? Shut up about humans rights and pay the values tariff.
🤦🏼‍♂️ More than 100 interviews over the last six months with professors, students, administrators, and alumni at U.S. universities reveal a worrying prevalence of self-censorship regarding China. Story by
1/x Factual error in article on China-related academic censorship: my Chinese translator was not in China, but a student in the US.
Self-censorship to please Beijing is rampant at American universities. Big new piece by
Great article by on US university censorship on China and why I find so much of US academic rhetoric monumentally hypocritical. Criticize Trump, Nike, or whoever. If you are only willing to do that in a free society with no consequences, it's hypocritical
“The Other Political Correctness”
Long, detailed, very good article on the trap of self-censorship for foreign academics dealing w China. Similar hassle/threat forces affect journalists, but we have more options of subject/ approach than scholars whose life work depends on access in China
. warned us that China's elites understood 'that almost anything in Western capitalist societies can be bought'. Now shows us that China's global censorship regime often acquires that influence for free
Lessons for Australia: "The Other Political Correctness: Why are America's elite universities censoring themselves on China?"
“I spent six months investigating China's influence in American universities, and I found an epidemic of self-censorship. Most worryingly, Columbia University cancelled several talks because they were afraid of offending the Communist Party”
More than 100 interviews over the last six months with professors, students, administrators, and alumni at U.S. universities reveal a worrying prevalence of self-censorship regarding China.
A very smart article featuring some very smart people (though as their editor I am of course biased) on the relationship between the academy and China from
This is so sadly true.
There needs to be transparency about funding and sources of overseas students to combat this creeping undermining of academic rigour.
Why are America's elite universities censoring themselves on China? ()
We should absolutely be vigilant about self-censorship among academics, and this piece has done well to spur conversation + highlight some possible new cases. But it also suffers from some troubling flaws that are common in reporting on the topic: 1/
Either too eager to please Beijing or too fearful of offending China, some of the U.S.'s elite universities have submitted to a sophisticated global censorship regime.
US universities are censoring themselves on China studies, avoiding research that cld offend the govt and Chinese Communist Party. Just like US industry's self-censorship. Comes down to big ¥¥¥. (NR)
The sentiment, when American universities created academic centers in authoritarian states, was that our enlightenment values would filter over. It was a nice sentiment. And it’s well past time to admit it was an utter fantasy.
America's Elite Universities Are Censoring Themselves on China | The New Republic
China uses threats to Chinese students' families back home and threats of visa denials for others to promote academic censorship of topics that it deems sensitive such as its detention of one million Uighur Muslims for "re-education."
“I frequently hear graduate students and younger scholars—people with academic jobs but pre-tenure—being advised not to explore sensitive subjects in their research, so they can preserve visa access.”
Related — This is a worthwhile read about the calculations scholars must make when speaking about China and how universities self-censor “politically insensitive” events
'In a previously unreported incident, Columbia University’s in Beijing canceled several talks it feared would upset Chinese officials, according to a person familiar with the matter.'
The Other Political Correctness Self-censorship on China. Businesses and politicians are far bigger offenders
“It has gotten to the point where I don’t engage with anything overly political relating to the Chinese state.” Important read from about self-censorship on China in academia cc any of this noticeable at Oxford I wonder?
"Unpredictability & unevenness of how—& when & why—Beijing decides to act leads people & institutions 2B overcautious, which only makes the strategy more effective." by
Valuable read on China’s toolkit for encouraging self-censorship
America's Elite Universities Are Censoring Themselves on China - The New Republic via thanks