Student Attends ISI Conference
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
On the weekend of November 15th, Society member Julia Lim '23 attended the Intercollegiate Studies Institute conference, "Should We Cancel Identity Politics?", at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel in Texas.
During the three-day event, students watched and engaged in conversation with a number of guest speakers including Law Professor Amy L. Wax of the University of Pennsylvania, Kevin D. Williamson (correspondent of the National Review and author of The Smallest Minority: Independent Thinking in an age of Mob Politics), Professor Elizabeth Corey of Baylor University, and Dr. Molly McGrath of Assumption College Honors Program. Through presentations, debates, and discussions, students from across the country learned about identity politics and debated its advantages and drawbacks.
Several talks examined how aspects of identity politics can be leveraged to foster inclusive learning environments where diversity of thought is valued above categorical diversity. Some students testified to their experiences with uniformity of thought on college campuses and suggested a link between a narcissism of identity and a decline in traditional liberal academic values. Attendees also reviewed contemporary policy and cultural trends, such as affirmative action and social justice activism. Many students agreed upon the need for a restoration of 'honorable opposition' in civic discourse, and the importance of intellectual diversity over a totalitarianism of belief.
The Society thanks the Intercollegiate Studies Institute for hosting this event and generously subsidizing the travel and accommodation costs. Julia appreciated the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals from across the country, as well as the ISI leadership team, and plans to stay involved in the national discussion of identity politics.