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Disinvitation Chronicles: The Disgrace of Concordia University

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Steven Hayward

Apr. 15 2019

I have thought from time to time of walking through Sproul Plaza at Berkeley with Harvey Mansfleld’s book Manliness tucked conspicuously under my arm, just to see what might happen. Because Manliness is an ode to “toxic masculinity” don’t you just know.

I think I have a clue how it might go, because Mansfield has been disinvited from giving the commencement address at Concordia University in Montreal, as he explains in the Wall Street Journal this morning:


Recently I was disinvited from giving a commencement address at the small Liberal Arts College within Concordia University in Montreal. My speech was to be on the study of great books, to which that college is devoted. The invitation was a surprise, and the rejection less of one, because I am a white male conservative professor. . .

What had taken place, I learned but not from [the administration], was a faculty meeting prompted by a letter from 12 alumni that demanded a reversal of the committee’s invitation because my “scholarly and public corpus . . . heavily traffics in damaging and discredited philosophies of gender and culture.” Promoting “the primacy of masculinity,” apparently a reference to my book “Manliness,” attracted their ire. Though I was to speak on great books, not gender, this “trafficking”—as if in harmful drugs—disqualified me without any need to specify further. Such sloppy, inaccurate accusation was enough to move a covey of professors to flutter in alarm.

So you can scratch Concordia University off your list of places to consider sending your kids to college.


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