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Historian to visit, speak on history of ‘political correctness’

The United States’ “culture wars” take center stage when Louisiana Tech’s department of history continues its annual International Affairs Speaker Series at 11:30 a.m. April 21 in Wyly Tower Auditorium.

Dr. Lora Burnett, a historian from the University of Texas at Dallas, will deliver a lecture, “Toward a Correct History of ‘Political Correctness.'”

The event is free and open to the public.

Burnett’s talk will draw upon her research and writing on the “culture wars” in the United States since the 1960s. As an intellectual historian, Burnett has explored clashes on college campuses over a range of issues from free speech to “trigger warnings” to the design of history curriculum. Her forthcoming book, “Canon Wars: The 1980s Western Civ Debates at Stanford and the Triumph of Neoliberalism in Higher Education,” brings a critical historian’s eye to a conflict Burnett witnessed firsthand as an undergraduate at Stanford University.

“We are excited to have Dr. Burnett provide our students with a historical perspective on issues deeply important to them,” said Andrew C. McKevitt, an assistant professor of history and coordinator of the International Affairs series. “Students are often curious in class to talk about controversial topics like ‘safe spaces’ and ‘trigger warnings,’ but they fail to recognize that these are not inventions of their own generation but rather linked to larger debates going back decades about ‘political correctness’ on college campuses.”

Burnett received the Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas, where she serves as the 2017-2018 Teaching Fellow in History. She has a B.A. in English from Stanford University. She is an active contributor to the U.S. Intellectual History Blog, a vibrant website that has been at the center of the revitalization of the study of the intellectual history of the United States.

The International Affairs Speaker Series is sponsored by the Louisiana Tech department of history and the Lambda-Rho Chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society.

Written by Judith Roberts – jroberts@latech.edu