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University of Iowa News Release

 

Oct. 24, 2006

Visiting Professor Will Lecture On Political Correctness Oct. 27

Donald Lazere, a University of Iowa visiting professor, will present a lecture and discussion entitled "Two Cheers for Political Correctness: Why Higher Education SHOULD Have a Liberal Bias" from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, in Room S401 in the Pappajohn Business Building.

Lazere's presentation, sponsored by the UI Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry (POROI), will be free and open to the public.

Lazere will make the case that daily life in America is so saturated with conservative conventions that the resulting biases are not even perceived as such but simply assumed to be the norm of neutrality.

"It is a legitimate role for professors in liberal education to make students aware of liberal or leftist viewpoints that challenge the biases in these conservative conventions. The frequent unfortunate result, however, is that many students -- as well as conservatives in the larger society, in media, and in government -- are inclined only to stigmatize the challenging views as biased, not the conventions they challenge," said Lazere.

Lazere will address the dilemmas that this situation poses for teachers and propose a model for teaching and grading that maintains intellectual and ethical integrity.

Lazere, a Des Moines native, is professor emeritus of English at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and is a visiting lecturer this semester in the UI Rhetoric Department. He is the author of "The Unique Creation of Albert Camus" (Yale University Press) and "Reading and Writing for Civic Literacy: The Critical Citizen's Guide to Argumentative Rhetoric" (Paradigm Publishers), and the editor of "American Media and Mass Culture: Left Perspectives" (University of California Press).

In addition to many scholarly articles, he has written columns on the campus culture wars in the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Education, as well as book reviews and op-ed columns for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Baltimore Sun, Newsday, The Nation and Tikkun.

He received his bachelor's degree from Northwestern University, master's degree from Columbia University, and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, all in English.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, 319-384-0012, george-mccrory@uiowa.edu; Program: Margaret Thompson, POROI, 319-335-2753.