PROMOTING ACADEMIC & INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM

AGAINST THE NEW CONFORMISM!

Founded in the immediate wake of America’s dramatic 2016 presidential elections, Northern Michigan’s Center for Academic and Intellectual Freedom (C.A.I.F.) provides a unique space for thoughtful reflection and reasoned civil dialogue in a time of political polarization among mutually uncomprehending extremisms, dogmatisms, and institutionalized thought-policing. Our “Athens on the shores of Lake Superior” aims to celebrate both the love of wisdom and spirit of public liberty that animated that ancient democracy!

WHY WE FIGHT, AND HOW

WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS!

We promote freedom of mind and respect for individual rights, both in education and elsewhere, amidst the competing cultures of conformism typified by today’s widespread anti-intellectualism, totalitarian populism, fear of knowledge and hatred of reason.

Celebrating ethical pluralism; affirming principled cognitive ecumenism; stimulating viewpoint diversity; defending robust free speech and open inquiry in a dynamic forum adjacent to today’s dominant academic discourse (cultural relativism plus identity politics): the Center offers students, faculty, and the community at large escape from the prevailing collectivist ideology into an open horizon defined by active, critical engagement with the human inheritance, as embodied in traditions of classical liberalism and the Great Books of Western civilization.

Toward these ends…

  • We host public talks by leading scholars engaged with the urgently necessary task of redescribing and reinterpreting our shared understandings of civil society in a rapidly changing technological situation and fluid cultural context. In this regard, “the more things change, the more we remain the same”—in the sense that the C.A.I.F. stands for ongoing, deep engagement with the timeless inheritance of Western civilization as the greatest resource for coping with an oftentimes bewildering contemporary reality.
  • We provide special seminars for students and faculty to productively engage with premier intellectuals and authors of major works on the state of our nation and the world today. #OpenInquiry is the name of the game at these events, where thoughtful dialogue is the rule.
  • We put on debates between exemplary thinkers exploring inescapable social, political, and economic questions of unparalleled import. #ViewpointDiversity is our watchword!
  • Our purpose is helping to renew liberal education and freedom of mind for a generation and in a time that desperately needs it.
  • On this website, you will find a record of past C.A.I.F. events and information about upcoming ones.
  • As of now, all that’s missing is your voice… So please come to our events and discover a rare and uniquely valuable experience of participation in robust free speech and dialogue about the pressing issues of our day and the great themes of Western Civilization!
  • To get on our mailing list and receive updates about forthcoming events, please click the Contact tab above.

SPEAKING FREELY: DIVERSE VIEWPOINTS IN CONVERSATION

WITH GADI TAUB

Jordan Peterson Condemns the American Psychological Association, in an Interview with Gadi Taub

“It is Scandalous What They Have Done!”
CAIF Senior Research Fellow, Gadi Taub, met recently with Jordan B. Peterson in Zurich, where the two discussed philosophy, theology, and psychology. Peterson sharply challenged the American Psychological Association (APA) statement on masculinity, near the conclusion of this important interview. “I am absolutely ashamed to call myself a psychologist in the aftermath of the APA publication,” he said, adding that, “it is scandalous what they have done.” According to Peterson, it is fatherlessness, not patriarchy, that leads to dysfunction. Civilization channels innate aggression to productive uses, he argues, disputing the widespread neo-Marxist view that aggression is taught and produced by the system. “Aggression is innate,” he says, “peacefulness is socialized.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

GREG LUKIANOFF

The Threat to Free Speech on Campus and What to Do About It

April 22, 2019

7-9 PM • JAMRICH 1100

Address: 1401 Presque Isle Ave, Marquette, MI 49855
Phone: (906) 227-1690
Website: jamrich_hall#.XHAk5ZNKjUI

The Center for Academic and Intellectual Freedom Presents, as Part of its 2018-2019 “Safe Spaces for Open Inquiry” Program

A VERY SPECIAL LECTURE BY THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE FOUNDATION FOR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS IN EDUCATION (FIRE) GREG LUKIANOFF

THE THREAT TO FREE SPEECH ON CAMPUS AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

FOLLOWED BY Q&A

Made possible by a generous grant from the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University, the Office of the Provost, and the College of Arts and Sciences at NMU.

The event is free and open to the public. All students, faculty, staff and community are warmly invited and most welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact the Center at (906) 227-1690 or caifnmu@gmail.com.

THE PUBLIC LIBERTY PODCAST

NO WARNINGS, JUST TRIGGERS!

The Public Liberty Podcast, Episode 2: The Alt-Right, Far Left and the Jews: Ronald Beiner’s Dangerous Mind

About the episode: “The Alt-Right, Far Left and the Jews: Ronald Beiner’s Dangerous Mind,” with Ronald Beiner. Joined by professor Jonathan Allen, Don Q. and Sancho sit down with Canadian political theorist Ronald Beiner to discuss Beiner’s new book, Dangerous Minds: Nietzsche, Heidegger, and the Return of the Far Right, and to explore the radicalism of theory, how the intellectual left has advanced alt-right ideologies, the global right, contemporary anti-semitism and more. …
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The Public Liberty Podcast, Episode 1: Peace and Intellectual Freedom in the Middle East

About the episode: “Peace and Intellectual Freedom in the Middle East,” with Asaf Romirowsky. We put together this first episode of the Public Liberty Podcast with rubber bands, chewing gum, paperclips and one microphone for three people. Still, we’re very proud of the results. In this inaugural edition of the PLP, Don Q. and Sancho sit down with Dr. Romirowsky to explore root causes of ongoing tensions between Israelis and …
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THE VIEW FROM THE CENTER

DISPATCHES, DIATRIBES & DITHYHRAMBS: OUR BACK TO BASICS BLOG!

Safe Space for Intellectual Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity?

The academic year 2016-17 saw a spike in illiberal repression of speech on American college campuses. Six eminent professors, alumni of Middlebury College, spoke out when the violence came to their alma mater. In doing so, they helped inspire the CAIF’s mission, exemplifying our shared values in an eloquent statement. They wrote, on June 1, 2017, in Real Clear Politics: As university professors and administrators, we are deeply concerned with …
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Democracy for Me But Not for Thee: I’ll Take That as a No…

By Guest Blogger, Prof. Gregory Lobo, Department of Languages and Culture, University of the Andes, Bogota, Colombia. Lobo is currently the 2018-19 International Scholars at Risk Program Fellow at the CAIF. I watched in dismay recently as Rep. Ilhan Omar, the freshman Democratic Congresswoman from Minneapolis, in effect provided cover—whether she knew it or not—for Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro, on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. While some …
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Reforming Campus Speech Codes: Don’t Wait for an Executive Order

By Guest Blogger Timothy Eggert, Research Assistant and Undergraduate Fellow, the CAIF President Trump teased an executive order on Saturday, speaking to activists at the Conservative Political Action Conference. As he told the crowd at CPAC, he plans to issue an order to help guarantee free speech at colleges and universities—threatening to withhold their federal aid if they do not protect the viewpoints held by students of all political ideologies. …
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