Unassailable Ideas: How Unwritten Rules and Social Media Shape Discourse in American Higher Education

On January 15, 2021 CGM hosted the launch of Unassailable Ideas: How Unwritten Rules and Social Media Shape Discourse in American Higher Education (Oxford University Press), featuring authors Ilana Redstone (University of Illinois) and John Villasenor (UCLA). The book explores the limitations of modern discourse, especially driven by online forums, and how it constrains open dialogue in academic settings. The book makes a case for a broader allowance and promotion of viewpoint diversity at universities, from administrators, faculty, and students alike. Professor John McWhorter (Columbia University) provided a response and additional remarks about the state of academic freedom today.  




About the Speakers 

Ilana Redstone is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Professor Redstone is also the founder of Diverse Perspectives Consulting which works to improve the social and workplace climate through open communication and mutual understanding.  

John Villasenor is Professor of Electrical Engineering, Public Policy, Law, and Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the founding director of the Institute for Technology, Law, and Policy at UCLA.  

John McWhorter is a linguist and Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He has authored numerous article and books on language, race relations, and academic freedom.  

Find the book here.