In the wake of Mary Baldwin University’s decision to shut down “RELEVANT/SCRAP,” a exhibit featuring images of Southern Confederate monuments, Emily Chamlee-Wright and Sarah Skwire reflect on this missed educational opportunity.
They argue, “We in higher education must find ways to negotiate between, on the one hand, our responsibilities to the sensibilities of students trying to find their way in our increasingly partisan and tense culture and, on the other, our responsibilities to the educational value of debate, discussion and disagreement. The use of abusive images and terminology is obviously not acceptable on campuses or any civilized institution. But the discussion of them must be. It is our job to find ways to ensure that such discussions can thrive and that they can be respectful, rich and productive.” (Inside Higher Ed)
Image above: The empty gallery after Mary Baldwin University shut down “RELEVANT/SCRAP” two days after it opened following complaints from students that the artwork was racist.