The issue of academic freedom was everywhere at this year's Modern Language Association meeting, in Washington. There were panels on "Academic Work and the New McCarthyism" and discussions on teaching issues related to war criticism.
At a Friday session, titled "Criticism and Crisis: Twenty-First Century Intellectuals and the Politics of Academic Freedom," the focus was how to build broader support among the general public for academic freedom.
Boycott movements on college campuses tend to take hold (or fade away) based on whether a critical mass of well known institutions participate. So critics of Coca-Cola have much to celebrate as 2006 begins. They say that 23 colleges worldwide have now banned Coke products from their campuses. And they have now hit a total of 10 in the United States, including bans approved in December by two large institutions -- New York University and the University of Michigan.