| by Aaron Hanlon

In an essay in Guernica titled “Anatomy of a Successful Campus Talk,” Assistant Professor of English Aaron Hanlon discusses a recent campus visit by former Maine Governor Paul LePage and ways that campuses can make the most of a “less than admirable speaker.” Hanlon issue isn’t with bringing conservative speakers to campus, but rather with a format that doesn’t allow for a true exchange of ideas. “This format favors the unidirectional expressions of visiting speakers, who get to orchestrate a speech performance while everyone else remains silent upon pain of punishment. This way of doing things doesn’t suit the putative purpose of campus talks—to inform and engage—much less the limited value of bringing a high-profile bigot or demagogue to subject their views to scrutiny,” he wrote.

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