Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Students Protest Cancellation of McCarthy Peace Class

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Students Protest Cancellation of McCarthy Peace Class

Article excerpt

The cancellation of journalist and activist Colman McCarthy's Georgetown University class in the "Literature of Peace" has sparked controversy at the Jesuit-run university. McCarthy, an NCR columnist and president of the Washington-based Center for Teaching Peace, is an adjunct professor in the university's Program on Justice and Peace. He has taught the class for eight consecutive semesters, but was told March 30 that he would not be invited to do so next fall.

University officials said the move was a routine change in curriculum. "All we're doing is offering some different courses in the fall," said Professor Henry Schwarz, the program's director. Schwarz said the change was not ideologically driven--McCarthy is a self-described anarchist and pacifist--but simply a routine rotation of teachers and class offerings. It's "something that happens all the time," said Schwarz. The program depends on largely nontenured professors, including part-time adjuncts, and can only afford to offer a select number of classes, said Schwarz.

Some members of the Georgetown community did not accept the rationale.

"McCarthy has been the brightest star of the Justice and Peace Program," editorialized The Hoya, the student newspaper. "Students adore the professor and his class," said the paper.

The department is "not providing real answers as to why professor McCarthy isn't being reinstated," said senior Meghan Devaney, a student in McCarthy's class. Devaney is gathering student signatures on petitions she hopes will persuade the department to offer McCarthy's class in the spring 2006 semester. …

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