The debate was about sexism and racism, academic freedom and due process. But it also raised fundamental questions about the nature and purpose of universities, meritocracy versus inclusivity, and who should wield power over the curriculum, students, and the cultural agenda for society. Patricia Marchak presents a remarkably fair and balanced account of events. In a documentary-style narrative she reports the circumstances and gives a sympathetic reading to the very different perceptions of what happened. The focus is on the wider social and cultural context that gave rise to this painful episode. Racism, Sexism, and the University is not simply about specific events at a particular institution. The issues addressed here are vital to universities everywhere; the political science affair at UBC brings them to the fore in a wide-ranging and hard-hitting debate.
Patricia Marchak, former dean of arts and professor emerita, University of British Columbia, is the author of several books including Logging the Globe, The Integrated Circus, God's Assassins, and Reigns of Terror.