Culture and Society in Higher Education Series
Student Activism in the Academy
Its Struggles and Promise
Published: February 2019
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Published: February 2019
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Published: May 2019
E-Book (ePub)
Published: May 2019
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7" x 10"
Language: English

Student Activism in the Academy: Its Struggles and Promise is a wide-ranging, provocative survey of student activism in America’s colleges and universities that critically analyzes the contentious problems and progress of a movement that has stirred public reaction in and out of academe. Its fundamental purpose is to engage diverse publics in both reasoned and passionate reflection and soul searching on vital issues that surround campus protest, including:

  • strategies for student activism
  • the role of social media and technology 
  • legal questions on campus speech
  • the dilemmas of political correctness 
  • generational differences among student activists
  • and various forms of student protest related to race, class, gender, and disabilities.
Administrators, faculty, students, and student life personnel in higher education—indeed, all those interested in today’s colleges and universities--will want to participate in the timely and productive dialogue within these pages.

Table of Contents:


Joseph L. DeVitis and Pietro A. Sasso

Part One: Contexts, Conditions, and Struggles

1. The Promise and Struggles of Campus-Based Student Activism
Cassie L. Barnhardt

2. Communication, Dialogue, and Student Activism
Spoma Jovanovic

3. Social Media: Changing Activism for Better or for Worse
Tess Halpern

4. Social Media and Student Activism: Transformative Moments in Recent History
Angus Johnston

5. Freedom of Speech on the Contemporary Campus: A Bridge over Troubled Waters or a Highway to Hell?
Dennis E. Gregory

6. Debating Equality, Neoliberalism, Normativity, and Campus Rhetoric
Peter Halewood

7. Thinking Beyond Political Correctness
Joshua Axelrod

Part Two: Identity, Political Formation, and Promise

8. The Shift from Internationalism to Identity Politics: From Our Oppressions to My Oppression
Michael Soldatenko and Eric Margolis

9. The Legacy of the Campus Living Wage Movement
Ashton R. Cooper and J. Patrick Biddix

10. Women’s Issues and Student Protest
Betsy Eudey

11. Peter Pan Is White Boy Wasted: The Wanderlust of College Men in Protest
Pietro A. Sasso

12. Navigating the Complex Realities of Campus-Based Sexual Violence: Activism and Resistance
Marvette C. Lacy and Terah J. Stewart

13. Black Student Activism: Ongoing Paradoxes and Past Struggles in Higher Education
Victoria K. Malaney Brown

14. Latinx Student Activism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
Ebelia Hernández and Roberto Orozco

15. Maintaining Equity: Queer Student Community Improvement: Work, Precarity, and Compensation
Cris Mayo, with Joshua Stuart

16. College Students with Disabilities and Their Activism
J. Mark Pousson and Karen A. Myers


Reviews & Endorsements:

“This insightful volume illustrates the sweep of campus activism, spanning the complex issues of race, gender, identity politics, political correctness, and the ubiquity of social media as their main theater. In a political age in search of a compelling narrative for an inclusive democratic ideal, this provocative book captures the diverse voices of student activism.”

Richard Guarasci, President of Wagner College and Chair of the National Board of Directors of The Association of American Colleges and Universities

“DeVitis and Sasso have brought together an admirable compilation of diverse scholars and student activists who explore historical and contemporary approaches to campus activism. The authors quickly push beyond the charity model of doing good for “them” as an objectified group outside of one's self. Instead, they create ways in which an 'I' viewpoint intersects with 'we' perspectives across various identities. Taken together, their model can help us work toward a stronger, more diverse, democracy through campus activism. This is an important book for campus administrators, faculty, and students who seek to provide engaged environments by enabling us to better understand mindful, reflective activism while analyzing such significant themes as social media, sexual violence, neoliberalism, community improvement and beyond.”

Penny A. Pasque, Professor and Department Head of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development North Carolina State University