Last week, a letter titled "A Letter on Justice and Open Debate" was published in Harper's Magazine. The letter was undersigned by 153 scholars, writers and political theorists, including Dartmouth's Eli Black professor of Jewish Studies Susannah Heschel. J.K Rowling, Noam Chomsky, and Margaret Atwood were among the signers of the letter, which warns against a perceived growing societal trend in public shaming and ostracism for holding opposing views. The Dartmouth sat down with Heschel this week to discuss her views on ideological conformity and the importance of open discourse.
Why did you decide to sign onto this letter? What do you think is the importance of open debate and why is it important that this letter was written?
SH: The most important purpose of being a scholar is to engage in open debate — the word "open" shouldn't even be necessary — and I have in fact engaged in debate with other scholars over a variety of different kinds of issues.
For the full article: The Dartmouth