A Dartmouth English professor is threatening to sue her students:
[Priya] Venkatesan said the incident occurred when she was lecturing about The Death of Nature, a book by Carolyne Merchant, and the witch trials of the Renaissance. The student went on a “diatribe” about the inappropriate nature of challenging patriarchal authority, Venkatesan said. Vakatesan respected the student’s right to express this opinion, she said, but the manner in which he vocalized his views and the applause afterward were disrespectful and offensive.
“I was horrified,” Venkatesan said. “My responsibility is not to stifle them, but when they clapped at his comment, I thought that crossed the line. … I was facing intolerance of ideas and intolerance of freedom of expression.”
Venkatesan contacted [Thomas Cormen, chair of Dartmouth’s writing program] about the event, she said, but claims she received no support from him. She canceled class because the incident caused her “intellectual and emotional distress,” she said. This event, which occurred on Feb. 1, would likely be included in a list of grievances relating to a potential lawsuit, she said.