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The Texas professoriate and public political discourse before and after 9/11

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Robert Jensen's critique of the participation of academic intellectuals in Texas in public political discourse after the 9/11 terrorist attacks underestimates what professors have done to inform a politically apathetic public about warfare, American foreign policy, civil liberties, and cultural and humanitarian issues. Jensen undervalues non-confrontational political strategies and broader forms of intellectual political engagement. Confrontational strategies mobilize citizens inclined to activism, but less overtly political strategies invite larger numbers of citizens to think seriously about politics. Jensen's locally famous post-9/11 Houston Chronicle editorial is analyzed as rhetorically egocentric and alienating, and ultimately counter-productive in the post-9/11 political environment.
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Keywords: 9/11; Politics; Professors; Public Intellectuals; Texas; War

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-03-01

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