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Confessions of a Free Speech LawyerCharlottesville and the Politics of Hate$
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Rodney A. Smolla

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749650

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749650.001.0001

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The Idea of the University

The Idea of the University

(p.213) 24 The Idea of the University
Confessions of a Free Speech Lawyer

Rodney A. Smolla

Cornell University Press

This chapter discloses how the University of Virginia (UVA), with the rest of Charlottesville, braced for the Unite the Right onslaught. It looks into the collection of essays edited by professors Louis P. Nelson and Claudrena N. Harold on the events in Charlottesville in 2017. It also explains Nelson and Harold's observation of UVA prior to the summer of 2017, noting that UVA as an institution generally positioned itself as separate from the city. The chapter explores the layers of complexity and intensity that were unique to UVA, starting from its founding by Thomas Jefferson, who owned slaves, to its complicity in the eugenics movement and resurgence of racism in the 1920s. It also notes how the conflicts of America's culture war and constitutional unconsciousness have played out with special intensity on public and private university and college campuses.

Keywords:   University of Virginia, UVA, Unite the Right, Louis P. Nelson, Claudrena N. Harold, Thomas Jefferson, Charlottesville, eugenics movement, Thomas Jefferson, racism

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