There is a growing body of academic and journalist research examining the targeted harassment of faculty. Understanding this phenomena as part of a broader right-wing political and media infrastructure helps contextualize these events and better shape how faculty and administrators respond to these attacks.
Books Overviewing Right-Wing Political/Media Infrastructure
Wilson, Ralph and Isaac Kamola. Free Speech and Koch Money: Manufacturing a Campus Culture War. Pluto, 2021. (read the introduction)
This book offers a "field guide" to the plutocratic libertarian influence on campus, looking at the funding and political strategy behind the student groups, campus provocateurs, media outlets, legal organizations, and Koch-funded academics that have manufactured the so-called "campus free speech crisis."
Nelson, Anne. Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right. Bloomsbury, 2021.
Nelson overviews the role the Leadership Institute, Morton Blackwell, and others have played in the rise of the American New Right, and their successful efforts to bringing together billionaire money, conservative media, and the Christian right.
Effects of Online Harassment (Survey Results)
Joerg Tiede, Sam McCarthy, Isaac Kamola, Alyson Spurgas. “Whom Does Campus Reform Target and What Are the Effects?,” Academe online, American Association of University Professors (AAUP).
This piece details the results of a survey sent to all faculty targeted by Campus Reform in 2020. It found that 40% of faculty written about by Campus Reform received threats of harm, 65% of stories were picked up by other outlets, and 78% of stories focused on statements made in a public forum (such as social media, op-eds, public presentations, etc.). These survey results were covered in The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed.
Maeve Duggan, “Online Harassment,” Pew Research Center,” October 22, 2014.
McCarthy, Samantha, and Isaac Kamola. “Sensationalized Surveillance: Campus Reform and the Targeted Harassment of Faculty.” New Political Science (2021): 1-21.
Durrani, Mariam. “Digital Infrastructures of the Internet Outrage Machine: An Autoethnography of Targeted Faculty Harassment,” American Anthropologist, July 2021.
Lawless, Brandi, and Kristen L. Cole. “Troll Tracking: Examining Rhetorical Circulation of Anti-Intellectual Ideologies in Right-Wing Media Attacks.” Communication, Culture, and Critique 14, no. 1 (2021): 149-165.
Kamola, Isaac. “Dear Administrators: To Protect Your Faculty from Right-Wing Attacks, Follow the Money.” Journal of Academic Freedom 10 (2019).
Finley, Stephen, Biko M. Gray, and Lori Latrice Martin, “‘Affirming Our Values’: African American Scholars, White Virtual Mobs, and the Complicity of White University Administrators,” Journal of Academic Freedom 9 (2018).
Williams, Johnny Eric. “The Academic Freedom Double Standard: ‘Freedom’ for Courtiers, Suppression for Critical Scholars,” Journal of Academic Freedom 9 (2018).
McCordick, Jack. “Figures of Speech.” Yale News Daily, April 4, 2022.
Flaherty, Colleen, “What Cannot Be Tolerated,” Inside Higher Ed, September 14, 2021. [great example of a successful response]
Speri, Alice. “A Billionaire-Funded Website with Ties to the Far Right is Trying to ‘Cancel’ University Professors.” The Intercept, April 10, 2021.
Gluckman, Nell. “The Outrage Peddlers are Here to Stay.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 17, 2020.
Bader, Eleanor J. “Right-Wing Organizations Are Enlisting Students in Their War Against Campus Progressives.” Truthout. December 1, 2020.
Bader, Eleanor J. “‘Campus Reform’ Is Funneling Koch Money to Groom Right-Wing ‘Journalists.’” Truthout. November 15, 2020.
Burnett, L.D. “Right-Wing Trolls Attacked Me. My Administration Buckled.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. October 15, 2020.
Shaw, Susan M. “When I was Trolled, My Institution Got it Right,” Inside Higher Ed, December 8, 2020.
Tapper, Malaika. “Inside the Conservate Media Outlet Feeding Harvard Students to Fox News.” The Harvard Crimson. March 5, 2020.
Chris Quintana, “‘If There’s an Organized Outrage Machine, We Need an Organized Response,”’ The Chronicle of Higher Education. July 18, 2017.
Chris Quintana and Brock Read, “Signal Boost: How Conservative Media Outlets Turn Faculty Viewpoints Into National News,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 22, 2017.
Schmidt, Peter. “Higher Education’s Internet Outrage Machine.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. September 8, 2015.
AAUP, “Fighting Targeted Harassment of Faculty.”
GeekFeminism, “Mitigating Internet Troll Storms.”
PEN America. “Campus Free Speech Guide.” Which includes section on “How to Support Faculty and Staff Who Experience Online Harassment” and the “Online Harassment Field Manual.”
Twitter thread by Eric Ruiz Bybee on being the target of a Campus Reform story.
Twitter thread by Asha Rangappa on right-wing harassment of faculty as a form of “domestic information warfare.”
Raw Data (for researchers and journalists)
List of all articles published by Campus Reform between January 1, 2020 and February 20, 2021.
Digital archive of emails from the Leadership Institute (LI)’s listserv, CampusWire. It also includes other collected documents relating to the internal working of Campus Reform and the Leadership Institute. Additional material available upon request.