The more I look into examples of no-platforming, the more interesting I find the whole topic.
I read an article recently, which reflected on Germain Greer being no-platformed at Cardiff University. While we probably don’t have time to explore this in detail within our presentation, the article adds an interesting element to our ideas.
Most interesting is the transatlantic nature of having no-platfored Germain Greer. Despite being no-platformed in Wales, the article was written by Clare Lehmann, who works for ABC News in the Australia. The no-platforming of Greer in Cardiff appears to have sparked an international debate, that transcends political boundaries and geographical borders.
Lehmann’s interpretation is distinctly disapproving. She comments on no-platforming being a ‘deeper sickness’ that ‘plague[es] Western Universities’, as a tool that students use to ‘silence’ other individuals. This is definitely one interpretation surrounding issues of no-platforming, but it’s always interesting to consider the political dynamics that result from the opinions of those that reside in other countries. While Greer herself is Australian, it still remains that to have an Australian reporter diagnose a ‘sickness’ within our ‘western universities’, without any knowledge of her experience with our institutions, adds further complexities to issues of no-platforming.
However, the opinions expressed within the international media do appear to be significant to how the UK deals with issues of no platforming. As the article cites, Cardiff University did respond to ABC News, and indicated that Greer’s talk would go ahead at a later date, which it did. Cardiff University’s response to the many articles that reported the story could account for two things: fear of bad press, or an unwillingness to no-platform academic speakers. Whatever their intention, Greer’s talk did go ahead, and Cardiff University felt it important to inform the media, including the international ABC News, that it would do so. Whatever the motivations, Cardiff University engaged not only with national, but international, media coverage, which highlights the transatlantic nature of no-platforming an individual, and the geographical boundaries that the issue continues to transcend.
Here’s the article: