• Vanderbilt University
    Vanderbilt University
  • Anti-Muslim
    Racial prejudice
    Racial prejudice
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Carol Swain has established a reputation as a controversial conservative academic and public figure. In 2015, there was a widespread student outcry against Prof. Swain when she wrote in a column for the Tennessean that Islam “poses an absolute danger to us and our children.” She followed up in a 2016 appearance on CNN where she called the Black Lives Matter movement a “very destructive force in America.” At that point, Vanderbilt Provost Susan Wente issued a statement saying that Swain’s views “in no way represent those of the university.”[1]

In a separate column for The Tennessean in 2015, following the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cachere attacks in Paris, Swain wrote “What would it take to make us admit we were wrong about Islam? What horrendous attack would finally convince us that Islam is not like other religions in the United States, that it poses an absolute danger to us and our children.[2] She went on to argue that “More and more members of the PC crowd now acknowledge that Islam has absolutely nothing in common with Christianity, nor is it a worthy part of the brotherhood of man I long felt was characteristic of the Abrahamic religions.”[3]

Swain announced in January 2017 that she will be retiring from her position at Vanderbilt effective August 15, 2017.[4]

[1] Tamburin, A. (Jan. 23, 2017). Controverisal professor Carol Swain to retire from Vanderbilt. The Tennessean. Retrieved from http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/education/2017/01/23/carol-swain-announces-retirement-vanderbilt-university/96959004/

[2] Swain, C.M. (Jan. 15, 2015). Charile Hebdo attacks prove critics were right about Islam. The Tennessean. Retrieved from http://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/01/15/charlie-hebdo-attacks-prove-critics-right-islam/21809599/

[3] Jaschik, S. (Jan. 19, 2015). IS Carol Swain Charlie? Or Hateful? Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/01/19/uproar-over-vanderbilt-professors-anti-muslim-column

[4] Lind, J.R. (Jan. 24, 2017). Controversial Vanderbilt Professor Carol Swain to Retire. Patch. Retrieved from https://patch.com/tennessee/green-hills/controversial-vanderbilt-professor-carol-swain-retire

Associated Organizations:

National Board of Christian Women in the Media (advisory council); Teen Challenge International (board of directors)

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Departmental Contact

Prof. David E. Lewis, Chair of Political Science Department at Vanderbilt -- Prof. Chris Guthrie, Dean of Vanderbilt Law School

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