Michael Rectenwald

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Person.png Michael Rectenwald   Twitter WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Michael Rectenwald.jpg
Born29 January 1959
Interests • Social justice
• "Social Justice Warrior"
• Political correctness
• Cancel culture
• Censorship
• Leftism
• Identity politics

Michael Rectenwald is an American scholar who has taught at several institutions, most notably at New York University (NYU).


Rectenwald has taught at universities since 1993, including at Case Western Reserve University, Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University, North Carolina Central University, and New York University, where he was a Professor of Liberal and Global Liberal Studies for more than ten years before retiring in January 2019.

Although his scholarship has focused primarily on 19th-century British secularism, contemporary secularism, and the 19th-century freethought movement, he may be best known as a critic of the contemporary social justice movement and its effects on academia.

Critique of social justice and leftism in academia

@antipcnyuprof Twitter account

On September 12, 2016, Rectenwald created the Twitter account @antipcnyuprof and began tweeting criticisms of what he saw as excesses of political correctness and social justice ideology on North American colleges and universities. A student reporter for the Washington Square News, New York University's weekly student newspaper, discovered him; and he subsequently gave an interview revealing himself as the NYU faculty member behind the @antipcnyuprof Twitter handle.[1]

In a November 3, 2016 op-ed at The Washington Post, Rectenwald claimed that two days after the student interview, he was summoned by Dean Fred Schwarzbach and was "strongly encouraged to take a paid leave of absence."[2] Schwarzbach denied Rectenwald's claims and posted all email correspondence between the two from November 1 through November 11, showing that Rectenwald had requested the leave himself.[3]

NYU cancels Yiannapoulos event

On October 30, 2018, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio requested that NYU cancel an in-class lecture on Halloween that was to be delivered the next day by Rectenwald's guest, the controversial British polemicist Milo Yiannopoulos. The mayor cited concerns about the availability of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to perform security duties at NYU during the same time they would be needed to police New York's Village Halloween Parade.[4] NYU complied with the mayor's request.[5]

Springtime for Snowflakes

In 2018, the New English Review Press published Rectenwald's memoir, Springtime for Snowflakes: Social Justice and Its Postmodern Parentage. Rectenwald recounts his academic career and his intellectual evolution. He critiques the contemporary social justice culture in the academy, arguing that it is rooted in socialist and postmodernist thought and describing its constituent concepts such as deconstruction, belief in toxic masculinity, social constructivism, and radical constructivism. Rectenwald concludes that such ideology has promoted an authoritarian and dogmatic culture in parts of the academy.[6][7]


  • The Eros of the Baby Boom Eras (1991)
  • The Thief and Other Stories. (2013) self-published
  • Breach: Collected Poems (2013) self-published
  • Academic Writing, Real World Topics (2015)
  • Global Secularisms in a Post-Secular Age (2015)
  • Nineteenth-Century British Secularism: Science, Religion and Literature (2016).
  • Academic Writing, Real World Topics (2016).
  • Springtime for Snowflakes: Social Justice and Its Postmodern Parentage (2018).
  • Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom(2019).
  • Beyond Woke (2020)

External links

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