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Martha McCaughey

Martha McCaughey is a visiting researcher in the Department of Criminal Justice & Sociology.  She earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and holds graduate certificates in women's studies and in expressive arts.  Dr. McCaughey's scholarly research revolves around gender, violence, technology, and higher education.  She is the author of two books: The Caveman Mystique: Pop-Darwinism and the Debates Over Sex, Violence, and Science; and Real Knockouts: The Physical Feminism of Women's Self-Defense.  She is the lead editor of the first volume about online activism, Cyberactivism: Online Activism in Theory and Practice, and she went on to edit Cyberactivism on the Participatory Web.  She has also written a play, with Wyatt Galusky, about life in the digital age called The Wizard of OD: A Small Town Girl's Journey through the Omnipresent Dataverse. Before coming to Laramie, McCaughey was a professor at Appalachian State University, where she directed the First Year Seminar, Common Reading, and Women's & Gender Studies Programs and spent many years in the shared governance structure of the university. Dr. McCaughey writes about higher education and academic freedom for wide audiences and is a member of the Heterodox Academy Writers Group. She loves art and all things creative, and teaches visual journaling in her spare time.

Clay Fellow | Honors Course

HP 1101: FYS: The Purpose of the University
Modality: Traditional
Honors College Attributes: 
USP attributes: (FYS) First-Year Seminar
A&S attributes: none

Vigorous debates about universities are taking place today, from concerns about cancel culture, indoctrination, (self-)censorship, and free expression to government, corporate, activist, and religious groups steering what we teach and learn. In this course we’ll examine and debate big questions such as: What is the relationship between the university and democracy?  Should scholars be pursuing truth, social justice, or both?  Are college students over-regulated or under-regulated?  Should universities offer students career preparation, life preparation, or both? and Why are principles like free expression, academic freedom, and tenure important?  Through a series of creative assignments and a library research project, you’ll have the opportunity to dive into some of these questions and, in the process, solidify your own plans for being at the university.

Martha McCaughey in front of a colorful art installation
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The Honors College

Guthrie House

1200 Ivinson St.

Laramie, WY 82070

Phone: 307-766-4110

Fax: 307-766-4298


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