Li-ann Thio

Earlier this week, we discussed the discovery of potentially anti-Semitic graffiti in Vanderbilt Hall, the home of NYU Law School. Yesterday Dean Richard Revesz issued a forceful response to the law school community via email, condemning the graffiti as “highly offensive and hurtful” and declaring that “[s]uch hateful conduct is deplorable and has no place in our community.” (We’ve reprinted Dean Revesz’s message in full at the end of this post.)

Some observers, however, questioned whether the graffiti was really that bad. First, it was vague and conclusory, reading simply, “Damn Orthodox Jews.” Second, rather than reflecting animus from a non-Jew against Jews, the statement might have reflected tensions within the Jewish community itself. Several commenters raised the possibility that the graffiti was written by a less religious Jew who objects to the greater religiosity of Orthodox Jews.

Dean Revesz’s response raises another issue, namely, whether the administration at NYU Law takes anti-religious discrimination more seriously than discrimination based on sexual orientation (even though both are part of the school’s non-discrimination policy)….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Does Religion Trump Sexual Orientation at NYU Law School?”

Thio Li Ann Visiting Professor NYU Law School.jpgOr close to nothing. That’s the likely enrollment in Human Rights Law in Asia, the course that Dr. Li-ann Thio, the visiting professor from Singapore with controversial views on gay rights, is scheduled to teach at NYU Law School this fall.

An NYU law student reports:

I think there’s a point everyone is missing about this story, and it is this:

We just had to submit our bids for fall courses. A grand total of five people applied for Dr. Thio’s class. It is totally going to get canceled. In comparison, Kenji Yoshino’s Con Law classes got 230 primary bids PER SECTION. NYU Law voted with its feet.

It’s not clear whether the student is referring to Human Rights Law in Asia (3 credits) or Constitutionalism in Asia (2 credits). Other sources tell us, however, that both courses are severely undersubscribed. NYU Law alumna Jill Filipovic, who over at Feministe expressed the hope that nobody would sign up for Dr. Thio’s classes, must be pleased.

(In case you’re not familiar with him, Kenji Yoshino is the openly gay law professor that NYU hired away from Yale last year. He is a leading scholar of gay rights and queer theory.)

UPDATE: We now have greater clarity, from our original tipster:

She’s teaching 2 courses. Human Rights got 9 bids, 5 primary and 4 alternates, and Constitutionalism got 5 bids, just 1 primary and 4 alternates. The results of bidding will be available next week so we’ll know more about how many people actually end up in the class then. But I think it’s pretty safe to assume NYU is not going to run two seminars with just a handful of people in them.

We contacted the law school, to confirm the registration numbers and to see if Dr. Thio’s classes were in danger of being canceled.

Read their response, plus additional discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Dr. Li-ann Thio: Much Ado About Nothing?”