Date of Award

Spring 6-11-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Education


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Stephen Haymes

Second Advisor

William Ayers

Third Advisor

Ann Russo


Administrative language surrounding racist hate speech on campus is rooted in abstract interpretations of the liberal values of freedom and equality. Consequently, these color-blind discourses remove racist hate speech from its historical context of racial violence and discrimination and view it as merely another point of view that is deserving of tolerance in the “free marketplace of ideas.” As a result, this Critical Discourse Analysis project argues that 1) the administrative discourses surrounding hate speech on campus contribute to the maintenance of institutions of higher education as white institutional spaces, and 2) they also bring institutions of higher education into the folds of neofascism. The primary significance of this project lies in the connections it forges between the administrative responses to racist hate speech on campus and the current ascendance of neofascism. It aims to locate these discourses and interrupt them, making space to reimagine the ways that institutions respond to incidents of racist hate speech on campus—a crucial task for both the pursuit of equality within institutions of higher education as well as the struggle for democracy in the United States.