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The COVID-19 pandemic has upended higher education internationalization. Many universities are worried the pandemic will cause a huge drop in international student enrollment and their associated fees, which account for a large part of many university budgets.

Religion in American public schools is a hot-button issue. Can prayers be said in public schools? What about in extracurricular activities? Can states provide funds to religious schools? And if parents don’t vaccinate their children for religious reasons but send them to public schools, what can the State do?

These questions don’t have easy answers and the US constitution offers little help. The Establishment clause of the First Amendment of the constitution, for instance, forbids Congress from making laws in support of religion but also protects the free exercise of religion. Finding the right balance isn’t always straightforward.

My guest today is Martha McCarthy. She is the Presidential Professor at Loyola Marymount University and the Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus at Indiana University. Together with Suzanne Eckes and Janet Decker, Professor McCarthy has recently published Legal Rights of School Leaders, Teachers, and Students(Pearson, 2019).

Today’s episode of FreshEd was put together in collaboration with the Education Law Association.

Citation: McCarthy, Martha, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 159, podcast audio, June 17, 2019. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/mccarthy/

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Today we talk about the history and recent rise of Islamophobia worldwide. My guest is Mariam Durrani, an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Hamilton College.

Finding, and measuring Islamophobia hate speech on social media. John Gomez/Shutterstock

In our conversation, we discussed both the state policy infrastructure enabling Islamophobia while also the everyday discourses and actions that normalize the Othering of a particular group. Dr. Durrani also discusses her own life story of growing up in a military family and witnessing the rise of Islamophobia in the aftermath of  September 11th.

Mariam Durrani recently published the book chapter “Communicating and Contesting Islamophobia.”

Citation: Durrani, Mariam, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 152, podcast audio, April 29, 2019. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/mariamdurrani/

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The images and stories of migrant families being separated by the United States government set off a global conversation about immigration, borders, and justice. If the political philosophy of liberalism is based on liberty and equality, then the events of the past few months have challenged the very core of liberal democratic states.

My guest today is Bruce Collet. He researches migration and public schooling, with a special interest in migration, religion, and schooling in democratic states. He’s thinking through what we might call liberal multiculturalism as well as issues around security.

Bruce Collet is a Professor in Educational Foundations and Inquiry at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He is the author of Migration, Religion, and Schooling in Liberal Democratic States (Routledge, 2018), and Editor of the journal Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education.

Citation: Collet, Bruce, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 121, Podcast audio, July 2, 2018. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/brucecollet/

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Today we look at sexuality education. In some countries, scholars who advocate for a secular worldview have constructed a progressive sexuality education that embraces science at the exclusion of religion.

With me is Mary Lou Rasmussen. In her monograph, Progressive Sexuality Education: The Conceits of Secularism (Routledge, 2015), which was just released in paperback, Mary Lou carefully explores how progressive scholarship and practice might get in the way of meaningful conversations with students, teachers, and peers who think differently about the field of sexuality education.

Mary Lou Rasmussen is a professor at the School of Sociology at The Australian National University. She is co-editor, with Louisa Allen, of the Handbook of Sexuality Education which will be published in October.

Citation: Rasmussen, Mary Lou, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 87, podcast audio, September 18, 2017. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/rasmussen/

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For the past 7 weeks, FreshEd has focused on global learning metrics. Although there is much more to say on that subject, I think it’s time to look at something completely different.

This week Sachi Edwards joins me to talk about interfaith dialogue initiatives in US higher education. The ideas of religious identity, religious oppression and religious privilege are often overlooked when we think about social justice.

Sachi wants to change that.

Sachi Edwards is an Adjunct Professor in Higher Education, Student Affairs, and International Education, at the College of Education, University of Maryland. She’s recently published her first book entitled Critical Conversations about Religion: Promises and pitfalls of a social justice approach to interfaith dialogue (Information Age Publishing, 2016).