Jeremi Suri, Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs and professor of history and public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, said Jan. 6 had an "immediate and fundamental impact on my teaching." In his 200-person course on U.S. history since the Civil War, for example, he extended units on paramilitary violence and electoral repression to show continuities from the era after the Civil War to today and otherwise highlighted connections between the past and the events of Jan. 6.
As a whole, however, Suri said he doesn't think universities have risen to the "civics challenge" posed by the insurrection, and that campus leaders are "running scared from any charges of political bias."
Suri said he'd like to see prominent teach-ins, symposia and collective discussions about "what fair elections in a democracy mean, how we transfer power peacefully and why violent insurrectionary behavior violates our constitutional foundations when practiced or advocated by anyone."
He added, "We need to turn the terrible events of Jan. 6, 2021, into an educational moment and reaffirm, as university communities, our commitment to never allow anything like that again."