New university hosting 'forbidden courses' in effort to promote intellectual freedom

University of Austin's ‘forbidden courses’ program seeks to expose students to different opinions on controversial topics, including feminism and transgender ideology.

The University of Austin was founded in 2021 as a free speech alternative to traditional colleges.

The University of Austin in Texas is embracing controversial topics with a summer program called “ The Forbidden Courses.” The program, which began in June 2022, featured notable figures such as Peter Boghossian, Kathleen Stock, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Bari Weiss. 

The courses challenge students to think critically about contentious issues, ranging from philosophy to feminism. 

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Boghossian, who is a cofounder of UATX, told Campus Reform that the forbidden courses allowed students to think and speak freely: “I like…[b]eing in an environment where smart, thoughtful people have honest conversations,” he said.

Boghossian further expressed optimism about the future of the program, saying, “I expect it to continue [with] gusto! The interest in UATX is off the charts—phenomenal.”

”I expect that to not just continue but accelerate!”

[RELATED: 5 Big Questions: Peter Boghossian, former professor who resigned in protest] 

Boghossian resigned as an assistant philosophy professor at Portland State University in September 2021. In his resignation letter, he attacked “illiberalism” for turning the school into a “Social Justice factory whose only inputs were race, gender, and victimhood and whose only outputs were grievance and division.”

The University of Austin was launched by former New York Times writer Bari Weiss and others in November 2021 as a more intellectually diverse alternative to woke universities. Since then, it has raised over $100 million and hopes to begin construction soon in Austin.

Campus Reform reached out to all relevant parties for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.