SAR 2018 Global Congress

Monday, Apr 23 2018 4:00 am

Event End Time 2018-04-26 04:00
Event Location Berlin, Germany
Co-sponsors Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Freie Universität Berlin, Scholars at Risk Germany Section.
In Event Types: Conference Exhibition

The 2018 Global Congress, The University and the Future of Democracy, was held in Berlin April 23-26 as a joint venture of Scholars at Risk, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and Freie Universität Berlin.

The 2018 Global Congress brought together over 500 participants from more than 70 countries for four days of workshops, keynotes, and panel discussions around the theme, The University and the Future of Democracy.

Click here to download the 2018 SAR Global Congress Summary Report.

Humboldt Foundation/David Ausserhofer


Highlights included keynote remarks from Prof. Dr. Judith Butler, of the University of California, Berkeley; Prof. Dr. Markus Hilgert, Director of the Ancient Near East Museum at the Pergamonmuseum; and Justice Prof. Dr. Susanne Baer of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany.

Speaking on a plenary panel, Prof. Liviu Matei, Provost and Pro-Rector of Central European University (CEU) shared the latest developments in Hungary and the international response to legislative threats to CEU.

Other sessions highlighted challenges for scholars and students around the world, including in China, India, Egypt, Russia, Venezuela and the United States. Panels featured forward-looking strategies for responding to attacks on higher education communities and model programs for supporting at-risk scholars and students. For additional program details, check out the complete program.

Humboldt Foundation/David Ausserhofer

Courage to Think Award

The event also included the Courage to Think Award Dinner, during which Turkey’s Academics for Peace (Barış İçin Akademisyenler) received the  Scholars at Risk Network 2018 Courage to Think Defender Award for their “extraordinary efforts in building academic solidarity and in promoting the principles of academic freedom, freedom of inquiry, and the peaceful exchange of ideas.”


Below are video links and transcripts for the three keynote remarks delivered at the SAR Global Congress in Berlin.

Prof. Dr. Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley: “What is Free and Open Inquiry?: Academic Freedom and Political Expression.” Click here to read the full transcript.

Robert Quinn, Executive Director of Scholars at Risk: “V.E.R.I.T.A.S.” Click here to read the full transcript.

Dr. Ulrike Albrecht, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Prof. Dr. Klaus Hoffmann-Holland, Vice President, Freie Universität Berlin,  Domna Stanton, City University of New York, and Board Member of Scholars at Risk,  Prof. Dr. Hans-Christian Pape, President, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation,  and Dr. Nil Mutluer, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin also deliver remarks (above).

More Keynote Remarks

Current Threats to Universities and Scholars in Egypt

Moderated by Prof. Lisa Anderson, Columbia University and SAR Board member, Mohamed Abdel Salam, Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) and Kholoud Saber Barakat, Catholic University of Louvain discuss current threats to academics and higher education institutions in Egypt (above).

Courage to Think: US

Prof. Laurie Rubel, City University of New York, Brooklyn College, in conversation with Dr. Julie Schmid, American Association of University Professors (above).


Click here for more videos of the SAR 2018 Global Congress.