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 60 countries for four days of workshops, keynotes, and panel discussions around the theme, The University and the Future of Democracy.
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 online program.
Below are transcripts for the three keynote remarks delivered at the SAR Global Congress in Berlin.
- Prof. Dr. Judith Butler, “What is Free and Open Inquiry?: Academic Freedom and Political Expression.”
- Prof. Dr. Markus Hilgert, “Scholars at Risk, Cultures in Crisis: On the Impact of Research and Culture on Social Stability and Sustainable Development.”
- Justice Prof. Dr. Susanne Baer, “More Than Welcome: A Berlin Call for University Ethics.”
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.”