The Academy, Politics and Society: How a Troubled World Affects Universities and Activism
Friday, May 07 2021 12:00 pm
Join us on May 7 from 12:00pm-2:00pm EDT for the New University in Exile Consortium spring conference about the global attacks on academic freedom. The keynote speaker is Éric Fassin, Professor of sociology and Co-chair of the Gender Studies Department, Paris 8 University, who will talk about “Academic Engagement: Critical Thought in the Age of Authoritarian Neoliberalism.” The keynote will be followed by presentations from four New University in Exile Consortium Scholars.
This is the third conference organized by the New University in Exile Consortium, based at The New School in New York. The Consortium was launched in September 2018 with the mission to create an intellectual community among exiled scholars hosted by Consortium university and college member institutions.
More Information: Academic freedom is a concept linked to the universal ideal of “free opinion, expression and belief” mentioned in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Art. 19). In 2011, the UN Human Rights Committee recognized freedom of opinion as “essential for any society” and “indispensable for the full development of the person.” It created an obligation for states to protect, “all forms of opinion,” including opinions of a “political, scientific, historic, moral or religious nature” (Human Rights Committee, 102nd session, 2011, General Comment No 34).
Despite these declarations, those exercising their right to academic freedom have repeatedly suffered from intimidation, censorship, arrest, and exile. No global treaty explicitly declares “academic freedom” a fundamental right and there are no legal consequences attached to infringing on the right to free expression. In 2019, the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) noted that in more than 60 countries there have been “repressive and potentially repressive government practices against higher education institutions, including academics and students” (ICNL, March 2019). The Covid-19 pandemic has only increased the pressure on scholars, especially when the state of health emergency is used to hide political abuses and acts of repression.
Registered attendees will receive the Zoom link via email.