Academic Freedom: Past, Present and Future

Panel Discussion | April 3 | 5-7 p.m. | 402 Barrows Hall

 Joan Scott, Professor Emerita, Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton; Henry Reichman, Former Vice President, AAUP

 Wendy Brown, Professor, Political Science, UC Berkeley; Khalid Kadir, Lecturer, UC Berkeley; I-Wei Wang, Librarian, UC Berkeley School of Law

 Berkeley Faculty Association

Academic freedom, the collective condition necessary for the flourishing of scholarship and teaching, is under assault – both from within and without the university. From within the university by pressures towards privatization and risk management; from without by both mobilized citizens and wealthy sponsors. These threats to academic freedom affect all involved in the academic project: tenure-track faculty, the increasing proportion of non-tenure track faculty and professional employees, such as librarians.

Hank Reichman (former VP of AAUP), who has a new book, The Future of Academic Freedom (Johns Hopkins, 2019) will be in conversation with the renowned historian Joan Wallach Scott, author of Knowledge, Power, and Academic Freedom (Columbia, 2019). They will be joined by respondents Khalid Kadir (lecturer and winner of Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award), I-Wei Wang (on the negotiating team for librarians and a legal reference librarian in the Berkeley Law School) and Wendy Brown (professor of political science and on the Board of the BFA).

Recent history has given a new context to old questions. What’s the relation between academic freedom and free speech? What has civility to do with academic freedom? Can academic freedom be used to deter dissent from within as well as repel attacks from without? What is the relationship between academic freedom and shared governance? What are the responsibilities of the university administration when members of the university have their academic freedom violated? Who is left to defend academic freedom?

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