- Organizer: NYU Chapter of the American Association of University Professors
- Venue: 721 Broadway, Room 108
NYU Tisch School of the Arts, 721 Broadway
New York, NY United States
Presented by the NYU Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Co-sponsored by the Gallatin Human Rights Initiative, NYU Sanctuary, Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, NYU Department of Cinema Studies, NYU Department of English, NYU Department of History, NYU Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, NYU Department of Social & Cultural Analysis, and the NYU Program in American Studies.
Academics today work in national contexts of deepening repression and authoritarianism, as well as rising tides of anti-democratic and nativist forces. Faculty, students, and staff in the US and beyond have had to contend with censorship, intimidation, security denials, firings, disappearances, imprisonment, and killings. This has direct implications for researchers and professors at NYU, as well as for the Global Network University project.
What ethical responsibilities do universities have to ensure academic freedom? Should universities establish campuses in nations with repressive authoritarian regimes? How should universities be accountable for the safety of their researchers? What legally-binding guarantees must they obtain, and what written protocols should they develop, to ensure that governments do not violate or erode promised freedoms? How should universities respond when the academic – or even bodily – freedom of their members are threatened? What crucial roles do and should professional academic associations play?
Henry Reichman is professor emeritus of History at California State University, and chair of the AAUP Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure. He is the author of The Future of Academic Freedom (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019).
Matthew Hedges is a PhD candidate at Durham University. He was wrongfully detained, imprisoned, and convicted of espionage while conducting IRB-approved research in the United Arab Emirates in 2018.
Daniela Tejada holds an MA in Arts and Cultural Management from Kings College London. She successfully coordinated the campaign for Hedges’s release.
Discussant and Moderator:
Miriam Lowi is a professor in the Department of Political Science and the International Studies Program at the College of New Jersey. She is chair of the Committee on Academic Freedom (Middle East, North Africa wing) of the Middle East Studies Association of North America.