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Towards a Working Group on Academic Freedom
January 29, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Main Building room no: MAL 539
In the context of the expansion of neoliberal, securitarian and far right forces in different corners of the globe, universities are under particular threat. Turkey, Brazil, USA, India, UK, Hungary, Poland… Academics and students everywhere are facing ideological policing, budget cuts, suspension of scholarships, interventions in university autonomy, censorship, individual persecution and criminal prosecution. Although specific constellations of political, social and economic contexts shape the attack on universities in particular ways across different localities, there are clearly common threads and strategies against academic freedom, leading to intensified surveillance and control of university spaces.
At the same time there is growing resistance in universities at the local, national and global levels. This scenario calls for international mobilization, where academics and activists from different contexts can exchange experiences and strategies. This meeting is an initiative in that direction and in a moment when strike action will be taking place in UK universities. Organised by UK-based academics from Brazil and Turkey, this is an attempt to bring various experiences together, to learn from each other and build common agendas. It is an invitation to reflect on “academic freedom” in ways that might assist global networks of solidarity, to act together against all threats to higher education and to imagine future possibilities for the university.
The first meeting will take place on 29 January at 6pm at Birkbeck Main Building room no MAL 539. We invite academics, researchers and students from any university and college interested in contributing to international strategies of solidarity against attacks on academic freedom.
No REGISTRATION is required but please arrive punctually to secure a place.
You are also welcome to send a message to the organisers in case you would like to propose an item for the discussion agenda (campaigns, collectives etc)