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Academic Freedom

Opportunities of Our Own Making: The Struggle for "Academic Freedom"

This essay examines David Horowitz’s “Academic Freedom” campaign, specifically exploring how “academic freedom,” a narrative that appears alongside “free speech” discourse frequently since September 11, 2001, can be understood as a site of struggle

On the Pros and Cons of Being a Faculty Member at E-Text University

This essay discusses e-texts in terms of academic freedom, using excerpts from conversations with instructors who have used various e-texts in their classes. These instructors often take a pragmatic approach to the materials but fear losing control of what and how they teach.

On the Ground in Kansas: Social Media, Academic Freedom, and the Fight for Higher Education

This essay explores the Kansas Board of Regents’ recently implemented rules addressing “Improper Use of Social Media” and faculty responses to this policy. It focuses on the moderate response that has predominated and the debates about the relationship between the First Amendment and academic freedom.

Editor's Introduction - Volume 4

The call for papers for this issue of the Journal of Academic Freedom was focused on the globalization of higher education and its impact on academic freedom. How, the CFP asked, is the expansion of US higher education around the world and the increasing international integration of academia affecting academic freedom? In what ways, conversely, is the globalization of higher education transforming academia within the United States, shifting and impinging upon traditional notions of academic freedom?

Rethinking Academic Boycotts

Politically inspired boycotts are a powerful form of protest. Free speech, as the US Supreme Court has recognized, includes “the opportunity to persuade to action.” Boycotts are one such opportunity: they aim “to bring about political, social, and economic change” through advocacy, petition, and association with others in a common cause.

Palestine, Boycott, and Academic Freedom: A Reassessment Introduction

The creation of the state of Israel in 1948 on land home to generations of Arab Palestinians is the contemporary world’s most egregious instance of settler colonialism. This ethnic cleansing, which included the displacement of 750,000 people in what Palestinians call the Nakba, or catastrophe, has engendered one of the longest-standing campaigns of resistance by an occupied people to permanent political and economic subordination by another nation. 

Boycott, Academic Freedom, and the Moral Responsibility to Uphold Human Rights

Just before year end 2012, Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak signed the official document upgrading the colony-college of Ariel, built on occupied Palestinian land, to a university, inviting unprecedented condemnation. Many academics around the world had already joined the widespread silent academic boycott of Israel—that is, the unannounced, yet very effective, shunning of academic visits to and relations with Israeli academic institutions— well before this latest upgrade of Ariel.

The Israeli State of Exception and the Case for Academic Boycott

Since the initial call for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel issued by Palestinian intellectuals in October 2002, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), launched in April 2004, has been perhaps the most significant element in an international and growing movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

Boycotts against Israel and the Question of Academic Freedom in American Universities in the Arab World

How can we understand academic freedom in the Arab world today when it comes to the question of Palestine and Israel? What does the concept mean, practically speaking, for American universities in the region? And how should it be deployed?

Changing My Mind about the Boycott

In 2006, I was one of the organizers of an aborted AAUP conference on academic boycotts. The point was to open a conversation about the utility—past and present—of such political actions, to understand what was actually involved in the choice of that strategy, to conduct a conversation in a setting above the fray (in this instance at the Rockefeller Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy), and to learn what we could from the various points of view we hoped to represent at the conference. Idealistically, we imagined the conference to be an exercise in academic freedom, the fulfillment of the best of AAUP principles. In fact, our experience was anything but the fulfillment of AAUP ideals.

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