Documentation of panel discussion and open conversation hosted on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 from 7 - 9 p.m in Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall at the University of Winnipeg. This event was open and free for
all; the promotional text was as follows:
In light of recent scandals around the world involving academics being served cease and desist notices for producing valid research challenging corporate activity, being arrested under suspicion of terrorism, or losing tenure without due process as a clear response to different ways of thinking and teaching, it is a ripe moment to discuss intellectual and ethical integrity vis-à-vis academic freedom in the context of societal expectations.
Academics are perceived as belonging to a certain social and intellectual "class". In what ways can they gravitate toward a genuinely ethical definition of their profession while confronting the influences that expect them to toe the line in order to maintain status?
With a view to opening discussion on this subject, four University of Winnipeg faculty members have been invited to express perspectives concerning the dilemma experienced by academics who come to realize that their political, social, and/or ethical beliefs run counter to the status quo maintained by the elite. Should academics perpetuate traditional networks and hope their different opinions will be appear more palatable through association with moderates, or should they find altogether new ways of working? Should they speak out and risk being ostracized by their professional community, or take that chance and turn their practices of research and analysis into active resistance? What’s at stake and is it worth it?
* Kelly Gorkoff, Instructor, Criminal Justice Department discussing the neoliberalization of higher education
* Christopher Leo, Professor, Department of Politics revealing barriers in academic publishing
* Vesna Milosevic-Zdjelar, Instructor, Department of Physics addressing biases in educational curriculum
* Brock Pitawanakwat, Asst. Professor, Aboriginal Governance Program commenting on abuses of power within the academy
Winnipeg-based curator and writer, Milena Placentile, will moderate this conversation.
Extended biographies and summaries of each presentation can be found online: gallery1c03.blogspot.com/2009/10/academic-freedom-conversation-about-way.html