Defending academic freedom and finding ways of organization and solidarity
Defending freedom of speech, analyzing societal power relations, and criticizing state politics against human rights violence is part of academic responsibility. However, oppression and constrains on academic freedom are seemingly increasing. We will discuss ways of organizing solidarity and counter-movements. Focusing on Turkey, where thousands of academics fight against their political persecution, on the UK, where in 2018 higher education staff went on the longest-ever strike in UK university history, and Germany, where the precarity of academic staff leads to worker struggles and questioning the conformity of academic output.
- Latife Akyüz is a social scientist from Turkey. Her research interests are border regions, ethnicity and gender studies. She was assistant professor at Duzce University from March 2014 until her suspension in 2016 due to her signing of a petition of academics for peace in Turkey.
- Rob Copeland is a policy officer with the University and College Union (UCU) in the UK. His is responsible for international affairs and UK education policy issues such as teaching, research, academic freedom and governance. He is Chair of the ETUCE’s Higher Education and Research Standing Committee (HERSC).
- Simone Claar is a senior researcher at the University of Kassel. Her research focuses on international political economy, capitalism and renewable energy. Besides her academic work she is active in the German Education Union (GEW) and fights against the precarity of academic staff.
Nina Ulbrich is policy officer for Higher Education and Research with the German Education Union in Northern Hesse.
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