Following a concise definition of academic freedom and a rejoinder to current conservative efforts to limit it by David Horowitz, the National Association of Scholars, and Stanley Fish, “The Fate of Academic Freedom” describes sixteen specific conditions emerging as major threats to the concept and the practice: (1) instrumentalization, (2) contingency, (3) authoritarian administration, (4) abuses of the national security state, (5) administration restrictions on the use of communication technology, (6) unwarranted research oversight, (7) neoliberal assaults on academic disciplines, (8) managerial ideology, (9) circumvention of shared governance, (10) globalization, (11) opposition to human rights, (12) inadequate grievance procedures, (13) religious intolerance, (14) political intolerance, (15) legal threats, and (16) claims of financial crisis. Definitions and examples of each of these trends are provided and their consequences explored. Readers are encouraged to test the list of emerging threats against their experience at their own institution(s). The essay concludes by mapping out strategies for resisting these trends.
Cary Nelson; The Fate of Academic Freedom. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2009; 108 (4): 689–699. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-2009-014
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