Free Inquiry at Risk: Universities in Dangerous Times, Part I

18th Social Research Conference October 29-31, 2008

Rapid globalization, international collaborations, massification, corporate partnerships, increasing number of franchises, regime change, and other conditions of duress are reshaping universities around the world. What are the benefits and what are the risks to academic freedom and free inquiry as universities navigate these trends? This conference will look backward at the role of academic freedom and free inquiry in research universities and forward to what the future may have in store. This conference will be part of our commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the University in Exile, which was created by Alvin Johnson, the first president of The New School, as a haven for the scholars he rescued from the horrors of Hitler. The University in Exile became the Graduate Faculty of The New School for Social Research and gave birth to our journal, Social Research. To read Ira Katznelson's presentation about the founding of The New School and the University in Exile, "Liberty and Fear: Reflectionson The New School’s Founding Moments (1919 and 1933)," you can visit The New School for Social Research site.


This conference is made possible with generous support from the Ford FoundationCarnegie Corporation of New York, and Eugene Lang College at The New School.


To order the related issue of Social Research: An International Quarterly

Free Inquiry at Risk: Universities in Dangerous Times, Part I, Vol. 76, No. 2 (Summer 2009)


Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Session I. Founding of The New School and the University in Exile


Liberty and Fear: Reflections on The New School’s Founding Moments (1919 and 1933) 
Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University; Former Dean, The New School for Social Research
Bob Kerrey, President, The New School 



Thursday, October 30th, 2008


Session II. Academic Freedom and the Origins and Role of the Research University


Freedom, Pedagogy, and Inquiry in the University and Outside 
Akeel Bilgrami, Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy, Director, Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University


How and Why Academic Freedom Became a Canonical Value
Robert M. O'Neil, Director, Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, University of Virginia School of Law; Professor of Law Emeritus, University Professor Emeritus


Who Has Academic Freedom, Who Protects It and Why? 
Joan Wallach Scott, Professor in the School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Studies


Academic Freedom and Emerging Research Universities in the Present 
Ahmed Bawa, Distinguished Lecturer in Physics and Astronomy, Hunter College, City University of New York; former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research, University of KwaZulu-Natal


Discussion Between Speakers, then Discussion with Audience  
Session Moderator: Jonathan Veitch, Associate Professor of Literature and History, Former Dean, Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts

Session III. Free Inquiry under Conditions of Duress


McCarthyism and Academic Freedom: A Past Threat to the Core Values of the University

Ellen W. Schrecker, Professor of History, Yeshiva University

Academic Freedom under Political Duress: Israel and Palestine 
Itzhak Galnoor, Herbert Samuel Professor of Political Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Deputy Chair, Israel’s Council on Higher Education; Associate, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
Khalil Shikaki, Director, Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research; Associate Professor of Political Science, Bir Zeit University


Structural Transformation of the Research University: Finance, Context, and Demography 
Craig Calhoun, President, Social Science Research Council; University Professor of the Social Sciences, New York University 


The Offshore American University: Risk and Uncertainty in The Overseas Market 
Arjun Appadurai, John Dewey Distinguished Professor in the Social Sciences, Senior Advisor for Global Initiatives, The New School 


Discussion Between Speakers, then Discussion with Audience 
Session Moderator: James E. Miller, Chair, Liberal Studies Program, and Professor of Political Science, The New School for Social Research


Session IV. Keynote Event

Endangered Scholars from Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Belarus, and China
in conversation with Aryeh Neier, President, Open Society Institute
Friday, October 31st, 2008


Session V. Institutionalizing Free Inquiry in Universities during Regime Transitions

South Africa

Andre du Toit, Emeritus Professor of Political Studies, University of Cape Town

Deepak Nayyar, Distinguished University Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research; Former Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi

Free Inquiry in China’s Universities

Merle Goldman, Professor Emerita of History, Boston University
European Post-Communist States: The Early Years of Central European University:

Alfred Stepan, Wallace S. Sayre Professor of Government, Director, Center for the Study of


Democracy, Toleration and Religion, Columbia University; First Rector, Central European University
Research Universities in Modern Russia:

Sergei Guriev, Associate Professor of Economics and Rector, New Economic School, Moscow, Russia

Discussion Between Speakers, then Discussion with Audience
Session Moderator: Ronald Kassimir, Associate Provost for Curriculum and Research, The New School

Session VI. Free Inquiry and Academic Freedom 


A Panel Discussion among Academic Leaders

Robert M. Berdahl, President, Association of American Universities; Former Chancellor, University of California, Berkeley 

Hanna Holborn Gray, Former President, University of Chicago

Anthony W. Marx, President, Amherst College

Charles M. Vest, Former President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Joseph W. Westphal, Provost, The New School; Former Chancellor, University of Maine

Discussion Between Speakers, then Discussion with Audience 
Session Moderator: Bob Kerrey, President, The New School



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