Academic Freedom and Society: Some Critical Questions

  • Lara Choksey Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick
Keywords: academic freedom, university autonomy, education policy, racism, corporate publishing


A review of a recent one-day conference, Academic Freedom and Society, held on June 2 2017 at the University of Warwick, which sought to pose questions about ideals and practices of academic freedom, historically and in the current moment, across disciplinary and national borders. Speakers discussed the university and human rights practices, Islamophobia and teaching law, ‘Decolonise the University’, links between funding and research, digital piracy, new sites of knowledge commons, and university managerialism, and the challenges and possibilities these topics pose to the practice of academic freedom. Has the university ever been autonomous from state interests, and what modes of freedom are currently available to academics – already unevenly contingent on social and national identifications – in practice?


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Nietzsche, F. (1873). ‘On Truth and Lies in an Extra-Moral Sense.’ Trans. Walter Kaufmann. Accessed online 14.08.2017

Warner, M. (2015) ‘Learning My Lesson.’ London Review of Books 37.6. Accessed online 14.08.2017