"From Academic Freedom to Academic Abolitionism:Decolonizing the Academic-Industrial Complex":Andrea Smith:Toronto:Thu Jan 21

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"From Academic Freedom to Academic Abolitionism:Decolonizing the Academic-Industrial Complex":Andrea Smith:Toronto:Thu Jan 21

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A Forum on Erosion of Academic Freedom and Restraints on Free Speech
with Andrea Smith (University of California, Riverside)

"From Academic Freedom to Academic Abolitionism: Decolonizing the Academic-Industrial Complex"

WHEN: Thursday, January 21, 2010, 6:00 PM to 9:00PM
WHERE: Ryerson University
Engineering Building Auditorium (ENG 103)
245 Church Street at Gould

Light supper will be served in the same building (second floor Atrium) at 6:15PM

The erosion of academic freedom is closely linked to the suppression of free speech in society. These encroachments are on the rise in Canada, especially in the current moves of the Canadian state to cut funding of social justice organizations that do not toe the government's line, to deny outspoken overseas political activists' entry into Canada, and to tarnish the integrity of whistleblowers. A similar highhandedness is becoming visible in hiring decisions and the denial of tenure to scholars deemed radical, controversial or who challenge the dominant narrative. Academic administrators have overturned unanimous recommendations of hiring and tenure committees based on the candidates' politics and their non-mainstream research portfolios.

Although these erosions of academic and civil freedoms have been less than a decade in the making, this trend is on the rise in Canada. The treatment of outspoken radical scholars in the US, whose careers have been ruined by university administrators, is an important lesson for Canadian academics: to become more vigilant in protecting their freedoms.

Andrea Smith, an Indigenous (Cherokee) scholar and activist in the US, will discuss the erosion of civil freedoms and how US institutions continue to suppress the academic freedoms of principled and socially committed scholars. A short presentation will precede her talk in which the Canadian context of this forum/discussion will be framed by:

Cynthia Wright (York University)
Maria Wallis (York University)

Free event - Join us for an evening of inspiring and invigorating discussion
Presented by the Ryerson Faculty Association's Equity Issues Committee, Professional Affairs Committee, and the Aboriginal Caucus.
For more information: rfa@ryerson.ca