June Newsletter: President of Ireland addresses SAR Ireland Event

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Posted: 08-06-2021 21:29 | Views: 1121

TODAY: President of Ireland addresses SAR Ireland Event

The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins will today address a conference on ‘Academic Freedom and Intellectual Dissent’, organised by the Scholars at Risk Ireland section in partnership with the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA). As an academic, human rights advocate, writer, and statesman, President Higgins has long been a passionate defender of academic freedom. The high-level event will also feature keynote remarks by renowned scholar and activist, Professor Noam Chomsky, who has worked extensively on academic freedom and the corporatization of universities. Today’s conference will highlight the importance of intellectual dissent and academic freedom to democratic societies. Speakers will discuss the interplay between academic freedom and related academic values of openness, trustworthiness, research integrity, and social responsibility. Panellists will also address the scope and limits of academic freedom in the context of political populism, neoliberalism, and the post-Covid social and educational landscape. Together with participants, speakers will consider practical ways to strengthen academic freedom in a changing university funding landscape. Registration is free of charge and open to all.

Today’s event is the final in a series of events organised by the Scholars at Risk Ireland section. SAR Ireland was launched in 2009 as a partnership between Universities Ireland and Scholars at Risk to coordinate activities on the island of Ireland in support of at-risk scholars and to promote academic freedom. Members of the Scholars at Risk Ireland section include: Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, NUI Galway, Maynooth University, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Ulster, University of Limerick, University College Cork, Dublin City University and the Open University.

Courage to Think Award

Scholars at Risk is seeking nominations for the 2021 Courage to Think Award, which will be presented during an award ceremony at SAR's annual Free to Think event in November 2021.

The Courage to Think Award recognizes individuals, groups, or institutions that have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to protecting scholars and promoting academic freedom, whether through their professional work, private or community service, or by facing personal risk. Past recipients include Dr. Rahile Dawut, who, along with all scholars and students of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China, was recognized in absentia for her work in Uyghur studies; Turkey’s Academics for Peace for their efforts in building academic solidarity and promoting academic freedom worldwide; and over 600 wrongfully imprisoned scholars and students in Egypt who were honored in absentia for their struggle for academic freedom.

Scholars at Risk requests nominations by July 31, 2021.

Submit a nomination»


Scholars Seeking Hosts

SAR scholars are at-risk higher education professionals who exemplify the pursuit of academic freedom, freedom of expression, and university values. If your institution is interested in hosting a SAR scholar, please email apply.scholarsatrisk@nyu.edu.

A Scholar of Migration Studies and Human Geography from Turkey

This scholar specializes in migration studies, transnationalism, and ethnic minorities in the Middle East. He has more than a decade of teaching and research experience at universities in Turkey, North America, and Europe. He is an active researcher who has authored numerous international peer-reviewed articles in his field. In his recent work, he is doing a comparative study of immigration from the Middle East to the United States and Europe. He has faced arrest, harassment and loss of position in Turkey and seeks teaching and/ or research opportunities in Europe and North America beginning immediately. (Turkey 1321)

A Scholar of Pharmacology from Palestine

This scholar has more than a decade of experience instructing courses in pharmacology at universities in Palestine and the United Kingdom. He has focused much of his career on curriculum design, and spearheaded a program to create and disseminate more interactive, online courses in the field. He has published several articles in international, peer-reviewed journals, most recently on carbon-monoxide releasing molecules. This scholar reports risk due to the ongoing, situational violence in Palestine, and seeks teaching and/or research opportunities in a safe location beginning in November 2021. (Palestine 610)

A Scholar of Human Geography from Turkey

This early-career scholar specializes in cultural tourism, urban development, and geography education. He has several years of teaching and research experience at a university in Turkey, where he instructed courses in human, cultural, and political geography and geography of Africa, Asia, and Europe. He has also published several books and articles with regional publishers and presented his work at several academic conferences. He reports risk of arrest, harassment and loss of position in Turkey and seeks research opportunities in Sweden beginning immediately. (Turkey 1331)


All Scholars Seeking Assistance »

Scholars at Risk urges Belarus to release detained student protesters, restore academic freedom

On May 27, Scholars at Risk sent a letter to Belarusian authorities raising concern over the detention of a growing number of students in apparent retaliation for their nonviolent participation in protests across Belarus.

Concerns about the allegedly fraudulent August 2020 re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko triggered mass demonstrations across Belarus. According to the Belarusian Students Association (BSA), more than 460 students have been detained and over 150 students expelled from their universities for their alleged participation in protests, many of which were student-led and on university campuses. Police were widely reported to have responded with violent use of force and mass arrests numbering in the thousands.

Two of the many students who remain detained are Maryja Rabkova of European Humanities University (EHU) and Yahor Kanetski of Belarusian State University (BSU). Ms. Rabkova, a third-year student at EHU, was arrested on September 17, 2020 on the charge of “education or other preparation of persons for participation in mass riots or financing such activities.” Mr. Kanetski, a fifth-year student at BSU and a member of the Belarusian Students’ Association (BSA), was detained on November 12, 2020, on a charge of “organizing and preparing in group actions that grossly violate public order.”

SAR’s letter urges President Lukashenko to release all detained students and to dismiss investigations or actions against students in apparent connection to their nonviolent expressive activity. You can support detained students in Belarus by signing the letter of appeal in your own name.

Take Action »

SAR Welcomes New Staff

SAR welcomes three new colleagues to the New York and Ireland offices. In January, Quinn Coleman joined SAR's headquarters as Communications and Program Assistant to advance SAR's advocacy efforts, including the Academic Freedom Monitoring Project, and expand SAR's global communications. As Development Officer in New York, Patrick Wall joined SAR's development team in April to support SAR's generous donor community and help cultivate new donor partnerships. In June, Joel Hanisek joined SAR Europe as the Policy & Programme Manager to coordinate the EU-funded Inspireurope project, along with other core activities of the Europe office. Feel free to reach out to Quinn, Patrick, and Joel and welcome them to the network.

Free To Think Podcast

Free to Think talks with Marvi Sirmed, a political commentator, journalist, and human rights activist from Pakistan, about the 2021 Aurat March (Women’s March), violence against women, intersectionality, blasphemy accusations, and the responsibility of social media companies. Sirmed is currently a Research Scholar at the University of Connecticut, a SAR network member, where she is working on a book on free expression in South Asian countries.

Episode 7: The Engaged Listening Project

Free to Think talks with Sarah Stroup, Faculty director of the Engaged Listening Project at Middlebury College. Created after protests and disruption of a visit to the campus by controversial scholar Charles Murray, the project aims “to create spaces for close listening and productive disagreements.”

Stroup is an associate professor of political science at Middlebury College, where her research focuses on international non-governmental organizations.

Please send us your comments, questions, or suggestions for future episodes to scholarsatrisk@nyu.edu, or by tweeting us at @RobQ_SAR or @ScholarsAtRisk.

Subscribe to the podcast on SpotifyGoogle PodcastsApple PodcastsAudibleAmazon Music, or Stitcher.

Announcing the 2021-22 Mellon/SAR Academic Freedom Workshop & Fellowships

Scholars at Risk is pleased to announce a call for applications for a remote research workshop/fellowship for early career researchers studying, writing and/or teaching on academic freedom and related higher education values, made possible by the generous support and partnership of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This eight-month program is intended to provide a research stipend and supportive professional community for researchers to develop and share related work on comparative and global academic freedom. Details on the workshop/fellowship, including eligibility, are available here.

The deadline for submission is August 15, 2021. Please share this call widely with your networks, or apply here.

Invite an "About SAR" Presentation for your Campus

Could your university or college take better advantage of SAR’s programming? Could your campus invite a visiting scholar, form a Student Advocacy Seminar, or benefit from a SAR workshop on academic freedom? Consider inviting a SAR staff member to meet virtually with campus colleagues to share more information about SAR and the many partnership opportunities available for members of the network. Interested individuals should complete this brief online form.


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Academic Freedom Discussion Series Session V: Promises and Pitfalls: Navigating International Programs and Partnerships I June 9, 2021 I Virtual

Session V will discuss geopolitical tensions within the higher education sector. What happens when academic programs or partnerships are viewed as contrary to the values of the higher education community? Using case examples as a jumping off point, we will discuss concerns that arise from cross-border activities or partnerships.

Learn More »
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Academic Freedom in a Plural World: Global Critical Perspectives I June 9, 2021 I Virtual

Free and open to all, this conference will bring together over 20 scholars from a variety of regions and disciplines to discuss current challenges to academic freedom, emphasizing transnational developments.

Attend Here »
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SAR Speaker Series at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná: “Conflict, Regional Stability and the Humanitarian Conference in the Horn of Africa” I June 10, 2021 I Virtual

Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná will host a Virtual Speaker Series, titled Conflict, Regional Stability and the Humanitarian Conference in the Horn of Africa, with Dr. Semahagn Abebe.

Learn More »
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SAR Advocacy Seminar at Ruhr University Bochum: “Supporting at Risk Scholars and Promoting Academic Freedom: The Role of International Science/Advocacy Organisations and Science Diplomacy” I June 11, 2021 I Virtual

SAR Europe will join the SAR Advocacy Seminar at Ruhr University Bochum. Frank Albrecht from the Alexander Humboldt Foundation/SAR Germany Section and Philipp Effertz from the German Academic Exchange Service will present on the Philipp Schwartz Initiative, the Hilde Domin Programme and the SAR Germany network initiatives, respectively.

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Workshop: Career Options Beyond Academia I June 18, 2021 I Virtual

In this online workshop co-hosted by Scholars at Risk, Global Young Academy and IIE- Scholar Rescue Fund, we will explore paths to professional fulfillment outside academia in North America. The workshop will include presentations, breakout groups, and interactive discussion. Contact Sarina Rosenthal at sarina.rosenthal@nyu.edu to register.

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Research Diplomacy vs Individual Experiences of Repression: Politics of Repression – Strategies and Resistances in Scholarship I June 29, 2021 I Virtual

Representatives from the Federal Foreign Office, the German Rectors’ Conference, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the University of Göttingen will come together to discuss the tension that exists between the foreign education and cultural policy of Germany and the country’s commitment to supporting persecuted academics.

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