Free Inquiry 1

18th Social Research conference at The New School
Free Inquiry at Risk: Universities in Dangerous Times
October 29-31, 2008
John Tishman Auditorium 66 West 12th Street, NYC

Papers from the conference are published in Social Research Volume 76, Number 2 (Summer 2009).

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.


Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

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

6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

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

10:00 am - 12:45 pm

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
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm BREAK

Session III. Free Inquiry under Conditions of Duress

2:00 pm - 4:45 pm

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
4:45 pm - 6:00 pm BREAK

Session IV. Keynote Event

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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

10:00 am - 12:45 pm

South Africa: Andre du Toit, Emeritus Professor of Political Studies, University of Cape Town
India: 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
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm BREAK

Session VI. Free Inquiry and Academic Freedom
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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


The director and founder (1988) of theSocial Researchconference series is Arien Mack, Alfred and Monette Marrow Professor of Psychology at The New School for Social Research, who has been the editor of Social Research since 1970. For the history of the conference series, visit the Social Research conference series site. For information about other public events at The New School, see the university calendar Find information about the more than 70 degree programs offered at The New School. For general information about The New School, visit the Quick Facts page.


This conference is made possible with generous support from the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal

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