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Workshop « Perilous knowledge, Gender & sexuality scholars at risk in Europe »

Datum & Uhrzeit: 4. Jun 2018 , 09:00 Uhr
Veranstaltungsort: Salle Somville, Building S – 2nd level » Wo ist das?


Gender & sexuality scholars across Europe are facing mounting challenges to academic freedom and personal safety. The voices of Hungarian-based scholars are silenced by national legislators through the so-called Lex CEU, and other attacks against national universities. Turkish researchers witness to the programmatic backlash against those critical towards the regime, and public meetings involving discussions on LGBT-issues are already forbidden in major cities. Nordic and German scholars are intimidated by right-wing extremists, including through hate mail.
These attacks take diverse forms: pressuring scholars to avoid research onto sensitive issues; defunding research institutions or even diverging funding from entire research fields; actively persecuting and incarcerating scholars engaging in critical research; or threatening the integrity of critical scholars. Such attacks raise numerous issues concerning the practice of scientific inquiry, but academic institutions are not always aware of these risks, and researchers are poorly equipped to face them.

The main objectives of this one-day workshop are:

  • To signal our commitment for protecting academic freedom, and urging university authorities, organizations representing the rights of workers in the higher education sector, academic professional organizations, Institutes for Advanced Studies, European and national research funding bodies, to join in our efforts.
  • To diagnose the threats that critical scholars are faced with, acknowledging their increasingly complex nature (both in real life and online).
  • Identify the repertoire of responses afforded to institutional entities and individual researchers at risk.
  • To propose the foundation of a special committee with the purpose of drafting a policy report pertaining to issues of institutional and personal management of risk.

As gender & sexuality scholars active in Belgian universities still enjoy academic autonomy and institutional support, Belgium can offer a safe space to address these challenges. This workshop also fits into the efforts of ULB and VUB to defend academic freedom worldwide.

More information and PROGRAMME