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The Right to Dissent: Academic Freedoms & State Militarization
April 22, 2016, 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Today academic institutions are the new sites of state militarization. The growing state intervention in academic access, research, and funding is a part of an effort to isolate scholarly engagement from socio-political processes. In India, the acute marginalisation of Dalit scholars in the Hyderabad Central University resulting in the suicide of Rohith Vemula, the violent crackdown and police torture of protesting students across the country and branding of dissent as sedition, are all symptomatic of the State’s larger project of manufacturing a citizenry of compliance. In Turkey, the state recently persecuted over a thousand academics who had raised concerns about violence against Kurdish civilians. Studentswho have advocated for peaceful talks with PKK instead of the State sponsored war have been arrested on grounds of “terrorism” while the files to their cases have been marked confidential and are inaccessible State documents. In Pakistan, the state has blocked access and distribution of academic research that questions violent state-building tactics in systemically marginalized parts of the country. The apparatus of state violence against academics extends beyond institutional governmentality directly to the harassment of individual scholars. The situation in Bangladesh is equally bleak as in addition to all of these problems, the State constantly tries to inhibit secular thought, and research.
This teach-in brings together voices from scholarly communities under attack to understand the growing threat to academic freedom, given that the right to dissent increasingly comes at the cost of right to life. Join us for a transnational conversation on academic freedoms in times of growing state fascism.
Önder Çelik, John Hopkins University
Mohamad Junaid, CUNY
Munsif Vengattil, Hyderabad Central University
Lucky Akter, President, Bangladesh Students’ Union