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Intolerance in the Ivory Tower: the threat to the free speech of scholars

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This event was held in association with the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics| and Index on Censorship|.

Speakers: Ilan Pappé, Kuyok Abol Kuyok and Kate Robertson

Chair: Professor George Gaskell

Thursday 29 November 2007

Abstract

It is dangerously easy to take the advance of free speech as a given. But the battles of the past need constantly to be refought if their gains are to be protected. Free speech is under attack around the world by a return to political, religious and anti-terrorism dogma. At the front line of vulnerability are scholars working in universities in countries where free speech is particularly under threat. In volatile regions where democracy is weak scholars are a primary target of threats to their lives and work often because of their instrumental role in advocating for change, and also because intellectuals have always posed a threat to illiberal regimes. In this event, the dangers to such scholars, and what can be done to protect them, is analysed by specialists but also by scholars with first-hand experience of the problems.

Speakers

Ilan Pappé is an Israeli historian, senior lecturer at Haifa University and the Chair of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian Studies. Dr Pappe has been both acclaimed and attacked on the publication of each of his many books relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Kuyok Abol Kuyok's involvement in political activities resulted in him being forced to leave Sudan. With the support of CARA he is now completing his PhD at the Institute of Education in London, has a position at the London Metropolitan University and is successfully rebuilding his academic career.

Kate Robertson is Deputy Executive Secretary of the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics.

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