Volume 12: Practices of Academic Freedom in Times of Austerity
On Twitter, Kenyan blogger Keguro Macharia (@keguro) regularly poses the question, "How will you practice freedom today?" It is a useful reminder that freedom is not only an ideal but also a practice and lived experience. Without practice, freedom is an inconsequential abstraction. The question also prompts us to ask, How does one practice, rather than merely protect, academic freedom? How can these practices be expanded and made irresistible?
Of course, the current crisis in higher education dictates that practices of academic freedom take place in a context of institutional austerity. The politics of austerity in higher education often function to curtail or threaten academic freedom. As managerial practices intensify academic hierarchies in the name of financial efficiency, these hierarchies affect practices of academic freedom and shared governance. What collective and individual responses might redefine available practices of freedom?
For its next volume, scheduled for publication in fall 2021, the Journal of Academic Freedom seeks original articles that explore questions of current practices of freedom in and around the university: What does it mean to practice academic freedom during a time of austerity? What is the relationship between academic freedom, other freedoms, and other freedom struggles? How does academic freedom function for precarious faculty and staff, for students, for tenured and tenure-track faculty from marginalized groups? How do practices of academic freedom respond to the challenges of austerity? How might posing academic freedom as an embodied struggle over material means change our ideas and strategies?