Deutsches Haus at NYU and Scholars at Risk present a conversation between Peter-Andre Alt, President of the German Rector's Conference, Robert Quinn, Executive Director of the Scholars at Risk Network at NYU, and moderated by Hadas Aron, a faculty fellow at the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies at NYU.
Banning of disfavored disciplines; mass dismissals and prosecutions of faculty and students; expulsion or banning of a liberal institutes and universities; criminalization of cross-border partnerships; invasion and attempted annexation of a neighbor: These are but a few of the violations of higher education values experienced in recent years in European countries from Belarus to Turkey, Hungary to Russia and beyond. How might higher education leaders and advocates for academic freedom and autonomy respond? When business-as-usual is inadequate to the moment, how might the academy push back against the illiberal tide, while remaining within its proscribed role as research, teaching and public service institutions?
This event will take place at 42 Washington Mews. This semester, based on NYU's guidelines, in-person events will be open to members of the general public.
Attendance instructions for NYU faculty, students and staff: Please show your NYU Violet Go Pass at the door.
Attendance instructions for members of the general public:
• Members of the general public must show a valid government-issued photo ID
• Members of the general public must show proof of being up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccination, which includes the booster when eligible, with an FDA-authorized or WHO-listed vaccine. (Ideally, you would bring your CDC vaccination card or the details on Excelsior Pass Plus.)
Documentation for members of the general public will be checked at the door and must include:
◦ Dates of doses
◦ Vaccine manufacture for each dose
◦ Documentation is in English
• Vaccine exemption requests are not accepted at the door.
• Test results are not accepted as an alternative to proof of vaccination and will not be accepted at the door.
About the participants:
Peter-André Alt has been President of the German Rectorsʼ Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz/HRK) since August 2018. He studied German language and literature, political science, history, and philosophy at Freie Universität Berlin. Alt has been a full professor of modern German literature since 1995, first at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (1995 - 2002), then at the University of Würzburg (2002 - 2005), and since 2005 at Freie Universität Berlin. Having held the position of Dean of the Department of Philosophy and Humanities for two years, he has been the President of Freie Universität Berlin for two terms (2010 - 2018).
Hadas Aron is a faculty fellow at the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies at NYU. Aron completed her PhD at Columbia University, and was a Post-Doctoral fellow at the School of Political Science in Tel Aviv University. Her research and teaching focus on populism, nationalism, international security, and social and ethnic cleavages. Her regional concentration is on Eastern Europe, the United States and Israel.
Dr. Aron's book project, An Ethno-Nation Deeply Divided- The Center Periphery Cleavage and the Rise of Right Wing Populism in East Central Europe, explains variations in populism and its transformative effect on political systems. Based on interviews and extensive archival work her research shows how failure to integrate deep center-periphery cleavages created two separate national groups within the same ethno-nation. In such cases, radical nationalist leaders could mobilize support against mainstream politicians by presenting the mainstream elite as betraying the “true” nation.
Robert Quinn is the founding Executive Director of the Scholars at Risk Network, an independent not-for-profit corporation based at New York University, and host of the Free to Think podcast. Mr. Quinn formerly served as a member of the Council of the Magna Charta Observatory, based in Bologna, Italy; Executive Director of the Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund; on the Steering Committee of the Network for Education and Academic Rights (NEAR), based in London, UK; a member of the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; a member of the Scientific Committee of Pax Academica, an online journal on academic freedom in Africa published by CODESRIA from Dakar, Senegal; a fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program in Washington, DC. He received an A.B. cum laude from Princeton in 1988, a J.D. cum laude from Fordham in 1994, and an honorary doctorate from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2010.
"Reinforcing Academic Freedom Against an Illiberal Tide: A Conversation with Peter-André Alt" is funded by the DAAD from funds of the German Federal Foreign Office (AA).