Journal of Academic Freedom 2016 Call for Papers



Journal of Academic Freedom 2016 Call for Papers

Gary Shteyngart didn’t need a crystal ball when he sketched the near-future of his novel Super Sad True Love Story in which Columbia University is Columbia-Tsinghua and Reed College is ReedFudan. NYU-Abu Dhabi, Duke-Kunshan, Yale-Singapore: these campuses (and others) exist already. The AAUP’s Journal of Academic Freedom seeks scholarly articles that assess the impact on academic freedom—both as a concept and an experience—of American universities’ partnerships with, and branch campuses and programs in, authoritarian countries. How do these relationships  require us to reconsider the philosophical and/or political foundations of the concept? And how is academic freedom experienced (or not) by faculty and administrators involved in these largely uncharted waters? We seek thorough and nuanced articulations of the ramifications for traditional notions of academic freedom when universities pursue collaborations with institutions situated in non-democratic countries. We also encourage treatments of the “global university” more generally.

Potential questions to explore include:

To what extent is “academic freedom” a concept dependent upon the emergence of the nation state and the existence of a liberal consensus? What challenges has the concept faced under the neoliberal and transnational conditions of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries? How did the “end” of the Cold War affect the concept? How is the apparent resurrection of the Cold War affecting it now?

While the potential consequences for academic freedom in collaborations with authoritarian governments may seem obvious (if in need of thorough articulation and exploration), how might the increasingly “global” aspirations of the university impact academic freedom even when the countries involved are all, at least nominally, democratic?

How has the pursuit of international students affected university governance, with what reverberations for the academic freedom of faculty? How has the teaching of international students raised issues related to academic freedom?

How is the already vexed notion of “civility” further complicated by intercultural and international contexts and with what potential consequences for freedom of inquiry and expression?

In addition to the issues raised by globalization, we are interested in articles that address other major challenges to traditional notions of academic freedom: how does the existence of a new faculty majority lacking access to tenure and, thus, arguably to academic freedom put pressure on the concept itself? How are we to define intramural and extramural speech in the age of social media? How do the rise of online and self-support programs with their often non-existent governance structures erode academic freedom? What are the emerging conflicts of interest generated by the increased economic pressure on our public universities?

We will consider any essay that helps us develop a better understanding of academic freedom in today’s circumstances, whether it touches on the issues raised by this CFP or not.

Electronic submissions should go to by January 30, 2016 and must include an abstract of about 150 words. The journal uses the sixteenth edition of the Chicago Manual of Style and authors should anticipate that, if an article is accepted for publication, it will need to be put into Chicago style. For more information about the journal, visit

Jennifer Ruth
Editor, Journal of Academic Freedom

The mission of the AAUP is to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good. Visit the AAUP website and Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.