As with our previous conferences, FIRE welcomes proposals for papers on a wide array of topics related to academic freedom and freedom of expression in modern higher education. Presented work may take the form of original research or a critical narrative, and presentation of research-in-progress is also acceptable. Topics may be examined through the lens of a particular field or discipline, or in the context of higher education more broadly. Each presentation will be accompanied by a moderated panel discussion in which invited participants will give brief responses, followed by a discussion among all attendees. Prospective applicants are encouraged to review the published volumes from our 2017 and 2018 conferences to get a sense of the scope of the conference and the variety of ideas presented.
For our 2019 conference, FIRE is additionally interested not only in presenting academic research, but in examining the academic profession itself and the infrastructure supporting academic research and discovery. Recent academic controversies and trends have presented new challenges to longstanding pillars of academic research such as Institutional Review Boards and the peer review process. The internet and social media have diversified the outlets available for faculty to disseminate their research and offer commentary, while at the same time those outlets have frequently been weaponized to stifle faculty voices and threaten academic research. Tenure remains vulnerable and available to few, and faculty expertise is frequently overridden from within the university and viewed with hostility from without. What other fault lines might exist? How well does the academic process work at protecting academic freedom? We welcome papers exploring this issue from a variety of perspectives.
Location: Boston University, Boston, MA