Forum 2019, Can We Talk? Dialogue and Debate in the Contemporary Academy, opened up lines of communication across the University. Faculty, staff, administration, and graduate students came together to investigate subjects of concern for everyone at the University, including studying controversial texts; the corporate aspects of university life; and negotiating the different perspectives afforded by different roles and statuses.
Below, we have outlined next steps and we have posted videos, audio recordings, and photos from Forum 2019 in order to document the conversations among people from across the University. We have also included the reading list all speakers shared prior to the event. We hope that by making the day’s discussions widely available these conversations can continue and deepen.
Follow Up Events
We are currently forming both undergraduate and graduate working groups to explore some of the problems that were highlighted at the Forum and to devise productive strategies for redressing them. Our hope is that these student working groups will take concrete steps to further the potential of the university as a collectively realized institution. We will post more information about these follow-up events here as information becomes available.
Introducer: Susan Mizruchi, William Arrowsmith Professor in the Humanities, Director of the Center for the Humanities, and Professor of English, Boston University
PANEL 1 | LANGUAGE MATTERS: DISCUSSING DIFFICULT TEXTS
Moderator: Gregory Williams, Associate Professor, Department of History of Art & Architecture
Kimberly Arkin, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology
Emily Gowen, PhD Candidate, Department of English
Stephen Prothero, C. Allyn and Elizabeth V. Russell Professor of Religion
Takeo Rivera, Assistant Professor, Department of English
Crystal Williams, Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion
PANEL 2 | CORPORATE UNIVERSITY: ACKNOWLEDGING STUDENT, FACULTY, AND ADMINISTRATION FAULT LINES
Moderator: Nazli Kibria, Associate Dean/Social Sciences, Professor, Department of Sociology
Kimber Chewning, PhD Candidate, Department of History of Art & Architecture
Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Peter Schwartz, Associate Professor, Department of World Languages & Literatures
Cady Steinberg, Administrator, Department of History
Jonathan Zatlin, Associate Professor, Department of History
PANEL 3 | SHOP TALK: NURTURING HONEST DIALOGUE ACROSS LABOR DIVIDES
Moderator: Jeffrey W. Rubin, Associate Professor, Department of History
Charles Chang, Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics
Nancy Geourntas, Executive Assistant to the Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
Daniel Kleinman, Associate Provost for Graduate Affairs
Jessica Lambert, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology
Marisa Milanese, Master Lecturer, Writing Program
ROUNDTABLE | FURTHER REFLECTIONS: LOOKING AHEAD TOGETHER
Moderator: Maurice Lee, Professor, Department of English
Julie Levy, PhD Candidate, Department of Classical Studies
David Lyons, Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy and School of Law
William Moore, Director, American & New England Studies Program
Adela Pineda, Professor of Spanish, Department of Romance Studies
Carrie Preston, Arvind and Nandlal Kilachand Professor and Director, Kilachand Honors College
Speaker: Susan Mizruchi, William Arrowsmith Professor in the Humanities, Director of the Center for the Humanities, and Professor of English, Boston University
Forum Reading List
Sigal Ben-Porath. “What the Chicago principles miss when it comes to speech and academic freedom (opinion).” Inside Higher Ed. 11 December 2018.
Erwin Chemerinsky & Howard Gillman. Preface; Chapter One: The New Censorship; Chapter Two: Why Is Free Speech Important?; Chapter Six: What’s at Stake?. Free Speech on Campus. New Haven; Yale University Press, 2018.
Interviews by Sarah Breger, Anna Isaacs, & Sala Levin. “Is Free Speech Under Fire on Campus?”Moment. 13 May 2016.
Michael Poliakoff. “The Chicago principles are a gold standard for freedom of expression on campuses (opinion).” Inside Higher Ed. 21 December 2018.
Frederick M. Hess & Grant Addison. “Restoring Free Inquiry on Campus.” National Affairs. 2018.
Michael S. Roth. “Don’t get all PC about my truth.” The Boston Globe. 22 August 2019.
Jeffrey J. Williams. “Debt Education: Bad for the Young, Bad for America.” Dissent, Volume 53, Number 3. Summer 2006.
Robert J. Zimmer. “Academic Freedom and Open Inquiry: Keynote Address, on the occasion of Central European University moving to Vienna.” 16 September 2019.
We want to thank everyone who came out to Forum 2019; the thought-provoking questions and comments provided by the audience are what allowed a rich and dynamic dialogue to occur, and without our audience the forum would not have been such a generative and enlightening experience for all of us.
In addition, we want to thank our sponsors, the Boston University Office of the Provost and Boston University College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, for allowing us to make the success of Forum 2019 possible. We also want to thank WBUR CitySpace and their staff for hosting us.