The term intellectual freedom has been recently tossed around by state lawmakers to justify new laws targeting college campuses. The recent laws and policy changes mainly target one of three things: faculty tenure, curriculum, or freedom of speech. This post will provide an update on new laws or incidents happening in various states.
Government interference in classroom curricula. Financial pressures and conflicts of interests. The death of tenure. Trigger warnings, cancel culture, censorship, and the chilling effect. With all the pressures threatening open inquiry and free expression on campus, you might wonder: “Does academic freedom have a future?” Join the IFRT Reads community to explore this question with Oboler Award-winning author and academic freedom scholar, Henry Reichman, and his 2019 book, The Future of Academic Freedom.
Faculty should not push their opinions on students – or make students feel denigrated for their opinions – but they should encourage students to question and strongly analyze their opinions. That’s part of the point of college.
“Did you see this? A textbook for a class on anime at Kent State was challenged by state reps,” my coworker told me a few weeks ago. I read the entire debacle and I rolled my eyes so hard I think I got a headache. Another ignorant American who doesn’t understand another culture but also wants to enforce American morality upon it, I thought. But I digress – by now we all know the story about Anime From Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle and its challenge. If you would like to know more about anime and how it relates to western comic books/graphic novels, fear not! I, Gina the old millennial otaku, will help you.
If there was any instance this year in which you asked yourself, “Is this censorship?” then you should report it to the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom by New Years Eve. If it made your library spidey senses tingle, it is probably worth a report. Read on for more information on what censorship looked like in 2020.
When Kent State refused to violate the First Amendment and its policies on academic freedom, Ohio Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus threatened to cut millions of dollars of funding in retaliation, and hopes to pass legislation imposing his views on public universities.
We want students to become well rounded individuals who can reflect on and learn from their own mistakes; how can we ask them to do that if we cannot/will not do that as a country? It is not a weakness to admit past mistakes and problems. Being able to admit them and learn from them is a strength.
We often think of open-mindedness as a personality trait, but Mark Lenker’s research reveals that open-mindedness is more an activity of mind than a state of mind. In a conversation following his LOEX 2020 presentation, “Open-mindedness is an achievement: Prototyping a new threshold concert for information literacy,” Lenker describes the habits – and limits – of open-mindedness, the relationship between open-mindedness and intellectual freedom, and how open-mindedness can be integrated into information literacy instruction and other areas of librarianship.
In recognition of Fair Use / Fair Dealing Week, professors of hip hop A. D. Carson and Justin De Senso share insights on the place of fair use in teaching and learning, what happens when you invite lawyers to class, creating historiography-by-discography, what it’s like to send a scholarly album out for peer review, and rap ensemble 2 Live Crew’s contributions to fair use, free expression, and hip hop history.
“I believe theater is there to broaden your mind, to really look at the way you view the world to explore the idea that maybe you’re not looking at it as widely as you can.”