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Heterodox Academy

A Fine Balance: Academic Freedom and Academic Responsibility

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March 9, 2021
What does it mean for professors to have full freedom in the classroom and in their research? What are the requirements of academic responsibility? We were joined for a conversation with Judith Shapiro and Brian Rosenberg as they plumbed the depths of the various aspects of academic freedom and the limits of viewpoint diversity on campus. Drawing on their experience as former college presidents Judith and Brian helped us reflect upon the complex interplay of academic freedom and academic responsibility. This event took place on Tuesday, March 9 at 7pm ET.

About the speakers:

Judith R. Shapiro is a cultural anthropologist who began her faculty career at the University of Chicago. She then spent a decade on the faculty of Bryn Mawr College where she served as provost between 1986 and 1994. She served as President of Barnard College between 1994 and 2008 and President of the Teagle Foundation from 2013 to 2018. Shapiro’s scholarly work has been in the areas of gender differences, social organization, cultural theory, and missionization. She was President of the American Ethnological Society, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the American Council of Learned Societies. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Shapiro also serves on the Heterodox Academy Advisory Council. Brian Rosenberg is the current president-in-residence at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A scholar on Charles Dickens, Rosenberg began his academic career as an adjunct assistant professor of humanities at the Cooper Union in New York City in 1982. He worked at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, from 1983 to 1998 as an English professor and as chair of the English Department and participated in the development of the college’s strategic plan. From 1998 to 2003, Rosenberg was dean of the faculty and an English professor at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Rosenberg became the 16th president of Macalester College in August 2003.

About the moderator:

Keith E. Whittington is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics at Princeton University. He writes about American constitutional law, politics, history and American political thought. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Texas School of Law, is a member of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences, and is a fellow with the National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Texas at Austin and completed his Ph.D. in political science at Yale University. His most recent books include Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech and Repugnant Laws: Judicial Review of Acts of Congress from the Founding to the Present. He is completing two books, Constitutional Crises, Real and Imagined and The Idea of Democracy in America, from the American Revolution to the Gilded Age.
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