Anti-Intellectualism, Attacks on Academic Freedom and Illiberal Neoliberalism

Prof. Éric Fassin (Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis)

06/06/2024 10:00 am 12:00 pm

U Bremen GRA2 0030

This interdisciplinary workshop will address the rise of neoliberal illiberal politics and their connection to anti-intellectualism and discourses around academic freedom. Based on the guest lecture, we will discuss a variety of cases, ranging from the US-American moral panic around ‘Critical Race Theory’, Bolsonaro’s intentional attacks on University funding, discourses around ‘islamo-leftism’ and ‘wokism’ in France to the ban of Gender Studies in Hungary. What do those cases and the growing hostility against researchers tell us about the global state of democracy? How and why are academics and their modes of knowledge production targeted not only by far-right actors but increasingly also by the state?

The workshop is open for students, PhD candidates and Post-Doc researchers from all disciplines.

In preparation of the workshop, participants are asked to read the following chapters from Eric Fassin’s (2024) book State Anti-Intellectualism & the Politics of Gender and Race (available via SUUB):

Introduction: Anti-Intellectualism and the Politics of Truth (pp. 1-23)

Conclusion: Democracy and the Intersectional Politics of Mourning (pp. 149-160)

Epilogue: In the First Person (pp. 161-172)

Registration for the workshop via mail is possible until May 30.

Back to overview
name contradiction

“Contradiction becomes real where someone names contradiction.”

Ingo H. Warnke
coherence in thought

“The imperative of non-contradiction generally produces a coherence in thought that is often at odds with social complexities.”

Yan Suarsana
driver

“Contradictions are an important driver of scientific practice and knowledge.”

Norman Sieroka
ideal of a contradiction-free world

“Science has long been animated by the ideal of a contradiction-free world in which logical orders could merge with society, politics, culture and language. In the GRC Contradiction Studies we are working on ways of describing the multiplicity and complexity, the danger and beauty of our worlds that clearly go beyond concepts of freedom from contradiction.”

Michi Knecht
Afterlife of colonialism

“Contradiction comes in many different forms. None is so debilitating than when the coloniser transitions, textually not politically, to decoloniality without taking the responsibility for the afterlife of colonialism, which they continue to benefit from. Self-examination and self-interrogation of the relations of coloniality, a necessity, seem nearly impossible for the coloniser who continues to act as beneficiary, masked in the new-found language of White fragility, devoid of an ethical responsibility of the very system of White domination they claim to be against.” (Black Consciousness and the Politics of the Flesh)

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