Out There: A Symposium on Provocative Research, Pedagogy, and Academic Freedom

This event is part of the Co-Sponsorships Program: Out There: A Symposium on Provocative Research, Pedagogy, and Academic Freedom.
Friday, March 29, 2019 - 9:00am to 8:00pm
Event Location: 
Old Capitol Senate Chamber
UI Pentacrest
Iowa City, IA 52242
clipart showing hands grasping a pencil, microphone, and cell phone

Academics and intellectual freedom are increasingly under attack in the United States. This is demonstrated, for example, by the November 2016 launch of the Professor Watchlist by Turning Point USA and the targeted harassment of faculty aimed at intimidating educators and stifling the exchange of ideas and thoughtful debate. This symposium gathers administrators, faculty, and graduate students from across the University of Iowa to discuss the climate currently informing academic life, and to share skills and resources for faculty and graduate students engaged in public facing research and pedagogy. We hope you will join us!


Breakfast/Opening Remarks - 9:30 am

On Academic Freedom - 9:45 –11:00 am
What is academic freedom? What is free speech? How are these values practiced in research, in the classroom, in university life writ large? How can we continue to build and/or protect spaces where academic freedom can thrive?

  • Kristiana Baez, Graduate Student, Communication Studies
  • Jessica Welburn Paige, Assistant Professor, Sociology/African American Studies
  • Katherine Tachau, Professor, History
  • Tabitha Wiggins, Assistant Director, Multicultural and International Student Support and Engagement
  • Facilitator: Christina Bohannan, Professor and Lauridsen Family Fellow in Law, College of Law

Challenges to Academic Freedom - 11:30 am –12:45 pm
What are the challenges to academic freedom? What patterns are emerging across the country in terms of faculty/student intimidation and threats to academic freedom? What is being done in response? Here at Iowa, what are the resources available to instructors and students?

  • E Cram, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
  • Jodi Linley, Assistant Professor, Educational Policy and Leadership Studies
  • Christopher Rasheem McMillan, Assistant Professor, Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies/Dance
  • Diane Finnerty, Assistant Provost for Faculty Lois Cox, Clinical Professor, College of Law Jean Florman, Director, Center for Teaching
  • Facilitator: Meenakshi Gigi Durham, Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication/Department of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies

Engaged Scholarship & Social Justice - 2:30 – 3:45 pm
What is engagement? How do we cultivate and practice engaged scholarship and pedagogy? What are its challenges and how might we navigate them? What are some best practices for facilitating difficult/necessary classroom conversations? What does social justice pedagogy look like?

  • Daria Fisher Page, Clinical Associate Professor, College of Law Angela Ibrahim-Olin, Director, Office of Student Accountability Elizabeth Pearce, Lecturer, Communication Studies
  • Deborah Elizabeth Whaley, Professor & Senior Scholar for Digital Arts & Humanities Research Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, African American Studies & American Studies
  • Facilitator: Rachel Williams, Associate Professor, Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies/Art and Art History

Homeland Maternity reading at Prairie Lights - 7:00 pm
Public reading and book signing at Prairie Lights Bookstore celebrating the publication of Homeland Maternity: US Security Culture and the New Reproductive Regime

  • Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies/Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies


Hosted by the UI Department of Communication Studies, with support from the African American Studies Program, Center for Teaching, College of Education, College of Law, Department of American Studies, Department of Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies, POROI, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies