Academic Labour in Times of Authoritarianism, Violence and Injustice
Under an authoritarian framework of neoliberal conservativism, academics and academic institutions have been faced with violent and unjust attacks in various countries in the last decade. While the states fail to meet their responsibilities to provide basic conditions for academic freedom, new forms of flexible employment and increased control and disciplinary power of university managements in the academic workplace reduce the extent of job security of the academic labourers. The challenging conditions of academic labour was experienced in the last years in some occasions such as, the killing of a researcher while conducting a research on trade unions in Egypt; the detentions and dismissals of academics supporting a peace initiative in Turkey; jailing students and putting pressure on academics saying “higher education is not for sale” by declaring it as sedition in India. These and similar experiences point out a need to study the conditions of academic labour under authoritarian regimes both in historical and contemporary terms.
This session calls for papers that explore issues specific to authoritarian regimes, such as how academic labour is affected by racism, nationalism and xenophobia fueled by economic and geo-political crises? How precarity, insecurity and de-unionisation in the academic labour market can be viewed in relation to authoritarian political environments? How culture of fear and self-cencorship is reflected to academic research and teaching? What are the challenges for and responsibilities of academics in countries where human rights are systematically violated? What are the possibilities for academic solidarity in times of violence and injustice?