Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity

Joanna Williams

Part of the 2017 Fall series: Academic Freedom: Its Meaning and Limits
Thursday, September 21, 2017, 7:00 p.m.
Viking Theater, Buntrock Commons

In her book, Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity, Joanna Williams examines the threats to academic freedom, including a stifling culture of conformity – specifically in higher education. She believes students and faculty alike suffer when the freedom of academic thought is silenced, and her work reflects on the changing ideas about the purpose of higher education, censorship, free speech, and the nature of knowledge. Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity has been called “a compelling account of why academic freedom is in trouble” and “essential reading for anyone who cares about academic freedom, wants to better understand the threats to it, and how to fight back.”

Audio from the event was featured on MPR News Presents.

Can’t make it? Stream live or later.
About the Speaker

Speaker: Joanna Williams

Joanna Williams

Academic and Author
Joanna Williams is an academic, author, and education editor for the online magazine Spiked.She has taught in United Kingdom schools and higher education for more than 20 years. Most recently she was senior lecturer in Higher Education and Academic Practice at the University of Kent, where she was program director of the MA in Higher Education and director of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education between 2014 and 2016. Since 2016 Williams has worked part time at the university in order to pursue other writing projects.She is the author of two books on higher education: Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity (2016) and Consuming Higher Education: Why Learning Can’t Be Bought (2012). Her latest book, Women vs. Feminism: Why We All Need Liberating From the Gender Wars, will be published in September 2017. Williams has also written numerous articles on higher education, academic freedom, and feminism.