Tag Archives: Academic Freedom

On Bill 18: Danielle Smith, the Calgary School, and the Politics of Academic Freedom

Photo of a white woman with shoulder-length brown hair wearing blue and black in front of a blue background.

Mack Penner On 10 April 2024, the United Conservative Party (UCP) introduced Bill 18, or the Provincial Priorities Act, in order to “support Alberta’s government in pushing back against overreach by the federal government.” If passed, the bill would require “provincial entities” of all kinds to pass any agreements with the federal government through provincial review. The bill fits neatly… Read more »

Congress 2020, Interrupted: Racism and Commemoration in Western University’s Department of History

Will Langford At the cancelled Congress 2020, Olivette Otele was scheduled to deliver the Canadian Historical Association’s keynote address. Otele was recently appointed the first History of Slavery professor at Bristol University. Her immediate research will examine Bristol University’s historical ties to the transatlantic slave trade. A growing number of universities are detailing institutional links to slavery and showing why… Read more »

Congress 2020, Interrupted: Racism, Academic Freedom, and the Far Right, 1970s-1990s

Will Langford In 1989, psychology professor Philippe Rushton inflamed debates over discrimination at Western University (then known as the University of Western Ontario (UWO)) by outlining his racist theories at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. For some, Rushton’s academic racism made him unfit to teach at UWO. For others, protecting academic freedom was… Read more »

Congress 2020, Interrupted: A Brief History of University Codes of Conduct

Will Langford Congress 2020 is cancelled. But before the conference is forgotten, let’s ponder the anti-racism Congress that never was. At last year’s gathering, in a brazen act of racial profiling, a participant harassed political scientist Shelby McPhee and falsely accused the Black graduate student of theft. Following an investigation, the perpetrator was issued a ban for violating the Congress… Read more »

University Donations and the Legitimization of Far-Right Views

by Asa McKercher In 2016, Western University’s Department of History announced the establishment of a variety of graduate awards and scholarships named for Kenneth Hilborn, who had bequeathed $1 million to the university in his estate. A faculty member at Western from 1961 to 1997, Hilborn (PhD, Oxford) was of a generation where one could apparently secure tenure without having… Read more »