Oct 25

Workshop ‘Academic Freedom and Production of Knowledge in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia Today’

Saturday 28 October 10 am-4.30 pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1-2, IAIS, University of Exeter

The aim of the workshop is to discuss the issues of academic freedom, academic professions, and the production of knowledge in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia today. Examining the current situation, we will also take a historical perspective. Indeed, if the repression and clamp down on academia following the Arab Springs, the attempted Turkish Coup, and the (rebranding of) authoritarianism in the region, seem extraordinary, pressure on academia and academics is not new.


9.30: Coffee

10.00 – 10.15: Welcome and Presentation, Marc Valeri (University of Exeter)


10.15 – 12.00: Panel 1 – Modalities of Control and Repression of the Academic Profession

Naif Bezwan (University College London)

Drewery Dyke (Amnesty International)

Abdulhadi Khalaf (Lund University, Sweden)

Chair: Clémence Scalbert Yücel (University of Exeter)


12.00 – 1.00: Lunch


1.00 – 2.45: Panel 2 – The Production of Knowledge: the University and Beyond  

Nadwa al-Dawsari (Project on Middle East Democracy, Washington DC)

Sahika Erkonan (Loughborough University London)

Chair: Ilan Pappé (University of Exeter)


2.45-3.15: Coffee


3.15-4.45: Panel 3 – Building Solidarity and Academic Networks

Latefa Guemar (University of East London)

Noémi Lévy-Aksu (Birkbeck University of London)

Chair: John Heathershaw (University of Exeter)


More information about the event can be found here: