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Knowledge at Risk: Democratic Erosion and the Contemporary Assault on Education and Expertise

Friday and Saturday, November 3 & 4, 2023

12:00 AM-12:00 AM

In recent years, academic institutions and individual scholars and teachers in the United States and other countries have faced a rapidly growing panoply of politically and ideologically motivated efforts to restrict teaching and research on "controversial subjects," particularly (but not exclusively) with respect to race and gender. Over this same period, scholars and other observers also have increasingly warned that in many of these same countries, the weakening of political institutions has placed democracy itself at risk. This Symposium seeks to "connect the dots" between these two sets of developments, examining the contemporary assault on education, knowledge, and academic expertise and exploring its relationship to growing concerns about the erosion of democracy. Participants will discuss the extent to which democratic erosion has facilitated or contributed to the assault on education, knowledge, and expertise and the extent to which that assault should itself be understood as "anti-democratic" in character. Participants will also discuss strategies to protect academic freedom and educational integrity in the face of this onslaught, and the various ways that education and knowledge production can contribute to the protection and advancement of democratic principles, practices, and institutions.


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3320 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA


  • Everyone