The past decade has seen a rise in populist governments taking aim at culture and education, going so far as to close academic programs and change college boards, as we saw recently in Florida, entire universities, as we saw in Hungary, and to dismantle existing cultural infrastructure, as we saw in Brazil under Bolsonaro. What can we learn from recent cases of overt government intervention to curtail academic freedom/to redefine the field of academic inquiry? How can we prepare and protect our institutions from opportunistic politics? What place is there for dialogue?
Amy Reid is a Professor of French and Gender Studies and Director of the Gender Studies Program at New College of Florida. As Chair of the New College Faculty, she now sits on the NCF Board of Trustees, which in August voted to ‘abolish’ the Gender Studies Program.