Susan G. Drummond at UNB, March 19&20


ABSTRACT: The political frenzy that accompanied 2009 Mapping Models conference at York University on models of statehood for Israel and Palestine is a case study of the way that ideology and polemics warp the academic mission. Organized Israel lobbyists, the Harper government, and members of the senior administration of York University intervened in an academic event to unabashedly (or unthinkingly) promote a political agenda. Professor Drummond’s seminar starts with a review of these problematic interventions. She moves on, however, to interrogate the accuracy of the idea that academic freedom does not ultimately require political and personal neutrality on the part of the scholar. What is the relationship between political and/or personal engagement and scholarship ? Can sense can be made of the principle of academic freedom if some version of detachment from prior commitments is not made central to the scholarly mission?