On Oct. 12, UW announced a new speaker series entitled “Antagonism and Intimidation in Academia,” organized by the faculty of arts and the Office of Research. This series will run from October 2023 until March 2024, and will conclude with an international conference.
The university’s website stated that the goal of the speaker series is to answer questions about why targeted attacks occur by people who feel threatened by research done within higher education, the impact of these attacks on society, and what people can do about it. The university notes that various academics and researchers have received hostile responses about their work, in areas such as health and vaccine research, social justice, and climate change. They describe that aggressors commonly disrupt presentations, make personal or physical threats, and cyberbully researchers in order to silence them.
The first event in this speaker series will be held on Oct. 24 at 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the Quantum-Nano Centre (QNC), and will also be streamed online. This panel discussion “Antagonistic Responses based on Gender and Race in the Academy” will focus on “antagonistic and intimidating responses to academic research and pedagogy.” More specifically, the panel will discuss concepts such as responding to silence caused by harassment and threats of violence, as well as the public silencing of the expertise of Black women who engage in anti-racist work
Members of this panel include assistant professor of philosophy Laura Mae Lindo, associate professor Rashmee Singh of the sociology and legal studies department, assistant fine arts professor Logan MacDonald, and associate professor of philosophy Carla Fehr.