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Academic freedom and precarity in Denmark and beyond

CHEF Talk with Asli Vatansever and Dan Hirslund

Info about event


Tuesday 28 March 2023,  at 12:00 - 13:00


DPU, Aarhus University, Tuborgvej 164, 2400 Copenhagen NV, room A302 and online via Zoom


Aslı Vatansever is a sociologist of work and social stratification with a focus on precarious academic labour. After she got dismissed from her position as associate professor and banned from public service in Turkey due to her participation in the Academics for Peace campaign in 2016, she has been hosted at various institutions in Germany and Italy. Her ongoing research project at Bard College Berlin investigates forms of academic labor activism in Europe. Her books include Ursprünge des Islamismus im Osmanischen Reich. Eine weltsystemanalytische Perspektive (Hamburg: Dr. Kovač, 2010), Ne Ders Olsa Veririz. Akademisyenin Vasıfsız İşçiye Dönüşümü (Ready to Teach Anything. The Transformation of the Academic into Unskilled Worker, Istanbul: İletişim, 2015 – co-authored with Meral Gezici-Yalçın), and At the Margins of Academia. Exile, Precariousness, and Subjectivity (Brill: 2020).

Dan Hirslund is a political and economic anthropologist with a specialisation in South Asian societies. He has worked with issues of political mobilization, precarious labor, and capitalist value chains, particularly in the construction and tourist industry. In 2019, he published a book on labor precarity in Denmark ("Prekarisering uden grænser", UPress) together with Julie Rahbæk Møller and Karen Lisa Salamon. As an academic, he has been involved in launching a union for precarious researchers. Since July 2021, he has worked independently as a consultant.


Professor Susan Wright, Co-Director of CHEF, DPU, Aarhus University, Denmark


March 28th, 12-13 CEST 


"While academic freedom has been a top agenda point for the global scientific community in recent years, the public and academic discourse has often been marked by a negative interpretation of the term understood merely as exemption from state intervention and censorship. At the same time, the destabilisation of academic livelihoods continues to spread, leading to new types of insecurity and changes to the cultures of academic work. Drawing on the leading scientific countries from the Global North and the EHEA, Asli Vatansever and Dan Hirslund will bring these two problematics into the same analytical framework to argue that academic precarity leads to fundamental contradictions in the conditions for scientific labor."

A Zoom-link will be shared with the participants closer to the event