The Class as a Contested Space

The Class as a Contested Space
Activity Date: 
Monday, Jan 8, 2018

What happens when a class is suddenly disrupted or even erupts into a brawl? Are there limits on the academic freedoms of professors and students? How politicized is academia, and what does it even mean to be political? We ran a special panel on the topic of the “Classroom as a Contested Space.” Ms. Pepi Yekirevich, the legal adviser of the Hebrew University, and Prof. Moshe Sluhovsky (from the History Department) both addressed this subject from different angles. Ms. Yekirevich gave an overview of thea conted policies of the university concerning free speech on campus and cases of disturbances in the classroom (she also gave practical information about whom to approach for help and advice in such cases). Prof. Sclochovsky added a historical perspective on such questions in the context of American academia (especially after the 1960’s). He also spoke of his own experience when questions of academic freedom and their limits were raised at the Hebrew University. Prof. Yigal Bronner, who moderated the ensuing discussion, concluded with remarks about the apolitical nature of the Mt. Scopus campus, when compared to his time as a student, and spoke about the implications of remaining silent in the current political climate.