Center for Global Humanities Lecture/Seminar Series

Academic Freedom in a Time of Democratic Decline

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
WCHP Lecture Hall in Parker Pavilion
Portland Campus
Adam Sitze
Free and open to the public. There will be a reception at 5 p.m. in the Art Gallery

Today’s democratic decline has been accompanied by an erosion of academic freedom. But what, actually, is the relation between academic freedom and political freedom more generally? Is academic freedom limited to the privileges of a select few? Or does it have a connection to the survival and renewal of liberal democracy in a time of rising authoritarianism?


Adam Sitze is the John E. Kirkpatrick 1951 Professor in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College. He teaches courses on law and literature, legal and critical theory, and South African legal history. He has published in journals such as The Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, The London Review of International Law, Law and Critique, and Law, Culture and the Humanities. He is author of The Impossible Machine: A Genealogy of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (University of Michigan Press, 2013). He is editor of two books by the Italian political theorist Carlo Galli: Political Spaces and Global War (University of Minnesota Press, 2010) and Janus’s Gaze: Essays on Carl Schmitt (Duke University Press, 2015). He is co-editor of Biopolitics: A Reader (Duke University Press, 2013) and co-translator of two books by the Italian feminist theorist Adriana Cavarero: Thou Shalt Not Kill (Fordham University Press, 2015) and Inclinations: Critique of Rectitude (Stanford University Press, 2016). He has held fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the ACLS/SSRC/NEH, and the MacArthur Foundation. In the Spring of 2022, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.

Assigned Reading

"The Strange, Secret History of Tenure." The Chronicle of Higher Education, 4 August 2022.


WCHP Lecture Hall in Parker Pavilion
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland, ME 04103
United States