"The right to be wrong": Academic Freedom in the Arab World: Interview with Prof. Lisa Anderson Fri, 2016-07-08 14:19

Dr. Leslie Vinjamuri of SOAS University interviews Prof. Lisa Anderson on the topic of academic freedom and scientific research in the aftermath of the 2011 uprisings against Hosni Mubarak. During her tenure as President of the American University of Cairo, Dr. Anderson had to navigate the most crucial political upheavals in Egypt’s history while leading a prominent educational institution, serving during the terms of four different Egyptian presidents. As she dealt with the upheavals, she also focused on fulfilling the social responsibilities of the AUC; encouraging debate within the university community; fostering collaboration between academic institutions; and cultivating research in Egypt and the region. Dr. Anderson’s views on her decisions during this tumultuous period are captured in an interview from an article titled, ‘Universities Are Places Where Everybody Has the Right to be Wrong’: “Yes it is true that we were very adamant about how we are going to do this peacefully and we are not going to refer people to the police and we will not have police on campus. Free expression is the bedrock of education.”

Dr. Anderson served on the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch from 1988-2003 and as the President of the Middle East Studies Association in 2003 and on the Council of the American Political Science Association from 2004-2006. She is author of The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830-1980 (1986), co-editor of The Origins of Arab Nationalism (1991), editor of Transitions to Democracy (1999) and author of Pursuing Truth, Exercising Power: Social Science and Public Policy in the Twenty-first Century (2003), as well as numerous scholarly articles.