Academic freedom is meaningless if it is suspended when its exercise is deemed offensive. Academics’ continuing employment cannot be conditional on their scholarly activities remaining within the bounds of ‘civility’, ‘respect’, or any other contested and intrinsically indefinable constraint. There can be no better-known or more banal occurrence in intellectual history than the suppression of ideas on the grounds of their offensiveness to powerful interests. In instilling a fear of arbitrary reprisal, this suppression stifles the very freedom of debate and of thought that education requires. Whether an idea is ultimately accepted by the scholarly community is irrelevant: to censor it, and thereby to prevent it being seriously entertained – and, where necessary, rejected – is fatally to hamstring the open conduct of scholarly enquiry.
By expressing our unconditional opposition to Dr Anderson’s dismissal, we endorse neither the specific parallel of Israel and Nazi Germany, nor any of Dr Anderson’s other political or intellectual positions. But we insist that the drawing of historical comparisons between the actions of states is essential to intellectual and educational work, and must not be subject to a priori constraints.
Dr Anderson’s dismissal would be a dangerous, unjustifiable and intolerable attack on the basic conditions necessary for the university to function as an intellectual and educational institution. If it goes ahead, the precedent it will establish will vitiate any claim the university might make to respect the open pursuit of ideas. We call on the university’s management to reinstate Dr Anderson immediately.
Dr Nick Riemer (English and Linguistics)Dr David Brophy (History)Professor Linda Connor (Anthropology)Professor Colin Wight (Government and International Relations)Dr Rebecca Pearse (Political Economy)Dr Bruce Gardiner (English)Dr Michael Beggs (Political Economy)Professor John Frow (English)Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees (Peace and Conflict Studies)Dr Benjamin Miller (Writing Studies)Dr Bill Dunn (Political Economy)Dr Robert Austin (History)Dr Gareth Bryant (Political Economy)Associate Professor Charlotte Epstein (Government and International Relations)Dr Thomas Adams (History)Associate Professor Jake Lynch (Peace and Conflict Studies)Emeritus Professor Frank Stilwell (Political Economy)Professor James Martin (Linguistics)Professor Michael McDonnell (History) Dr Stephen Whiteman (Art History)Dr Louise Marshall (Art History)Dr Coel Kirkby (Sydney Law School)Associate Professor Bronwyn Winter (European Studies)Honorary Associate Professor Stuart Rosewarne (Political Economy)Professor Adam Morton (Political Economy)Dr Martin Kear (Government and International Relations)Dr Evan Jones (Political Economy)Dr Joe Collins (Political Economy)Associate Professor John Grumley (Philosophy)Associate Professor Ahmar Mahboob (Linguistics)Dr Mark Post (Linguistics)Dr Sebastian Job (Anthropology)Dr Jadran Mimica (Anthropology)Dr Leah Lui-Chivizhe (History)Dr Stewart Jackson (Government and International Relations)Dr Luis Angosto Ferrandez (Anthropology)Dr Sophie Loy-Wilson (History)Dr Christopher Hartney (Studies in Religion)Associate Professor Dilip Dutta (Economics)Dr Sonja Van Wichelen (Sociology)Dr Beth Yahp (English)Dr Gaynor Macdonald (Anthropology)Dr. Anastasia Burkovskaya (Economics)Ms Isabella Dabaja (Work and Organisational Studies)Mr Llewellyn Williams-Brooks (Political Economy)Dr Elisabeth Valiente-Riedl (Sociology and Social Policy/SSPS)Dr Gil Merom (Government and International Relations)Professor Meaghan Morris (Gender and Cultural Studies)Dr Gavan Butler (Political Economy)Associate Professor Ali Abbas (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)Dr Jen Harrison (Research Portfolio)Mr. Jay Tharappel (Political Economy) Dr Dalia Nassar (Philosophy)Dr Martin Rorke (Research Portfolio)Honorary Professor Stephen Castles (Sociology and Social Policy)Dr Catriona Moore (Art History)Daniel Laurence (Careers Centre)Ms Alma Torlakovic (HDR Administration Centre)Associate Professor Susan Thomas (Writing Studies)Associate Professor Lily Zubaidah Rahim (Department of Government & International Relations)Ms Emma To (Political Economy)Dr Tatjana Seizova-Cajic (Faculty of Health Sciences)Mr Joshua Hayes (Strategy Portfolio)Dr Holly High (Anthropology)Dr Alex Gawronski (Sydney College of the Arts)Professor Eric Csapo (Classics and Ancient History)Dr Murray Thomson (Science)Rosie Saul (Educational Innovation)Louise Corne (SUPRA)Bart Ahluwalia (Sydney Nursing School)Dr Fiona Hibberd (Psychology)Dr Nikki Wedgwood (Faculty of Health Sciences)Shaoquett Moslmane (Political Economy)Dr Robert Fisher (School of Geosciences)Dr. Susan Schroeder (Political Economy)Dr Erik Paul (Peace and Conflict Studies)Professor Peter Marks (English)Dr Patricia Ranald (Political Economy)