I’ve been away from this for quite a while now, but this is a good time to return. The issues of academic freedom and non-discrimination (against all, but particularly LGBTQ folk) are still in the air, and the Society of Biblical Literature is at least taking a serious look at some of the issues I raised roughly a year ago.
In particular, the SBL Council convened a Sub-Committee on Academic Freedom with an eye toward generating a policy for the Society. Committee work being what it is, we are all still awaiting official word on what this might be.
On Friday, April 1, 2017, I was privileged to speak at the New England / Eastern Canada Region of the SBL on the topic of academic freedom. Professor Tracy Lemos (Huron University College) and I were graciously invited to speak by the NE/EC Region student committee on a panel called “Academic Freedom In an Age of Trigger Warnings and Safe Spaces.” I’ve decided to post my remarks here; they’re not programmatic or comprehensive, but I think it is worthwhile keeping talk about the issue alive among SBL members (and all others concerned about the health of academic discourse), especially in the wake of a poll sent to members of the Midwest Region asking if their regional meeting should return to Olivet Nazarene University (for the problems with agreeing to partner with ONU, see my earlier posts).