Letter regarding the Violation of Academic Freedom at Brown University

February 22, 2023

Leah VanWey
Dean of the Faculty
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912

Dear Dean VanWey,

As the Executive Committee and Academic Freedom Committee of the Middlebury College AAUP, we are extremely concerned about the suspension of Professor Naoko Shibusawa for her article “Where is the Reciprocity? Notes on Solidarity from the Field.” Not only was this article clearly about Prof. Shibusawa’s expertise as a scholar and therefore covered under the principles of academic freedom to which Brown University has agreed to adhere, but the article was published in her field’s flagship journal, Asian American Studies.

The article in no way violates any codes of professional conduct nor does it break any rules of confidentiality. In fact, it is an important inquiry into why there is so little cooperation in academe among similarly marginalized forms of knowledge production.

We believe that Brown University’s sanctions on Professor Shibusawa are a clear infringement on her academic freedom.

We urge the Brown University administration to immediately lift its sanctions on Professor Shibusawa and restore her full faculty rights.

Signed on behalf of the AAUP Executive Committee and the Committee on Academic Freedom at Middlebury College,

Michael Olinick, Professor
Jamie McCallum, Associate Professor
Peter Matthews, Professor
Ioanna Uricaru, Associate Professor
Laurie Essig, Professor
Jamie McCallum, Associate Professor

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