Monash University: Launch of Monash Scholars at Risk Speaker Series

Monash University has launched a landmark speaker series to promote academic freedom, raise awareness and advocate on behalf of international scholars unjustly threatened or persecuted for their work.

The Monash Scholars at Risk Speaker Series provides international scholars who have suffered threats to their security, liberty and well-being the opportunity to visit the University, either physically or virtually, to speak about their work.

The interdisciplinary program has been developed in collaboration with Scholars at Risk, an international network of hundreds of institutions across more than 40 countries to protect the human rights of scholars, provide support for intellectuals threatened by persecution and violence, and promote the principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech worldwide.

Monash joined Scholars at Risk in 2018 and is one of 18 founding members in Australia.

Monash University Provost and Senior Vice-President Professor Susan Elliott AM, said the Scholars at Risk Speaker Series was an opportunity for Monash communities and the wider public to learn about threats to academic freedom and attacks on scholars, as well as scholars’ own scholarship and experiences.

“Monash has earned an international reputation for advocacy and support for scholars who have been targeted for persecution, for example by helping to evacuate Afghan scholars and their family members to Australia after the fall of Kabul last year. The Monash Scholars at Risk Speaker Series is an excellent opportunity to further advance that advocacy,” Professor Elliott said.

“Geopolitical security is recognised as a global challenge under the University’s Impact 2030 strategic plan. Our engagement with the Scholars at Risk Network further advances the University’s efforts to address the significant human insecurities created by geopolitical instability, including war and conflict.”

The first Monash Scholars at Risk Speaker Series event is on 26 May and will host Dr Marta Havryshko from the I. Krypiakevych Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences.

Dr Havryshko evacuated from Ukraine in March to Hamburg. She received an emergency fellowship at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, and is now a URIS Fellow at Basel University.

Dr Havryshko’s research interests focus on gender, sexuality, and violence during World War II and the Holocaust, feminism, nationalism, and militarism. She has published extensively about women in the Ukrainian nationalist underground movement and during the Holocaust. She is developing a book project on sexual violence during the Holocaust in Ukraine.

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