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Towards a Genealogy of Academic Freedom in Canadian Universities Open Access


Other title
Academic freedom
Foucault, Michel, 1926-1984
Universities and colleges
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Gariepy, Kenneth D.
Supervisor and department
Spencer, Brenda L. (University of Calgary)
Kachur, Jerrold (Educational Policy Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Samek, Antonia (Library & Information Studies)
Wimmer, Randolph (Educational Policy Studies)
Wallace, Janice (Educational Policy Studies)
Kachur, Jerrold (Educational Policy Studies)
Spencer, Brenda L. (University of Calgary)
Panayotidis, E. Lisa (University of Calgary)
Department of Educational Policy Studies
Theoretical, Cultural & International Studies in Education
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
In this dissertation, I take a genealogical approach (Foucault, 1977/1995, 1988-1990, 1971/1984a) to the study of the intellectually “free” subject through the analysis of selected academic freedom statement-events. Assuming academic freedom to be an institutionalized discourse-practice operating in the field of contemporary post-secondary education in Canada, I conduct a specific kind of cross-disciplinary, historico-theoretical research that pays particular attention to the productive nature and effects of power-knowledge. The intent is to disrupt academic freedom as commonsensical “good” and universal “right,” instead focussing on how it is that the academic subject emerges as free/unfree to think--and therefore free/unfree to be--through particular, effective, and effecting regimes of truth and strategies of objectification and subjectification. The study suggests how it is that academic freedom operates as a set of systemically agonistic practices and an autodestructive social programme (Foucault, 1977/1995; Gordon, 1980) that might only realize a different economy of discourse through the contingent nature of the very social power that produces it.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Gariepy, K. D. (2012). Towards a genealogy of academic freedom in Canadian universities. In B. L. Spencer, K. D. Gariepy, K. Dehli, and J. Ryan (Eds.), Canadian education: Governing practices & producing subjects (pp. 70-89). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

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