Call for Proposals: 2018 FIRE Faculty Conference

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) invites paper proposals for FIRE’s second annual faculty conference on academic freedom and higher education in the United States. The conference will be held October 11-13, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois, at Loyola University Chicago’s downtown Water Tower campus, with accommodations at the nearby Omni Hotel.

FIRE welcomes proposals for papers and posters on a wide array of topics related to academic freedom and freedom of speech in modern higher education. Presented work may take the form of original research or a critical narrative, and presentation research-in-progress is also acceptable. Topics may be examined through the lens of a particular field or discipline, or in the context of higher education more broadly. Each paper presentation will be accompanied by a moderated panel discussion in which invited participants will give brief responses, followed by a discussion among all attendees. The poster session will give presenters the opportunity to  solicit feedback and discuss their research with all attendees.

In addition to the presentation and discussion of scholarly research on academic freedom-related subjects, FIRE plans to offer programming focusing on faculty activism and offering practical guidance for faculty looking to become more active on their campuses. Faculty with particular interest or experience in this area are especially encouraged to apply.

All accepted presenters who attend and share their completed papers will receive an honorarium of $3,000, in addition to reimbursement for travel and lodging. Those presenting posters will receive reimbursement for travel and lodging. Proposals are due by April 30, 2018, and presenters will be notified of their acceptance by May 31.

The conference will be highly interdisciplinary, and faculty in any discipline or field, regardless of institution or faculty status (e.g., tenured, contingent, advanced graduate students) are encouraged to apply.

This conference is presented as part of FIRE’s Speech, Outreach, Advocacy, and Research (SOAR) project, supported by the John Templeton Foundation.

Application details:

All paper and poster applicants must submit:

  1. An abstract of up to roughly 300 words (you may also attach the completed paper, if applicable)
  2. A current CV
  3. Brief descriptions of the relevance of your proposal to the conference topic, and the resources drawn upon in your work

Applicants may indicate their prefered format (paper or poster) on the application form.  The application is the same for both formats, but posters may be a less formal presentation of pilot data, work in progress, or work that is best presented visually.

There is no maximum length for papers presented at FIRE’s conference, but it is expected that the presented papers will be 3,000-5,000 words at minimum. A digital volume of the conference papers will be published by FIRE in 2019. Any work included in the volume will remain the sole property of the author, and may be submitted for publication elsewhere.

Information on the 2017 FIRE Faculty Conference is available here. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact