Faculty Network Conference

FIRE Faculty Conference 2022

Now accepting applications to attend FIRE’s 2022 Faculty Network Conference!

FIRE is excited to invite applications to attend our 2022 Faculty Network Conference. This year’s conference will take place from October 20-22 in Los Angeles, with conference proceedings taking place at the University of Southern California hotel, adjacent to the USC campus. Like with previous conferences, faculty attendees are eligible to receive a stipend of up to $750 to assist with the costs of travel and lodging. There is no registration fee to attend.

Faculty are encouraged to apply to attend our conference as early as possible, before our limited number of spaces fill up. As the Faculty Network Conference is smaller than many academic conferences (generally drawing between 50 and 60 faculty members), FIRE also attempts to give extra consideration to those who have not attended FIRE’s conference previously. Doctoral students are additionally welcome to apply to attend as well.

For more information on FIRE’s Faculty Network Conference, read the text of our call for proposals below. We are continuing to accept proposals for the conference through Friday, July 8, 2022.

Call for Proposals: 2022 FIRE Faculty Network Conference, October 20-22

Proposal deadline extended to Friday, July 8

FIRE is pleased to once again invite proposals for our Faculty Network Conference. The 2022 FIRE Faculty Network Conference will take place at the University of Southern California from October 20-22, with primary conference sessions taking place Friday and Saturday, October 21 and 22.

As in previous years, this year’s conference consists primarily of presentations of papers submitted for consideration by faculty through an open call process. FIRE welcomes proposals on a wide array of topics related to academic freedom and freedom of expression in American higher education.

FIRE 2021 Faculty Conference
FIRE’s Faculty Network Conference is smaller than many other academic conferences, generally bringing around fifty to sixty professors from institutions around the country for two days of discussions. There are no breakouts or concurrently running sessions at our conference. The undivided attention given to each discussion affords each presentation the opportunity for rigorous discussion in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

The conference is also highly interdisciplinary in nature, and faculty in all disciplines are encouraged to apply. FIRE welcomes and encourages research taking a variety of approaches to its chosen subject. Presentations at previous conferences have included quantitative studies, law review articles, and critical essays, to name just a few. We aim to present work at our conference that speaks to the various challenges to academic freedom’s present and future, both from inside and outside the academy. The published volumes from our previous conferences will give an idea of the variety of ideas and approaches we hope to showcase at our conference. (We expect to publish a volume based on the papers presented at our 2021 Faculty Network Conference later this spring.) We additionally chronicled some of these issues in our year-end report on FIRE’s faculty advocacy in 2021.

Faculty whose papers are accepted for presentation will present their work as part of a moderated discussion that will include responses from one or more selected panelists, followed by Q&A with attendees. Presenters will receive an honorarium of $3,000 for the presentation of their papers, in addition to reimbursement for travel and lodging. (In the case of papers with more than one author/presenter, the honorarium is split in a manner of the presenters’ choosing.)

New for 2022: FIRE accepting panel submissions

In addition to soliciting proposals for academic papers, FIRE is also happy to consider proposals for fully-assembled panel discussions on particular topics of interest to the conference. These do not necessarily require the furnishing of a completed academic paper for the conference, but panel proposals should include a complete list of panelists, a description of the panel’s topic and its relevance to the Faculty Network Conference, and a breakdown of each panelist’s role complements the discussion. Interdisciplinary panel proposals are encouraged. If a panel proposal is accepted, the panelists will receive a total honorarium of $3,000, divided in a manner of their choosing, in addition to compensation for travel and lodging at the conference.

Application details

Applicants to present at the FIRE Faculty Network Conference are asked to provide the following:

  1. An abstract of up to roughly 300 words for the proposed presentation. Applicants may include partially or wholly completed drafts of proposed works, but this is not required; FIRE welcomes proposals for works at all stages of the research and writing process.
  2. A current CV
  3. Brief descriptions of the relevance of your proposal to the conference, and the resources you draw upon, or plan to draw upon, in your work.

The call for proposals is open to all faculty regardless of status (e.g., tenured, tenure-track, adjunct), in addition to advanced graduate students.

The deadline for application is Friday, July 8, 2022, and we plan to make our selections for the conference in mid-July.

Faculty who present at our conference may opt to have their papers included in a volume published by FIRE, if the research is not already scheduled for or seeking publication elsewhere. Inclusion in our volume is optional, and professors who do have their work published in our volume retain all rights to the material for use as they see fit.

There is no maximum length for papers presented at FIRE’s conference, but completed papers generally have run from 5,000-10,000 words.


Praise for FIRE’s Faculty Conference

“This was my first FIRE conference so I did not know exactly what to expect. Overall, it exceeded my expectations for being informative, interesting, friendly, and professionally beneficial. I was also impressed by how well organized it was and how well the participants were treated. I have been telling friends to apply in the future.”– Michael Veber, East Carolina University

“I was hoping to make connections and find people who are also fighting for free speech and open inquiry at their institutions. I found a lot of them.” – Luana Maroja, Williams College

FIRE 2021 Faculty Conference

“I am incredibly grateful to have been invited back to attend a second faculty conference. The content shared and support offered is inspiring. More opportunities to engage like this would help build more confidence to build a culture of free expression on campus. The conference also attracts a high caliber of thinkers, which inspires me to up my scholastic game in order to more fully engage at this level.” – Matt Moreali, Southern Oregon University

“I was hoping to get a better sense of resources available to faculty who speak out on issues of university administration or other issues more generally, and I definitely achieved this goal. I thought the FIRE staff presentations were particularly useful and helpful.” – Enrique Armijo, Elon University