Public Talks

ESAF researchers will organize a series of open events on academic freedom (in Italian and/or in English) with the aim of strengthening the university relations with the local/national civil society networks and with secondary education institutions.

This trail of activities will contribute to raising public awareness about the impact of conflicts, authoritarian regimes and different forms of persecution on academic communities, on intellectual and physical displacement and on scientific development.

It will map continuities and peculiarities between past and present violations of academic freedom, linking this to a broader reflection on attacks faced by journalists, writers, artists, lawyers and human rights activists.   

Public talks will be organized around a cycle of 4 events (held in the Fall and/or Spring semester). Talks will be given by University of Trento experts, invited speakers as well as students enrolled in the university course, who will present their advocacy reports.


Here below you can find the posters and videos of the planned and past activities within this module:

First year activities

Peter Burke

Event Intellectuals in Exile: Challenges and Responses, Peter Burke - 5.10.2022

The history of academic freedom and of its violations is closely linked to the history of diasporas. Expatriate or exiled intellectuals are the protagonists of a still little-known global history of knowledge. Peter Burke offers a mosaic of individual stories, whose tarjectories and experiences of mobility gave rise to a process of emancipation and cultural transfert that have crucially contributed to the achievement of scientific progress. 

Peter Burke, Intellectuals in Exile: Challenges and Responses

Event Di mia libera volontà: intellettuali in fuga e fascismo, Patrizia Guarnieri - 12.10.2022

The history of the hundreds of intellectuals fleeing the Italian fascist regime intersects and overlaps with the history of academic freedom in Europe and in other areas of the world. The intellectual emigration from Mussolini’s Italy meant for the country a dry loss of intellectual, scientific and artistic resources, people who contributed to the progress of knowledge elsewhere. The project “Intellectuals Displaced from Fascist Italy”, coordinated by Patrizia Guarnieri, delves into the traumatic history of intellectual mobility during the Ventennio, making a valuable open access portal available to the scientific community and to the general public.

Stefano Gattei

Event Libertà di filosofare in naturalibus: Galileo, Campanella e la lotta per la nuova scienza alla corte di Urbano VIII, Stefano Gattei - 26.10.2022

In the late 1620s, Tommaso Campanella wrote a voluminous commentary on Urban VIII’s Latin poems, in which he gave pride of place to the Adulatio perniciosa (the poem in praise of Galileo and his discovery of sunspots) and presented the pope as an advocate of the new science against the dogmatic Aristotelians from within the Church. This caused a harsh reaction from the Curia and the pope felt betrayed by someone he considered close. Shortly thereafter, when Galileo’s Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems (1632) was published, it met with an even harsher reaction. The Campanella incident might have contributed to the pope’s resolution to sentence Galileo in 1633, and in his determination never to revise his decision, Galileo's abjuration and old age notwithstanding.

Libertà di filosofare in naturalibus: Galileo, Campanella...
Salomoni e Pianciola

Events La “perniciosa influenza dell'Occidente”: diritti e libertà accademiche in Russia and Storia, politica e memoria: il caso Memorial, Antonella Salomoni and Niccolò Pianciola -  3.11.2022

Antonella Salomoni and Niccolò Pianciola address the topic of academic and research freedom in post-Soviet Russia before and after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. They will discuss the main legislative measures introduced in universities and secondary education institutions and recent phenomena of intellectual emigration. A specific focus will be on Memorial, the most relevant non-governmental organisation in Russia, recently dissolved by the Russian Supreme Court. In this context the speakers will delve into the evolution of freedom of research and of the Russian memory policies and the transformation of the social and political role of this association over the last thirty years.

La perniciosa influenza dell'Occidente...

Second year activity