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Speaker Series

The Scholars at Risk Speaker Series offers an opportunity to educate campus communities and the public about threats to academic freedom and attacks on scholars. Hosting an event is an excellent way to promote academic freedom and get your institution involved with Network activities. We encourage you to consider partnering with universities in your region, which can be a good way to reduce the time and money needed to host events.

2015-2016 Speaker Series Lists

Join us this season and invite to your campus one or more diverse, interesting, courageous scholars, each with a powerful and unique story to share. For descriptions of speakers available within your region, please see the following links:

European Speaker Series List

Australia and Africa Speaker Series List

North American Speaker Series List

Planning an Event

The SAR Speaker Series Handbook provides guidance for planning events for at-risk scholars, including advice on security and confidentiality concerns, publicity, and other topics.

A visit may include a lecture, panel, workshop, informal seminar or some combination, and may last from a few hours to one or more days. In most cases, a scholar assisted by the Scholars at Risk Network visits an institution and discusses both their academic work and their experiences as formerly threatened scholars. 

The SAR network office will help coordinate these activities and ensure that the event fits your campus needs. For more information on speakers or to discuss an idea for an event, please Contact SAR.


Examples of past events

Carleton University and University of Ottawa, Canada

On March 4th, 2015, Carleton University and University of Ottawa jointly celebrated the launch of the Scholars at Risk program on their campuses with a kickoff event, ‘Je Suis Scholar.” The celebration featured talks by a scholar of international relations from Kyrgyzstan and a scholar of journalism from Zimbabwe.  These scholars spoke about academic freedom challenges in their home countries as well as their experiences as refuge academics through the Scholars at Risk program.

Media coverage on the event included CBC’s Ottawa morning news and Carleton University’s Faculty of Public Affairs


Swedish Speaker Series Tour

In December 2014, the Swedish SAR section coordinated a speaker series tour at Lund University, University of Gothenburg, and Malmö University. The Speaker Series tour featured a SAR scholar of gender studies and linguistics from Pakistan, who spoke about gender, education, and academic freedom issues in Pakistan. The speaker series tour also included talks by university faculty on freedom of speech, academic thinking and expressions of art, and presentations from SAR staff about Scholars at Risk’s global activities.

For press coverage of the event at Malmö University, please see: .  


Franklin & Marshall College, United States

Celebrating International Women's Week, Franklin & Marshall College's SAR committee invited a SAR female scholar of theatre and human rights from Syria to deliver a keynote address on March 20th, 2014. During her address, entitled "Theatre for Social Justice in Syria," the scholar discussed Arab theatre and human rights in the arts, as well as women's organizations in the Arab world.

More information is available in the college's press release:

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