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DEBATE: Was NYU Abu Dhabi a Mistake?

Does NYU Abu Dhabi threaten academic freedom? Should NYU maintain a presence in "illiberal" countries at all? Has NYU done enough to address the controversies surrounding its building? Does it align with the values the University espouses?

NYU's project in Abu Dhabi has been questioned on its ability to uphold academic freedom and the University's values since its inception. In 2015, NYU Professor Andrew Ross (who will be speaking at our debate) was barred from boarding his flight to Abu Dhabi, where he was planning on conducting research, allegedly because of his statements on the labour malpractices in NYUAD's creation. This year, NYU Professor Mohamad Bazzi, who was denied a security clearance to teach there, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times describing the campus as "A Sectarian Bargain". NYU's Journalism School severed ties with the campus, and NYU Gallatin urged a boycott, citing a "significant threat to academic freedom". 

Andrew Ross, a Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU, will be joining us as our guest speaker. A contributor to the Guardian, the New York Times, the Nation, and Al Jazeera, he is the author of many books, including Creditocracy and the Case for Debt Refusal, Bird On Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City, Nice Work if You Can Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times, Fast Boat to China--Lessons from Shanghai, No-Collar: The Humane Workplace and its Hidden Costs, and The Celebration Chronicles: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Property Value in Disney s New Town. Most recently, he is the editor of The Gulf: High Culture/Hard Labor (available from OR Books).

We'll also have empanadas and cookies!