If you are considering a future professorship at the prestigious Swedish University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, you should already start thinking about the political direction of your work. This is signaled by a recent appointment of a professorship in visual communication. One applicant, who is already a professor in the subject in Germany, was deemed not sufficiently “norm critical” for the position. ARW warns for the politicization resulting from the University’s policy to require norm criticism, in a narrow sense, from applicants to academic positions, which favors candidates with a certain political orientation.
Can universities force teachers to use some texts rather than others in the reading list to their own courses? The question arises following the introduction of female author gender quotas at a department at Lund University, Sweden. At least 40% of the course literature should according to department rules be written by female authors. The policy has stunned international observers who are now questioning the health of Swedish academia.
Swedish academics need support from the international community at a time when their academic rights and social function are being questioned in their home country. Therefore, Academic Rights Watch, a Swedish watchdog, now launches an international site with a selection of cases where academics have had their rights violated. The first posting addresses the case of Senior Lecturer Johan Lundberg at Stockholm University, who was denied promotion to full professor after his criticism of identity politics and postmodernism.
Overruling the recommendations of independent referees, Stockholm University recently declined Johan Lundberg’s application for promotion to Full Professor. A noted public intellectual, Associate Professor Lundberg had, in a series of books and articles, criticized identity politics and postmodernist ideas. The university’s decision, which commentators perceive as being ideologically motivated, has put Swedish academia in a state of dismay.