Power, Discourse, Ethics

A Policy Study of Academic Freedom

  • Kenneth D. Gariepy

Part of the New Research – New Voices book series (NRNV)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Kenneth D. Gariepy
    Pages 1-42
  3. Kenneth D. Gariepy
    Pages 61-74
  4. Kenneth D. Gariepy
    Pages 109-124
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 141-164

About this book


In this unique study, emerging higher education leader and policy expert Kenneth D. Gariepy takes a Foucauldian genealogical approach to the study of the intellectually “free” subject through the analysis of selected academic freedom statement-events. Assuming academic freedom to be an institutionalized discourse-practice operating in the field of contemporary postsecondary education in Canada, a specific kind of cross-disciplinary, historico-theoretical research is conducted that pays particular attention to the productive nature and effects of power-knowledge. The intent is to disrupt academic freedom as commonsensical “good” and universal “right” in order to instead focus on how it is that the academic subject emerges as free/unfree to think – and therefore free/unfree to be – through particular, effective, and effecting regimes of truth and strategies of objectification and subjectification. In this way, the author suggests how it is that academic freedom operates as a set of systemically agonistic practices that might only realize a different economy of discourse through the contingent nature of the very social power that produces it. 

Dr. Gariepy’s use of Foucault’s genealogical analysis provides a wholly different way in which to re-think the construction and practice of academic freedom in Canada and is thus an important contribution to the broader discursive field it seeks to analyze. Given contemporary neoliberal critiques of the university, the issue of academic freedom and the intellectually free subject is a vital problem that is of interest to numerous knowledge producing communities – on and off campus. Equally important in addressing the problem of academic freedom is how the book also contributes a new description of the genealogical method – something Foucault did not stipulate – that is original, ambitious, compelling, and insightful. I commend Dr. Gariepy for returning, to investigate anew, an issue we think we know.” – E. Lisa Panayotidis, PhD, Professor & Chair, Educational Studies in Curriculum and Learning, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Editor of History of Intellectual Culture.


academic freedom Canada discourse ethics educational policy studies Foucault higher education postsecondary education power subjectivity universities

Authors and affiliations

  • Kenneth D. Gariepy
    • 1
  1. 1.University of the Fraser ValleyCanada

Bibliographic information