International Scholar to Discuss 'The Limits of Academic Freedom in Higher Education in Pakistan'

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Muhammad Ali Khan, professor and researcher in the field of applied linguistics, will give a lecture titled "The Limits of Academic Freedom in Higher Education in Pakistan." The lecture will take place at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, in Kimpel Hall (KIMP), room 102 on the University of Arkansas campus, and is free and open to public.

Khan will talk about his experience as he has been harassed and his life threatened due to his atheist beliefs and the nature of his academic work. His work explores themes of violence and hate in Pakistani educational texts, a controversial matter in his home country where blasphemy is a serious offense in Pakistan that carries the death penalty when convicted. Under life threats, he and his family had to flee the country and seek asylum in the U.S. through Scholars at Risk, an international organization assisting threatened scholars.

Khan is the recipient of the Australian Language on the Move Award and the Outstanding Teacher Award from his university in Pakistan, where he received his master's degree. He later earned a doctoral degree in applied linguistics from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. Khan has also been the recipient of a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at a university in the United States. His research and teaching interests include language and education in culturally and linguistically diverse settings, which combine methods and perspectives from critical linguistics ethnography, sociolinguistics, and language-in-education policy scholarship, Educational Linguistics, questionnaire and interviews in applied linguistics, globalization and English language teaching.

As part of the campus wide International Education Week celebrations, this lecture is sponsored by the University of Arkansas Scholars at Risk Committee and co-sponsored by the Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies Program, the Department of Sociology & Criminology, the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies, Religious Studies, and the Asian Studies Program at the University of Arkansas. This lecture is free and open to the public.

About Scholars at Risk: Scholars at Risk is an international network of institutions and individuals whose mission it is to protect scholars and promote academic freedom. By arranging temporary academic positions at member universities and colleges, Scholars at Risk offers safety to scholars facing grave threats, so scholars' ideas are not lost and they can keep working until conditions improve and they are able to return to their home countries. More information about this organization can be found at


Luis Fernando Restrepo, committee chair, UA Scholars at Risk
World Languages, Literatures and Cultures


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