Silencing the Academics

The Organisation for Propaganda Studies Inaugural Symposium, in collaboration with UK Column and Propaganda in Focus

Silencing the Academics

Sunday 18th February, 2024, - [6-9pm UK Time] [7-10pm CET] [1-4pm EST]

We are living through times of great political and social upheaval and, more than ever, authorities seek to censor and silence dissenting voices. The ongoing plight of Julian Assange, threatened with extradition to the US for reporting on war crimes committed by Western governments, highlights the severity of threats to freedom of expression. Academia itself has been subjected to unprecedented pressures, witness the drives to suppress dissident scientists during COVID-19, and a variety of dynamics exert themselves in ways that prevent academics from researching important areas of inquiry. 

In order to discuss these issues, the Organisation for Propaganda Studies and its journal Propaganda in Focus, in collaboration with UK Column, bring together a range of speakers from the world of academia who have extensive first-hand experience of the pressures to self-censor, battles against character assassination campaigns, and unlawful dismissal from academic posts:

Professor Daniel BroudyIntroduction
Dr David Miller‘Battling the Israel Lobby’
Professor Oliver Boyd-Barrett‘Writing Truth to Power and the battle to publish’
Dr Piers Robinson‘Smear Campaigns and Researching the War in Syria’
Professor Jared Ball‘Mainstream academic Constraints on African-American/African Diaspora studies’

Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion focusing on the steps that need to be taken to restore and protect academic freedom.

Speaker Bios

Professor Daniel Broudy: Daniel Broudy is a professor of applied linguistics at Okinawa Christian University. With a doctorate in applied psycholinguistics and experience as an imagery analyst, he lectures in areas ranging from visual rhetoric to communication theory and practice, and from composition to rhetorical grammar. His research focuses on sounds, symbols, signs, images, and colors as tools deployed by power centers to shape knowledge, human perception, and emotion. Daniel is an associate researcher with the Organisation for Propaganda Studies and co-editor of Propaganda in Focus. Selections of his scholarly work can be found at ResearchGate.

Dr David Miller is one of the world’s leading academic experts on Islamophobia, and also specialises in the analysis of state and corporate lobbying. Until his recent sacking by the University of Bristol, which resulted from an outrageous censorship campaign led by the UK's Israel lobby, he taught political sociology. He also set up the UK’s lobbying watchdog, Spinwatch, which has tracked corporate power for 15 years. Spinwatch’s work has included investigations on the pharmaceutical lobby, the fossil fuel and fracking lobbies, as well as state lobbies that promote Islamophobia, such as those of Israel and the United Arab Emirates. His publications include: What is Islamophobia? Racism, Social Movements and the State. Thinker, Faker, Spinner, Spy: Corporate PR and the Assault on Democracy, A Century of Spin: How Public Relations Became the Cutting Edge of Corporate Power.

Professor Oliver Boyd-Barrett is an emeritus professor of Bowling Green State University, Ohio. He specializes in international news organizations and propaganda. His most recent books include Russiagate Revisited: Aftermath of a Hoax (a collection edited with Stephen Marmura); Conflict Propaganda in Syria: Narrative Battles; and Media Imperialism: Continuity and Change - a collection edited with Tanner Mirrlees. He publishes a Substack column, Empire and Communication.

Dr Piers Robinson is a co-director of the Organisation for Propaganda Studies, Research Director at the International Center for 9/11 Justice and executive committee member of PANDA. He is co-editor of Propaganda in Focus and the Journal of 9/11 Studies. He was Chair/Professor in Politics, Society ad Political Journalism, University of Sheffield, 2016-2019, Senior Lecturer/Lecturer in International Politics (University of Manchester 2005-2016) and Lecturer in Political Communication (University of Liverpool, 1999-2005). He researches and writes on propaganda, media, international politics and conflict. He has published articles in journals including the Review of International Studies, Journal of Communication, Critical Sociology, Journal of Peace Research, European Journal of Communication, Political Science Quarterly, International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies, Media, Culture and Society, Political Studies and Media, War and Conflict.

Jared A. Ball is a Professor of Communication and Africana Studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. and author of The Myth and Propaganda of Black Buying Power (Palgrave, 2020 / 2nd Edition, 2023). Ball is also host of the podcast “iMiXWHATiLiKE!”, co-founder of Black Power Media which can be found at, he can be found @imixwhatilike on most social media, and his decades of emancipatory journalism, media, writing, and political work can be found at