Independent Scholars: Disenfranchised Intellectuals Finally Find a Home

Dr. Yosef Wosk
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The Canadian Academy of Independent Scholars is a revolutionary program of monumental proportions. Higher education is on the verge of a noble venture that gives voice to thousands of non-faculty independent scholars. For the university, this program represents a fundamental shift from an exclusionary posture to one that embraces community scholars.

Independent scholars make vital contributions to scholarship in Canada, but their isolation and non-institutional status keeps them marginalized. By expanding the boundaries that define the sphere of scholarship, our academy is creating a genuine interface between universities and the extended community. The traditional university constituents-faculty, staff, students and alumni-will now be joined by independent community scholars.

The academy is both a building and an ethos: it is the centre of discussion, knowledge-sharing and dissemination by means of meetings, conferences and publications. It promotes high-level associations with a global network of independent scholars, universities, institutes and industry.

We offer full university library access, collegial lectures and peer review as well as assistance with publishing, grants, awards, positions, office space, research assistance and mentoring. Our academy of independent communal scholars is dedicated to a proactive role as a societal catalyst for the continuing vibrant involvement with learning and scholarship.

Keywords: Independent, Scholars
Stream: Knowledge, Teaching and Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Academy of Independent Scholars, The

Dr. Yosef Wosk

Director of Interdisciplinary Programs, Continuing Studies; 
Associate Member of the Department of Humanities,
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences., Simon Fraser University


Yosef Wosk is the Director of Interdisciplinary Programs in Continuing Studies at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, where he has developed seminal programs such as The Philosophers' Café and The Academy of Independent Scholars. In addition to receiving an honorary doctorate of letters, he holds doctorates in Religion & Literature as well as in Psychology, and masters degrees in Education and in Theology. Yosef, who is an ordained rabbi, has lectured at a number of universities and institutes of higher learning throughout the world. Identified as one of the top ten thinkers and most thoughtful citizens in the province, he is an appointed member of The Order of British Columbia, a recipient of The Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal and included in Canadian Who's Who. Active in communal affairs-especially in the areas of education, library, museum, the arts, social services, heritage conservation, philanthropy and religion-Yosef is a media commentator, public speaker and published author.

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