This article aims at exploring the contribution that creative forms of research can make to the study of a little-known aspect of academic freedom in the Canadian context – academic freedom in curriculum development. It seeks to address the methodological challenge posed by research on academic freedom, that is, the fact that any academic writing on this topic necessarily draws initially, though not exclusively, from the researchers’ own experiences and perspectives. The article brings to life a fictional faculty meeting, during which questions about academic freedom in teaching are discussed. Although this meeting is the product of our imagination, its starting point is based on real-life events, that is, the implementation in some North American universities of a course developed and initially offered outside of academia by people closely related to a well-known personal development organization.


academic freedom, arts-based research, ethnodrama, autoethnography

Author Bio(s)

Julie Paquin (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2054-9127) is a doctor in comparative law and an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa. She teaches and conducts research in the areas of sociology of law, contract law, law and development, professional regulation and the legal professions, and academic freedom in Canada. Her work involves the use of various qualitative and quantitative research methods to study legal phenomena from socio-legal and multidisciplinary perspectives. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Julie Paquin, 57 Louis-Pasteur Dr., University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5. Email: julie.paquin@uottawa.ca.

Maude Choko (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1866-9987) is a writer and actress and a labour law expert. She has been teaching labour law to undergraduate and graduate students and has been using the pen (or the keyboard!) for more than 12 years. Her academic work, focussing mainly on fundamental rights of workers, has been presented in several international conferences (Mexico, Italy, Canada, Australia, England). She had the pleasure to see her play “Trois fois passera, la dernière y restera” produced at l’Espace La risée, in Montreal.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




https://orcid.org 0000-0002-2054-9127



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.