Events

FALL 2020

SPRING 2021

Join us for NEETI NAIR (University of Virginia) on blasphemy laws (Jan. 21), FARA DABHOIWALA (Princeton University) on the historical origins of the First Amendment (Feb. 18), RAHUL SAGAR (NYU) on critiques of free speech, and more.

PAST EVENTS

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE
Securing the Future of Independent News

 

MARK THOMPSON Outgoing CEO, New York Times

Tue. October 13, 5:00-6:30 pm / Zoom links emailed to attendees

SERIOUS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM FACES two existential threats: economic destruction because of the failure of so many news organizations to find an adequate response to the digital challenge; and political and cultural rejection, not just by a new generation of populist leaders but by activists and pressure groups across the ideological spectrum. MARK THOMPSON, the outgoing CEO of The New York Times and a former Director-General of the BBC, explores these two – profoundly interconnected threats – and proposes how the news business can fight back and secure its own future.

 

This event is also the Annenberg Lecture. It is co-sponsored by the Annenberg School for Communication, the Annenberg Public Policy Center, and the Center for Media @ Risk.

READ MARK THOMPSON'S ESSAY HERE

THE OPENING OF A WHITE NATIONALIST MIND

DEREK BLACK Former White Nationalist

Thu. October 29, 5:00-6:30 pm / Zoom links emailed to attendees

GROWING UP AS THE SON OF POPULAR radio host Don Black, who is credited with coining the term "white nationalism," DEREK BLACK became well-versed in the strategic use of speech: how, for instance, the subtle semantic shift from "white supremacy" to "white nationalism" helped racist ideas gain wider currency and acceptance. When he entered college, he encountered a different array of speech strategies aimed at countering his beliefs, ranging from outright shunning by outraged protesters to patient challenges to his beliefs by fellow students who accepted him as a person. These experiences have given him a unique vantage point not only on the roots of white nationalism and the ways it might be countered, but on both the deep value and potential dangers of free expression.

BOYCOTTS AS FREE SPEECH: BDS AND BEYOND

WAHEED HUSSAIN University of Toronto

GENEVIEVE LAKIER University of Chicago Law School

AMANDA SHANOR Wharton School

Thu. November 19, 6:00-8:00 pm / Zoom links emailed to attendees

 

BOYCOTTS OF CONSUMER GOODS as a means of applying political pressure have been part of American life since the first rumblings of the American Revolution. The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the movement to divest from South Africa demonstrated the continuing salience of this strategy. Recently, however, the call by the BDS movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction businesses and organizations associated with the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has been met by state laws outlawing such actions. Legal scholars WAHEEN HUSSAIN, GENEVIEVE LAKIER, and AMANDA SHANOR examine the First Amendment issues at play in this and similar conflicts.

INTERNET SPEECH AND DEMOCRATIC POLITICS

JAIME SETTLE College of William and Mary

Thu. December 10, 5:00-6:30 pm / Zoom links emailed to attendees

WHEN WE CONSIDER THE POTENTIAL THREATS POSED by social media to our democracy, we tend to focus on bad actors and their malicious intent. From this standpoint, the task of protecting democracy while preserving legitimate speech is a matter of targeting the trolls and bots that distort online discourse. JAIME SETTLE, author of Frenemies: How Social Media Polarizes America, suggests that the problem goes deeper. It may be that the forms of expression found on social media undermine, in and of themselves, the mutual tolerance required by a functioning democracy – that we become our own worst enemies. In the face of this challenge, Settle offers a framework to reduce polarization while upholding free speech rights.

CAMPUS SPEECH BATTLES: A CONFERENCE

 

Thu. 9/24, 5-6:30 pm; Fri. 9/25, 12-1:30 pm & 3:30-5 pm; and

Tue. 9/29, 5-6:30 pm / Zoom links emailed to attendees

 

STUDENT SPEECH AND ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSES
CERRI BANKS (Skidmore College) and HOWARD GILLMAN (UC-Irvine)
Thu. September 24, 5-6:30 pm

 

THE CHICAGO STATEMENT TODAY
GEOFFREY STONE (University of Chicago Law School)
Fri. September 25, 12:00-1:30 pm

 

CURRENT FREE SPEECH CHALLENGES ON CAMPUS AND BEYOND
NADINE STROSSEN (New York Law School) and JOHN POWELL (Berkeley Law School)
Fri. September 25, 3:30-5:00 pm

 

ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND STUDENT ACTIVISM
JOAN WALLACH SCOTT (Institute for Advanced Study), HENRY REICHMAN (California State University, East Bay), and JASMINE BANKS (UnKoch My Campus)
Tue. September 29, 5:00-6:30 pm

Co-sponsors: Penn GSE, SNF Paideia Program, The Jack Miller Center

READ PANELIST ESSAYS HERE