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Academic Freedom 2-Pack

Program #STOG001-SALS002.

First program: Geoffrey Stone - The Fight for Free Speech on Campus

The political landscape is increasingly intolerant of opposing views. Campuses are sometimes a battleground. Author Charles Murray was shouted down and prevented from speaking at Middlebury. Condoleezza Rice declined to speak at Rutgers because of protests. Ex-Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos’s talk at UC Berkeley was called off when a minority became violent. Professors such as Steven Salaita and Norman Finkelstein have lost jobs because of what they said. The American Civil Liberties Union states unequivocally: “How much we value the right of free speech is put to its severest test when the speaker is someone we disagree with most. Speech that deeply offends our morality or is hostile to our way of life warrants the same constitutional protection as other speech because the right of free speech is indivisible: When one of us is denied this right, all of us are denied.”

Second program: Steven SalaitaThe Limits of Academic Freedom

The groves of academe in Athens where Plato and other Greek scholars gave lectures, has long been idealized as an intellectual oasis, and a model for universities around the world, a place where free thinking without fear or favor would be forever encouraged. But today on college campuses from U.C. Santa Cruz to Yale outspoken professors are learning about trigger warnings, dangerous no-go zones; topics that are off limits. Apart from the stultifying effects of self-censorship among the best and the brightest, that open space beneath a shady grove of trees is becoming a marketplace, a profit center in an increasingly corporatized higher education system. To reverse the trend, a renewed commitment to, free speech, pluralism and a rigorous systemic critique is needed. 

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