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Race and Free Speech on Campus–Then and Now

Feb 9, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Angela Lang (ACLU), Carolyn Rouse (Anthropology, Princeton), Rob Smith (History, Marquette), and Johnny Eric Williams (African-American Studies, Trinity)

Please note that there were some technical difficulties with the video:

More than fifty years after the Free Speech Movement began at the University of California-Berkeley over administrative attempts to prohibit African-American voter registration efforts on campus, the question of regulating speech in the university is once again at the forefront of campus life.

Unlike 1964, however, today the argument for untramelled free speech is more likely to come from college and university administrators, or white supremacist figures like Richard Spencer and Milo Yiannopoulos, than from left-wing students. This symposium will provide historical and current perspectives on the changing significance of racial equality and justice in the free speech movement.

This event is the first in a three-part series on Regulating Speech in the University, part of a year-long university-wide exploration of Freedom of Expression, sponsored by the UWM Chancellor’s Office. Because speech (including peaceful assembly) has always been regulated and protected in the United States, beginning with the First Amendment, the aim of the series is not to ask if speech should be regulated but rather how it should be regulated on campus in an era of heightened political tensions and social media attention. The other two events are “Is Protest Protected Speech” (March 7) and “Social Media and Academic Freedom” (April 13).

Cosponsor: UWM Global Inclusion & Engagement

Also of Interest:

Because of Friday morning’s snow, the Conversation with Carolyn Rouse and Johnny Eric Williams has had to be cancelled. The 1:00 p.m. panel discussion will still take place.

Conversation with Carolyn Rouse and Johnny Eric Williams
Friday, February 9
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Curtin 939
Bagels will be served


Background reading:

The Daily Princetonian: Editorial: Free expression and the Charles Murray walkout

Princeton University, Program in American Studies: F%*# Free Speech: An Anthropologist’s Take on Campus Speech Debates

Inside Higher Ed: Trinity Clears Threatened Professor

Socialistworker.org: Smear campaign against a Trinity professor

Huffington Post: The Bullying And Terrorism Of The White Crisis

The New Yorker: Race and the Free-Speech Diversion


Feb 9, 2018
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Curtin 175
3243 N Downer Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53211 United States
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