Freedom of Speech and Intellectual Diversity on Campus

Thu, April 8, 2021 at Zoom

Keynote Address:   “The Race Question and Freedom of Expression.”

Thursday, April 8, 5:00-6:30 pm

Randall Kennedy, Michael R. Klein Professor at Harvard Law School, preeminent authority on the First Amendment in its relation to the American struggle for civil rights.


Day One: Intellectual Diversity

Friday April, 9

  Panel 1 -- 11:30-1:00: What are the empirical facts about lack of intellectual diversity in academia and what are the causes of existing imbalances?

Paper: Lee Jussim, Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, author of The Politics of Social Psychology.

Discussants: Philip Tetlock, Annenberg University Professor, University of Pennsylvania, author of “Why so few conservatives and should we care?” and Cory Clark, Visiting Scholar, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, author of “Partisan Bias and its Discontents.”


 Panel 2 – 2:00-3:30: In what precise ways and to what degree is this imbalance a problem?

Paper: Joshua Dunn, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, University of Colorado, co-author of Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University.

Discussant: Amna Khalid, Associate Professor of History, Carleton College, author of “Not A Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy: Why Left-Leaning Faculty Should Care  About Threats to Free Expression on Campus.”


Panel 3 – 4:00-5:45: What is To Be Done?

Paper: Musa Al-Gharbi, Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow in Sociology, Columbia University and Managing Editor, Heterodox Academy, author of “Why Care About Ideological Diversity in Social Research? The Definitive Response.”

Paper: Conor Friedersdorf, Staff writer at The Atlantic and frequent contributor to its special series “The Speech Wars,” author of “Free Speech Will Survive This Moment.”


Day Two: Freedom of Speech

Saturday, April 10

Panel 1-- 11:30-1:00:  An empirical accounting of the recent challenges to free speech on campus from left and right. What is the true character of the problem or problems here and do they constitute a “crisis”?

Paper: Jonathan Marks, Professor and chair, Department of Politics and International Relations, Ursinus College, author of Let’s be Reasonable: A Conservative Case For Liberal Education.

Respondent: April Kelly-Woessner, Dean of the School of Public Service and Professor of Political Science at Elizabethtown College, author of The Still Divided Academy.


Panel 2 – 2:00-3:45: But is Free speech, as traditionally interpreted, even the right ideal?  -- a Debate           

Ulrich Baer, University Professor of Comparative Literature, German, and English, NYU, author of What Snowflakes Get Right: Free Speech and Truth on Campus.

Keith Whittington, Professor of Politics, Princeton University, author of Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech.


Panel 3 – 4:30-6:15: What is To Be Done?

Paper: Nancy Costello, Associate Clinical Professor of Law, MSU. Founder and Director of the First Amendment Law Clinic -- the only law clinic in the nation devoted  to the defense of student press rights.  Also, Director of the Free Expression OnlineLibrary and Resource Center.

Paper: Jonathan Friedman, Director, Free Expression and Education at PEN America “a program of advocacy, analysis, and outreach in the national debate around free speech and inclusion at colleges and universities.”

The conference is free and open to the public.