Panel to explore free speech, hate speech, inclusivity at colleges today

An illustration of a protest on campus with a student holding a sign that says Free Speech

Yale University will host a panel on “Free Speech” on Friday, March 2 looking at the issues of balance between free speech and inclusivity on college and university campuses.

Topics will include the difference between free speech and hate speech and the point where one shifts into the other, and how these topics relate to freedom of the press, particularly in the case of campus newspapers.

The panel will include five professors of law, who will visit Yale as Poynter Fellows in Journalism. The discussion will take place at 4 p.m. in Rm. 101 at Linsly-Chittenden Hall on 63 High St. The event is free and open to the public, and will be livestreamed on YouTube.

Panelists will include Erwin Chemerinsky and Howard Gillman, authors of “Free Speech on Campus,among other works; Sigal R. Ben-Porath, professor of education at the University of Pennsylvania; Barbara J. Fields, professor of history at Columbia University; and Allison Stanger, the Russell Leng ’60 Professor of International Politics and Economics at Middlebury College. 

Erwin Chemerinsky serves as dean of Berkely Law, focusing on the education of constitutional law, First Amendment law, federal courts and criminal procedure. Prior to his time at Berkeley Law, Chemerinsky was founding Dean, Distinguished Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law at the University of California-Irvine School of Law.

Howard Gillman is chancellor of University of California-Irvine award-winning scholar and professor who focuses on the American Constitution and the Supreme Court. Gillman holds faculty positions in the UC-Irvine School of Law and the Department of Political Science, as well as an administrative position as co-chair of the University of California’s National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement.

Sigal R. Ben-Porath received her doctorate in political philosophy from Tel Aviv University in 2000. Prior to her position as professor of education at UPenn, Ben-Porath served as a special assistant to the university president. Her research focuses on citizenship education, normative aspects of educational and social policy, and the social and education effects of war.

Barbara J. Fields was the first African American woman to receive tenure at Columbia University. Fields specializes in Southern history and 19th-century social history. Her publications include “Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland during the Nineteenth Century” and “The Destruction of Slavery.”

Allison Stanger is the founding director of the Rohatyn Center for International Affairs at Middlebury College. She has worked as a part-time consultant to the United States Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff since October 2009 and focuses her research on the relationship between technology, the law, and politics.

The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism was established by Nelson Poynter, who received his master’s degree in 1927 from Yale. The fellowship brings to campus journalists from a wide variety of outlets who have made significant contributions to their field. Among recent Poynter fellows are Ali Velshi, Bernard Avishai, and Susan Glasser.

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