free speech

On Words: Civil Discourse

Nov 4, 2014
U.C. Berkeley

Recently, U.C. Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks has come under fire for using the 50th anniversary of the campus free speech movement as a call for “civil discourse.” His position seems reasonable enough on the surface, but his critics point out that the First Amendment and the principles of academic freedom say nothing about discourse having to be civil. Where else but a college campus, his critics argue, can people tackle difficult and controversial subjects, subjects that many might...

More than 100 current and former University of Kansas faculty and staff are publicly affirming the free-speech rights of a professor whose Twitter post against the National Rifle Association sparked a political firestorm. Their statement described the tweet by associate professor of journalism David Guth as intemperate but said the signers support his right to express his ideas. Retired American Studies Professor Bill Tuttle said the statement is a response to comments from conservative...