Speech Codes

American Fatwa

Because faculty members have long contributed to democratic debate by expressing their views in the public sphere, it is especially notable and worrisome when they become targets of what nearly amount to an American Fatwa.

Garcetti and Salaita: Revisiting Academic Freedom

This article revisits the legal concept of academic freedom in the wake of Professor Steven Salaita’s dehiring and the 2006 US Supreme Court decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos. It examines four key post-Garcetti decisions, each of which illustrates a potential solution to courts facing issues of academic freedom, and each of which has different implications for Professor Salaita’s dehiring. The article also proposes a new legal concept of academic freedom that would empower rather than restrict professors.

Everything Old Is New Again: Bertrand Russell and Steven Salaita

The decision by trustees of the University of Illinois to revoke a tenured position offered to Steven Salaita evokes another, long-ago controversy. In 1940, a New York court revoked the appointment of Bertrand Russell to a faculty position at the College of the City of New York, in part because of Russell’s allegedly “immoral” writings. It is difficult, if not impossible, to simultaneously deplore Russell’s firing and support Salaita’s.

Social Media & the Politics of Collegiality: An Interview with Steven Salaita

This article draws upon a 2014 interview with Steven Salaita to consider the public-private sphere tensions at play in his case, the temporal and contextual nature of writing for social media, and the larger context of US media reporting.

Opportunities of Our Own Making: The Struggle for "Academic Freedom"

This essay examines David Horowitz’s “Academic Freedom” campaign, specifically exploring how “academic freedom,” a narrative that appears alongside “free speech” discourse frequently since September 11, 2001, can be understood as a site of struggle

On the Ground in Kansas: Social Media, Academic Freedom, and the Fight for Higher Education

This essay explores the Kansas Board of Regents’ recently implemented rules addressing “Improper Use of Social Media” and faculty responses to this policy. It focuses on the moderate response that has predominated and the debates about the relationship between the First Amendment and academic freedom.

Rethinking Academic Boycotts

Politically inspired boycotts are a powerful form of protest. Free speech, as the US Supreme Court has recognized, includes “the opportunity to persuade to action.” Boycotts are one such opportunity: they aim “to bring about political, social, and economic change” through advocacy, petition, and association with others in a common cause.

Academic Freedom Encompasses the Right to Boycott: Why the AAUP Should Support the Palestinian Call for the Academic Boycott of Israel

In its 2006 report elaborating on its reasons for rejecting academic boycotts, specifically the boycott of Israeli academic institutions, the AAUP wrote, “In view of the Association’s longstanding commitment to the free exchange of ideas, we oppose academic boycotts.” It is not at all clear, however, that opposing the boycott of academic institutions that play central roles in the violation of human rights furthers the free exchange of ideas. I argue here that the AAUP should reassess its blanket opposition to academic boycotts, and that its position should be informed by its own conceptualization of academic freedom and human rights.


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