Winter 2023 • Course
Freedom of Expression and the Race Question
Exam: No Exam
This course will examine racial influences on controversies involving claims to freedom of expression.
The provisional table of contents for the course is as follows:
- Dissent, Repression, and Race in the Age of Slavery
- Raising Voices despite Threats: protests against lynching and racial discrimination during wartime
- Censorship as racial justice? — the campaign against “birth of a Nation”
- Anti-communism, race, and freedom of expression
- Dissent, repression, and race in the second reconstruction
- Can protest against racism go too Far? (Should church be off limits?)(Should homes be off limits?)
- Reading, writing, and worshipping behind prison walls
- Censorship as racial justice (ii): critical race theory and other challenges from the left to liberal freedom of expression
- Problems in liberal free expression ideology ((the disinvitation controversy) (State mandated “freedom”)
- Attempts to silence progressive race talk: the campaign against critical race theory
- The road ahead: seeking robust pluralism
The reading for the course will consist of provocative pieces with widely divergent positions on the issues under discussion.
The requirements for the course are two fold: active participation in conversation and a 15 to 20 page, double-spaced paper due within two weeks after the final class. I am not looking for a paper that will require additional research. I am looking for a concise, intense response to a pertinent topic that puts to use the readings and conversations generated by the course.