“Free Speech Dialogues” Examines Inflammatory Speech

Sept. 23, 2011

Event: "Free Speech Dialogues," featuring former American Civil Liberties Union director, National Public Radio correspondent and civil rights expert. Free and open to the public.

When: Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7-9 p.m.

Where: The University of Texas at Austin, Graduate School of Business Building (GSB) Room 2.124. A map is available online.

Background: "Free Speech Dialogues" explores the meaning and application of the right to free speech. This is the second panel in a series, planned to be held once a semester, that will delve into such controversial topics as hate speech, religious speech, digital communications, copyright, indecency on the airwaves, press freedom and academic speech. This semester's discussion will center on inflammatory speech, and will be moderated by Tara Smith, BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism and professor of philosophy at The University of Texas at Austin, which is sponsoring the event.

Panelists are:

Nadine Strossen, professor of law at New York Law School
Strossen has written, lectured and practiced extensively in constitutional law, civil liberties and international human rights. From 1991 to 2008, she served as President of the American Civil Liberties Union. She was the first woman to head the nation's largest and oldest civil liberties organization. Among her many honors, the National Law Journal named Strossen one of "The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America," and Working Woman Magazine listed her among the "350 Women Who Changed the World 1976–1996."

Alexander Tsesis, professor of law at Loyola University, Chicago
Tsesis has authored numerous books on civil rights and the law. Earlier this year Columbia University Press published his edited volume, "Promises of Liberty: Thirteenth Amendment Abolitionism and Contemporary Relevance." He is currently writing a book about law and the American creed for Oxford University Press.

John Burnett, National Public Radio correspondent
Burnett's reports are heard regularly on National Public Radio's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. While his primary focus concerns the issues and people of the Southwest United States, Burnett's beat stretches across the nation and around the world. His work has included coverage of Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Drug War in the Americas and the recent earthquake in Japan.

For more information, contact: Jessica Sinn, College of Liberal Arts, 512-471-2404; Hillary Welde, Department of Philosophy, College of Liberal Arts, 512-232-8249.