FREE SPEECH 38: Are We Witnessing the Death of Speech on Campus? The Free Speech Movement in Context
With Professor Robert Cohen, New York University
Are we witnessing the death of the hallowed American practice and ideal of free speech in today's campus controversies? Free speech on campus dates back to the early 1960s, when student activists in Berkeley demanded the right to express their views in what became the Free Speech Movement. Professor Robert Cohen is America's foremost historian of the Free Speech Movement from its origin in 1960's California until today. Have we lost our way and the strong commitment to free expression fought for by so many, among them Mario Savio, the leader of Berkeley's Free Speech Movement? How are today's controversies different from skirmishes and culture wars of the past? How come today’s conservatives lay claim to the achievements of a movement courageously led by progressive students whose viewpoints most of them condemn? How should universities respond to provocateurs, and how can we distinguish between media-savvy set-ups aimed at undermining the university and genuine threats of free expression on campus? Cohen is the author of many books, among them Freedom's Orator: Mario Savio and the Radical Legacy of the 1960s and The Free Speech Movement: Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s.