Hate Free Speech: A Workshop on the Politics of Language on College Campuses
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Fordham University Law School, 150 W 62nd St, Room 3-03, New York
The Anthropology Section of the New York Academy of Sciences
This public workshop asks what an anthropological perspective on language can contribute to debates and controversies over hate speech and free speech raging on college campuses today. How have definitions of hate speech and free speech changed historically? Legally? In different cultural contexts? What are the implications of these definitions for the reproduction of social inequalities and social injustice in higher education? Putting into practice the linguistic anthropological view that language is social action, the workshop brings anthropologists, linguists, legal scholars, historians, administrators and activists into conversation in order to expose contemporary issues for the academy and our students.
Even though prosecuted claims of hate speech generally fall under categories of defamation, incitement, child pornography, and obscenity, anti-government critique and minority religious and political speech are considered the most protected forms of free speech. Claims of hate speech thus raise ethical questions about the comparative seriousness of censorship and bigotry. Exploring these contentious issues in the context of higher education opens up new theoretical terrains to consider the role of communicative practices and language ideologies, in addition to social and institutional factors, in animating the contradictions of liberal democracies. Workshop participants are invited to comment on how linguistic practices or language ideologies play a role in claims and acts of privacy and surveillance on the Internet, censorship of the academy and student body under threats of global terrorism, Islamophobia, teaching anti-hate, and more.
April 14, 2018
Morning Session: Keywords
Leadership in Higher Education
The Law on Campus
Afternoon Session: Situations on the Ground
Protesting the State
New York University Medical Center