In recent years, the issue of free speech has returned to campuses in unexpected ways. Initially tied to the right to political activity on campus, free speech nowadays is often a contested concept in the quest for diverse and respectful learning environments. How should one prevent hate speech on campus without restricting free speech? And how should one protect free inquiry and academic freedom in an increasingly polarized political environment? In the fourth event of the series “Veritas, Iustitia, Libertas,” philosopher R. Jay Wallace and historian Paul Nolte will discuss current debates on Free Speech in the U.S. and Germany, with a focus on their own campuses: UC Berkeley and Freie Universität, at different moments in their history, both have been at the center of struggles on free speech.
R. Jay Wallace is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. His research has focused on responsibility, moral psychology, and the theory of practical reason. Wallace was the co-chair of UC Berkeley’s Free Speech Commission that throughout 2017/2018 analyzed events featuring external speakers and recommended changes in policy that preserve the campus’s firm commitment to free expression. As a Visiting Fellow of the Einstein Stiftung, he currently leads a research group in moral philosophy that is based in Berlin.
Paul Nolte is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the Freie Universität Berlin and Director of the Dahlem Humanities Center. His research interests include the history of democracy, of transatlantic relations, of knowledge in the humanities, and of German universities after 1945. He is currently working on a history of the Freie Universität – a history shaped by political struggles and the quest for freedom rights. Paul Nolte is also a frequent commentator on current political and social affairs in the media.
Moderator: Professor Dr. Jessica Gienow-Hecht (Freie Universität Berlin)
Watch the Livestream from Berlin: www.fu-berlin.de/sites/70jahre/video/index.html