The conversation will include faculty from New York University and Portland State University and the director of the Campus Free Speech project at PEN America

Bobst Interior. Copyright Olivo, Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau

NYU Libraries will host a conversation exploring the increasingly urgent concerns about academic freedom and free speech on campus on Thursday, November 14 at NYU’s Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 8th floor, 70 Washington Square South.

The event, “Open and Shut: Academic Freedom, Free Speech, and the University” will feature a panel conversation addressing the overlap of and difference between the principles of academic freedom and free speech, and their importance for faculty members and students alike.

Panelists will examine the university’s crucial role as a forum for multiple voices and the free flowing, open exchange of ideas — and how this role may be impacted by the increasingly polarized nature of political discourse in the United States. How do universities reconcile the tension inherent in accommodating free speech while also ensuring an inclusive environment and equal access to the intellectual life of campus?

Panelists include Paula Chakravatty, associate professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study and the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU Steinhardt; Jonathan Friedman, director of the Campus Free Speech project at PEN America; Jennifer Ruth, professor of film studies at Portland State University and co-author of The Humanities, Higher Education, and Academic Freedom; and Zach Rivers, PhD candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature at the Graduate School of Arts and Science. The conversation will be moderated by Linda Gordon, University Professor of the Humanities, Faculty of Arts and Science at NYU.

“Open and Shut: Academic Freedom, Free Speech, and the University” will be held Thursday, November 14 at 5:30 p.m. at the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 8th floor, 70 Washington Square South. Please click here to RSVP. Reporters wishing to attend should contact Sarah Binney at 212.998.6829 or sarah.binney@nyu.edu.

This event is sponsored by the Frederic Ewen Center and the Tamiment Collections, NYU Libraries. Organized by the Graduate School of Arts and Science and the Office of the Dean for the Humanities in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

About NYU Libraries
From the time of its founding in 1831 until 1973, New York University housed its library collections in various campus locations. A major gift from Elmer Holmes Bobst and his wife, Mamdouha, enabled the university to bring its various collections together in a new library on Washington Square in 1973. The striking, 12-story Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, designed by Philip Johnson and Richard Foster, is the flagship of a 10-library system that provides students and faculty members with access to the world’s scholarship. Located on Washington Square South, Bobst Library is at the center of the University community’s intellectual life. When school is in session, Bobst receives 10,500 visits per day; a total of 3 million visits annually.