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University of Oklahoma: Does the First Amendment belong in the Quad and in the Classroom?

October 17 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Four Pillars of Freedom

On October 17, 2022, the University of Oklahoma’s Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage will host Donald Downs and Allison Stanger for a discussion of campus free speech. The discussion is a part of the university’s 2022 Free Speech Week events.

Monday, October 17, 2022 • 3:00 PM CDT
Meacham Auditorium, Oklahoma Memorial Union • University of Oklahoma

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Donald Downs  is the Alexander Meiklejohn Emeritus Professor of Political Science, and Emeritus Affiliate Professor of Law and Journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Downs has written about academic freedom, free speech; campus politics; American politics; political and legal thought and movements; citizenship; domestic violence, psychiatry, and the criminal law; and the relationship among the military, the university, and civic education. His most recent books are The Value and Limits of Academic Speech: Philosophical, Political, and Legal Aspects (Routledge, 2018), Chris W. Surprenant, co-editor; and Free Speech and Liberal Education: A Plea for Intellectual Diversity and Tolerance (Cato, 2020). He served as secretary and then president of the independent Committee for Academic Freedom and Rights at Wisconsin from 1996-2016 and as faculty adviser to the Open Inquiry Project at the Institute for Humane Studies, 2015-2019. He currently serves on the Academic Affairs Committee of the national Academic Freedom Alliance. In 2013, he won the Jeane Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award.

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Allison Stanger is the Russell Leng ’60 Professor of International Politics and Economics at Middlebury College; 2021-23 Research Affiliate (co-lead, Theory of AI Practice Initiative) at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University; an External Professor and Science Board member at the Santa Fe Institute; and a Senior Advisor to the OSUN Hannah Arendt Humanities Network. In 2020-21, she held the Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History at the Library of Congress. She is the author of Whistleblowers: Honesty in America from Washington to Trump (Chinese edition to appear in September 2022) and One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy, both with Yale University Press. She is the co-editor (with W. Brian Arthur and Eric Beinhocker) of Complexity Economics, and the co-editor and co-translator (with Michael Kraus) of Irreconcilable Differences? Explaining Czechoslovakia’s Dissolution (Foreword by Václav Havel). Stanger’s writing has appeared in The AtlanticForeign AffairsForeign PolicyFinancial TimesInternational Herald TribuneNew York TimesUSA Today, and the Washington Post. She has been called to testify (by both Democrats and Republicans) before Congress on five occasions and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Stanger received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University. She is a recipient of the 2018 HMH Foundation First Amendment award and served as a Judge and Presenter for the 2022 First Amendment awards ceremony, which took place in September 2022 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

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Established in 2009, the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage has grown into a vibrant national center for the study of the American Constitution. It incorporates over thirty affiliated faculty across the University, four of whom are permanently based in Classics and Letters. The notion of constitutional heritage reflects the Institute’s broad approach to the Constitution in all its aspects, including the development of civil rights in American history and the relevance of the Constitution to contemporary debates over justice and freedom. The Letters major is OU’s premier interdisciplinary humanities program and has been an integral part of the College of Arts and Sciences at OU since 1937, attracting outstanding students with interests in history, philosophy, and literature. The concentration in Constitutional Studies has become a cornerstone of the Letters major; hundreds of students have been taught and mentored in the area since its inception, with many alumni attending elite law schools and graduate programs across the country.

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