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The Evolution of American Free Speech

Everyone cites the First Amendment’s protection of free speech—from protestors during wartime to students on college campuses. Although the words of the First Amendment have not changed, the interpretation of what the First Amendment means—which speech is protected and which is not—has varied over the course of American history. This course explores some of the key moments during which the very meaning of “free speech” has been redefined. Examining a mix of historical sources, legal cases, and philosophical arguments, explore the key free speech debates that have demarcated the boundaries of what can—and cannot—be said in the United States. This one-day course focuses specifically on political speech over the last 100 years, which offers us a chance to examine in detail this critical area of law and its development over time.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of the First Amendment—its history and interpretations
  • Knowledge of legal cases and precedents that have defined “free speech”

Ideal for

  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in-between
  • The curious and creative
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.