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The Evolution of American Free Speech

Everyone—from protesters during wartime to students on college campuses—cites the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. Although the words of the First Amendment have not changed, the interpretation of what it 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 meaning of “free speech” has been redefined. While 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 during the past 100 years, a period that 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

  • Familiarity with the key free speech debates that have demarcated the boundaries of what can—and cannot—be said in the United States
  • Greater knowledge of the legal aspects of free speech during the past 100 years, including its development over time

Ideal for

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