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Nadine Strossen Dialogue | Munk Debates

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May 2, 2023

Nadine Strossen Dialogue

Academic Freedom in Higher Education

About this episode

60 years ago, university students were leading the protest in defense of free speech. The 1960’s Free Speech Movement at the University of California at Berkeley has been credited with paving the way for the civil liberties movement of the 1960’s and widespread social and political change. These days, however, free speech has taken on a new meaning. University students are being criticized for shutting down speech that doesn’t align with their progressive and left leaning principles. So how do free speech laws play into the current free speech debate? Where do we draw the line between speech that offends and speech that causes harm? For this conversation, we’re joined by one of the most important free speech advocates in America. Nadine Strossen served as President of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1991 to 2008 and is now a senior fellow at FIRE - the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression.


The Guests

Nadine Strossen

Nadine Strossen

Nadine Strossen has written, taught, and advocated extensively in the areas of constitutional law and civil liberties, including through frequent media interviews. From 1991 to 2008, she served as President of the American Civil Liberties Union, the first woman to head the nation’s largest and oldest civil liberties organization. Professor Strossen is a Senior Fellow at FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, and she serves on the Advisory Boards of the ACLU, Academic Freedom Alliance, Heterodox Academy, National Coalition Against Censorship, and the University of Austin.

Her 2018 book, HATE: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship, has been widely praised by ideologically diverse experts. Her earlier book, Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women’s Rights, was named by The New York Times as a “Notable Book” of 1995.

The National Law Journal has named Strossen one of America’s "100 Most Influential Lawyers," and several other publications have named her one of the country’s most influential women.

Professor Strossen is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.