Weekly News Digest, No. 25

Welcome to the twenty-fifth installment of the Project on Civil Discourse’s Weekly News Digest, hosted on our Real Talk blog.

In Case You Missed It

Earlier this semester, the Project on Civil Discourse hosted two events on political discourse, which were recorded, captioned, and just published to our YouTube channel. Make sure to subscribe!

In March, Tyler Lewis spoke about the importance of value-driven political communication and the role of conviction and authenticity in how political figures are perceived. Lewis is the Director of Coalition Communications and Research at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

In April, Louis Michael Seidman spoke about his work, “Can Free Speech Be Progressive?” Seidman is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown Law. 

Campus Free Speech

Professor Neal Hutchens reports that while campus free speech laws are being enacted in a number of states, they may do more harm than good. Generally, these laws prohibit “speech zones,” or specific places on campuses where students can protest or speak, and require universities to remain neutral on controversial issues.

Robby Soave writes that free speech on campus isn’t dead yet, but it is struggling. Soave offers a short summary of his new book, Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump, as he argues that there is a free speech problem at colleges and universities across the United States. Soave notes that the majority of campuses and speakers engage in diverse and stimulating conversations, but that “many campuses possess a small number of extremely far-left students who view speech that discomforts them as a threat to their mental well-being.”

Intellectual Diversity

Shannon Watkins writes about a recent event with Robert George and Cornel West on the necessity of a “deep education,” which requires students to pursue opportunities that are challenging and unsettling. Why is this so important? “Because actively engaging with an ideological opponent refines one’s own understanding of an issue and can lead one closer to the central goal of all education: the pursuit of truth.”

American University student Marissa Klass wrote about a similar event with George and West last semester.

Thanks for reading!

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