Jonathan Friedman, director of education programs at the literary and human rights nonprofit PEN America, will speak on book bans and educational censorship for the annual Zacher Lecture in the Humanities.
Across the country, teachers, librarians, professors and school administrators are attesting to a chilled climate, in which they are more concerned with running afoul of new censorious laws than with educating their students. This “Ed Scare” — a campaign to foment anxiety and anger concerning public education — is being advanced by local efforts to ban books along with state legislation to exert ideological control over educational institutions. However, resistance to this censorship is also taking place on many fronts. This talk describes this battle and offers suggestions for how citizens can defend the freedom to read, learn and think for all.
After his talk, Jonathan will be joined by Ashley Perez, Assistant Professor of Comparative Studies and Undergraduate Studies Chair, for a Q&A session.
Jonathan Friedman, Ph.D., is the director of free expression and education programs PEN America. An interdisciplinary scholar, he oversees PEN's research, advocacy and education related to academic freedom, educational gag orders, book bans and general free expression in schools, colleges and universities. He regularly provides commentary for news media about educational censorship, and has published op-eds for CNN, The Washington Post, The Hill, The Daily Beast, New York Daily News and Inside Higher Ed. He has taught courses at New York University, Columbia University and Bard College’s Open Society University Network. You can find more information on Jonathan at the PEN America website.
The event is in honor of Chris Zacher, the Humanities Institute’s founding director and ongoing inspiration.
A reception with light refreshments will follow.
This in-person event is free and open to the public. RSVPs are requested.
The Humanities Institute and its related centers host a wide range of events, from intense discussions of works in progress to cutting-edge presentations from world-known scholars, artists, activists and everything in between.
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