April 1, 2017 at 10:30 pm

George Washington Forum | Freedom of Speech, 1550–1850, April 7-8

The George Washington Forum on American Ideas, Politics and Institutions hosts an international conference on Freedom of Speech, 1550–1850 on Friday–Saturday, April 7–8.

Freedom of Speech graphic, with old-fashioned printing pressThe conference brings together leading scholars of politics, religion and ideas to discuss the early history of free speech. The conference will be held in the Multicultural Center (Baker Center 205). The event is open to the public and all are welcome to attend.

Friday, April 7

Session I (9–10:30 a.m.)

  • Debora Shuger (UCLA), Déjà vu All Over Again: The Price of Fake News in Early Modern England 
  • Peter Lake (Vanderbilt), Libel and the Politics of Publicity

Session II (10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m)

  • Karl Gunther (University of Miami), Pearls before Swine
  • Chloé Bakalar (Princeton), Everyday Virtue: The Role of Censorship in John Milton’s Theory of Free Speech

Session III (2–3:30 p.m.)

  • David Como (Stanford)., The Origins of the Concept of Freedom of the Press
  • Max Skjönsberg (London School of Economics), David Hume’s ‘Of the Liberty of the Press’ in its Original Context

Session IV (3:45–5:15 p.m.)

  • Ann Thomson (European University Institute), Defending the Truth
  • Anton Matytsin (Kenyon), To Ban or Not to Ban: Censorship, Refutation and Free Expression in the French Enlightenment

Saturday, April 8

Session V (9:30–10:30 a.m.)

  • David Womersley (Oxford), The Resistance to Free Speech in Swift and Johnson

Session VI (10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m.)

  • Drew Starling (Penn), Malesherbes and the Case for a Free Religious Press in Eighteenth-Century France 
  • Tim Lehmann (Ohio), Montesquieu and Rousseau’s Accounts of Free Speech

Session VII (2–3:30 p.m.)

  • Patrick Peel (Montana), The Argument for Freedom of Speech and Press During the Ratification of the US Constitution, 1787–1788
  • Glauco Schettini (Fordham), In Search of a New Order: Freedom of Speech, Revolutionary Rhetoric and Republican Government in Italy, 1796–1799

Session VII (3:45–5:15 p.m.)

  • Greg Conti (Cambridge), Liberty between the Mills: Samuel Bailey on Liberty of Thought and Discussion 
  • Chris Barker (Southwestern), J.S. Mill’s Theory of Public Engagement

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