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January 18, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Photo by: Sonia J. Stamm
Academic Freedom
Last Featured: 1/6/2004

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

A Kansas faculty member recently raised legislative hackles for showing “obscene” videos in a course on human sexuality. In New York, a university approved conference that “market[ed] sex toys; distributed sex manuals; and sponsored lewd performances” also drew admonishments from lawmakers. As members of university communities continue to openly discuss ideas on the outer edges of our culture, public officials are demanding an end to what they see as taxpayer funded “anti-intellectual deviance.” But, across the nation, faculty and students say colleges are precisely the place to explore these concepts and honor the ideal of academic freedom.

Laura Kipnis is a Professor in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at Northwestern University, where she has taught since 1991. Kipnis is a cultural theorist and critic and former video artist. She has authored several books including Against Love: A Polemic, Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Fantasy in America and Ecstasy Unlimited: On Sex, Capital, Gender & Aesthetics. She has received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and Yaddo. Her essays and reviews have appeared in Critical Inquiry, Social Text, Wide Angle, The Village Voice, Harper's, and The New York Times Magazine.

Mark Wright represents district 137 in northwest Springfield in the Missouri House of Representatives. He is the assistant majority floor leader, chairman of the Committee on General Laws and vice chair of the Rules Committee. He has worked as a teen and college counselor for several churches, where he developed gang, drug and alcohol awareness programs. He has served as a delegate to the 1996 Republican National Convention in San Diego and as chairman of a presidential campaign in Missouri’s 7th Congressional District. Rep. A year ago, Rep. Wright introduced an amendment in the Missouri legislature to cut state university funding to protest the views, teachings and writings of a controversial professor.

Closing Quote
"Man’s drive for self-expression, which over the centuries has built his monuments, does not stay within set bounds. The creations, which yesterday were the detested and obscene, become the classics of today."

— California Supreme Court Justice Matthew Tobriner

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Students for Academic Freedom
Foundation for Individuals Rights in Education
American Family Association
American Association of University Professors
Report: Academic Freedom in the USA
Report: The State of American Freedom in America 2002-03
Ashbrook Center Lecture Series: Address by Lynn Chaney
Human Rights Watch
International Association of Universities
Academic Duty
by Donald Kennedy
God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of
by William F., Jr. Buckley
The Shadow University: The Betrayal Of Liberty On America's Campuses
by Alan Charles Kors and Harvey A. Silverglate
College Admissions
No Child Left Behind
School Violence