First Amendment Studies

Free Speech and Artistic Expression

Presented by the BB&T Dialogue Series on Free Speech

A Panel Discussion

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

7-9 PM

Location: College of Liberal Arts Building (CLA), Room 0.128


NORA GILBERT, Assistant Professor of English, University of North Texas

DANIEL JACOBSON, Professor of Philosophy, University of Michigan

GREG LUKIANOFF, President, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)


  • Should artistic expression be any less protected than political speech?
  • What is artistic expression?
  • When is art obscene, or harmful, or educational? Should any of that matter?
  • Does artistic freedom depend on who’s paying: public subsidies or private patrons?

Editorials in the Austin American Statesman by panelists:

More about Our Panelists:

NORA GILBERT is Assistant Professor of English at the University of North Texas. She specializes in nineteenth-century British literature and early Hollywood film, with particular research interests in gender studies and the intersection of law and culture.  Gilbert is the author of Better Left Unsaid: Victorian Novels, Hays Code Films, and the Benefits of Censorship(Stanford University Press, 2013), as well as academic articles in literature and film journals. She is currently at work on a new book project, provisionally titled Unwomaned: Lady Novelists, Hollywood Starlets, and the Threat of Female Independence.

DANIEL JACOBSON is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan. He works in a wide range of areas in aesthetics, moral, and political philosophy, particularly focused on issues concerning sentimentalism, the relationship between moral and aesthetic value, freedom of speech, and the philosophy of John Stuart Mill. Jacobsen is currently Project Leader of “The Science of Ethics,” a three-year grant funded by the John Templeton Foundation for exploration of the normative implications of empirical findings in moral psychology.

GREG LUKIANOFF is an attorney and the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). He is author of the recent Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate (2012) and his numerous writings have appeared in such venues as the New York TimesWashington Post, and Boston Globe. Lukianoff is a regular columnist for The Huffington Post and frequently appears on television news programs. He is a co-author of FIRE's Guide to Free Speech on Campus and has testified before the U.S. Senate about free speech issues on America's campuses. A graduate of Stanford Law School, he received the 2010 Ford Hall Forum's Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award on behalf of FIRE, and the Playboy Foundation’s 2008 Freedom of Expression Award.

audience and panel