International scholar to discuss free speech and first amendment at NDSU

Photo by: NDSU
Photo by: NDSU

(Fargo, ND) -- The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution will be examined during “The First: How to Think about Hate Speech, Campus Speech, Religious Speech, Fake News, and Post-Truth,” an event scheduled Friday, April 1st, at noon in the NDSU Memorial Union’s Anishinaabe Theater and via Zoom.

Stanley Fish, Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and Law at Florida International University, will discuss such questions as:

  • How does the First Amendment really work?
  • Is it a principle or a value?
  • What is hate speech and should it always be banned?
  • Are we free to declare our religious beliefs in the public square?
  • What role, if any, should companies like Facebook play in policing the exchange of thoughts, ideas, and opinions?

Fish argues that freedom of speech is a double-edged concept – it frees us from constraints, but it also frees us to say and do terrible things.

Fish previously taught at the University of California, Berkeley; Johns Hopkins University; Duke University; and the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He has received many honors and awards, including being named the Chicagoan of the Year for Culture. He is the author of several renowned books, including “Winning Argument,” “How Milton Works,” “There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech: And It’s a Good Thing, Too” and “How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One.” He is a former columnist for the New York Times and his articles have appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Harper’s, Esquire and the Atlantic.

Fish will sign copies of his book both before and after his presentation outside the NDSU Bookstore in the Memorial Union.