Academic Freedom, The First Amendment, and the American University

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
TUE 3:45 - 5:35 pm TNH 3.116

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


This non-writing seminar will meet every other week to discuss the professor’s book in progress, Academic Freedom, the First Amendment, and the American University.  The book explores the emergence of academic freedom as a distinctive First Amendment right and its relationship to general First Amendment rights of free speech.  It observes that judicial decisions have extended this right to professors, universities, and students, whose interests in academic freedom may conflict.  It also observes that state interests and the constitutional rights of individual citizens may conflict with interests in academic freedom.  Examples of state interests include national security, public health, and the enforcement of laws prohibiting employment discrimination and harassing speech.  Examples of individual constitutional rights include free speech, the free exercise of religion, and equal protection.  After reviewing the case law, the book proposes a theory of First Amendment academic freedom to address these complicated issues.  Students will write two to three page reaction papers for every seminar meeting.  Class discussions will address the process of legal scholarship as well as the substantive contents of the book.  The course does not satisfy the law school’s writing requirement.  Grading will be pass/fail.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

No materials required


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