Academic Freedom, The First Amendment, and the American University

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
TUE 3:55 - 5:45 pm TNH 3.115

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.  The book reviews the case law, revealing its inconsistencies and ambiguities, proposes a theory of academic freedom as a distinctive First Amendment right, and illustrates how the theory would apply to issues raised by the cases.  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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Important Class Changes

Date Updated
03/22/2023 New Course