The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America
Free Speech


Free Speech or "Private, Family Speech"

Submitted by syntaxfactory on December 10, 2012 - 7:45am

I am not a Free Speech person -- I mean, as a scholar. So this category of "Private, Family Speech' is new to me. Can anyone help?


Why Teaching Free Speech Is Fun

Submitted by Jim Aune on December 1, 2011 - 7:29am

Part of the final project for our campus free speech course. On the very problematic 10th Circuit case, Axson-Flynn v. Johnson.


Freedom of Information Requests and Academic Freedom

Submitted by Jim Aune on December 1, 2011 - 7:19am

One result of the protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol last winter was an effort by Wisconsin Republicans to intimidate faculty members at the University of Wisconsin by filling open records requests for their emails. The distinguished historian William Cronon was one target, and he explains what happened and its consequences for academic freedom

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    Syllabi Bans Against "Prejudiced Comments"

    Submitted by Adria on May 30, 2011 - 9:12am

    On Facebook the other day, Jim Aune noted that "substantial numbers of liberal arts faculty at my institution believe placing a ban in their syllabi on 'prejudiced comments' by students is a 'best practice' for 'diversity.'" I commented that I still do not have such a ban, and that I, the woman whose dissertation focused on a critique of the free speech narrative, believe the classroom is perhaps one of the few places we can practice ethical engagement of the First Amendment with our students. What do you think?


    LSU Petition

    Submitted by syntaxfactory on May 17, 2011 - 6:17am

    Some petitions are circulating, originating from LSU, about a misunderstanding of Free Speech. See email below.

    If you teach a Freedom of Speech class at your institution, why not tell us a little about it in the comments? Such things are, I think, almost never taught in rhet/comp curricula (although there are literary courses on "banned books).


    Joe Rhodes,


    Snyder v. Phelps

    Submitted by Jim Aune on March 2, 2011 - 11:11am

    The Supremes just ruled in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church funeral pickets (8-1, Justice Alito dissenting). It's probably fortunate for defenders of free speech absolutism that CJ Roberts wrote the majority opinion. A good line: "Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and -- as it did here -- inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker."


    Koran on Fire

    Submitted by syntaxfactory on November 28, 2010 - 6:56am

    Is Free Speech "Blasphemy Proection?"


    Free Speech and the High School Paper

    Submitted by syntaxfactory on November 15, 2010 - 6:40pm

    From: hope for the future of journalism? --David Beard

    Quoted Below:


    Call of Duty: Video Games and Free Speech

    Submitted by Adria on October 19, 2010 - 2:49pm

    A friend of mine from high school, Eric Campbell, wrote a thoughtful review of the video game, Call of Duty, for his job. His article had a profound impact on the CEO of, who in appreciation for Eric's article, removed Call of Duty from the website. A link to the article is here: Call of Duty: Trivializing War? I haven't had a chance to respond to Jim A's provocative discussion on reworking on incitement doctrine, but I say again, I am not a free speech absolutist.