Greensboro, North Carolina—The UNCG Department of Communication, with major funding from the National Communication Association, presents “Finding Expression in Contested Public Spaces: Free Speech Conference 2019” on Thursday and Friday October 24 and 25 in the Virginia Dare room of the House of the Elders on the UNCG campus.

The conference is designed to affirm the principles of freedom of expression, highlight scientific contributions and present community presentations addressing current concerns, debates and promises of free speech. Students, community members and faculty will share their scholarships, creative products, and advocacy interventions on contested campus and community issues. Conference organizer Dr Spoma Jovanovic is Professor of Communication Studies and 2019-2010 Fellow of the National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement at the University of California.

Thursday nightly activities, 7-9 p.m., will feature the memory of the Greensboro Massacre with 40 seconds of silence and an opening speech, “Tribalism, Voicelessness and the Problem of Free Speech Presented by Dr. Eric King Watts of UNC-Chapel Hill before concluding with light refreshments. Dr Watts will examine the role post-truth plays in producing and amplifying intensely antagonistic audiences. He will discuss recent incidents of racial violence and controversies surrounding (anti) immigration policies and practices – acts that materialize that matter and that don’t – to examine how loud and angry voices are raised that make increasingly speechless democratic politics.

Friday, hourly sessions from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., will explore a variety of issues related to the controversies and teaching of the First Amendment, freedom of speech, and public expression, including: freedom of speech and popular music, video games, participatory democracy, controversies surrounding public monuments, rights of the homeless, speakers’ corners around the world, nonviolent mass movements and free speech laws on campus. Each session will include time for questions and answers.

The conference extends the commitment of the Department of Communication Studies at UNCG to deepen civic learning in the discipline and builds on the success of three previous symposia on the theme of Communication and Democracy organized by the department. since 2017.

Find expression in contested public spaces
Conference on Freedom of Expression 24-25 October 2019 Salle Virginia Dare, UNCG

THURSDAY – 10/24/19

7:00 p.m.-9: 00 p.m .: Welcome, Greensboro Massacre 40e Commemoration and opening speech

Welcome and 40 seconds of silence in commemoration of the Greensboro massacre

Dr Spoma Jovanovic, UNC Greensboro

Keynote Address: Tribalism, Lack of Voice and the Problem of Freedom of Expression

Dr Eric King Watts, UNC Chapel Hill

FRIDAY – 25/10/19

8: 00-8: 50 a.m .: Pedagogy and the 1st Amendment

Moderator: Dr. Spoma Jovanvoic, UNCG Department of Communication Studies

Welcome remarks

Dr. John Kiss, Dean of UNCG of the College of Arts and Sciences

Music as communication activism: educating for freedom through an interdisciplinary service-learning project

Mark Congdon Jr. and Lamera Palmer, The College of Saint Rose

Video games as freedom of expression: reproducing inequalities and pushing justice to the margins

Marina Lambrinou, UNC Greensboro and Yacine Kout, University of North Georgia

9: 00-9: 50 a.m .: Academic freedom and freedom of expression on campus

Moderator: Michael Frierson, UNCG chapter of AAUP

The freedom to listen

Lisbeth Lipari, Denison University

The First Amendment and the NC Campus Free Speech Act: their application to public universities in North Carolina

Jerry Blakemore. UNC Greensboro

Bypass the clear and present danger test

Craig Smith, California State University, Long Beach

10: 00-10: 50 a.m .: Contested public spaces

Moderator: Anna Fesmire, League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad

Legislate memory: accommodate challenges to public monuments

Laura Ricciardi, State University of New York at Purchase College

Social power and the right to the city: homelessness, access to public space, activism and

First amendment

Marcus Hyde, UNC Greensboro and Gary Kenton and Zalonda Woods, community members

Video of activists from local Greensboro leaders funded by the UNCG-Mellon Foundation

11: 00-11: 50 a.m .: Limits of freedom of expression and expression

Moderator: Dr Roy Schwartzman, UNCG Department of Communication Studies

Greensboro, 1963: Mass nonviolence at the frontiers of free speech

Thomas Jackson, UNC Greensboro

Money, Speech and Power: Participatory Budgeting as a Path to Free Speech in Public Spending

Vincent Russell and Therese Gardner, University of Colorado, Boulder

Speakers’ corners around the world

Spoma Jovanovic, UNC Greensboro

13h00-13h50: Violence, Hatred, Control of freedom of expression

Moderator: Holly Williams, UNCG Department of Communication Studies

Identity and Free Speech: The Social Justice Rhetoric of African American Women

Sarah Hollingsworth, Oklahoma State University

Balancing the Goods of Speech in a Postmodern Historical Moment

David Errera, Duquesne University

A Safe Space for the White Race: An Interrogation of White Nationalist Propaganda on College Campuses

Gabriel Cruz, High Point University and Patrick Sawyer, UNC Greensboro

14h00-14h50: Talk about Race

Moderator: Doris Wesley, UNCG Department of Communication Studies

Powerful unpacking of the Race Talk

Sonny Kelly and Elizabeth M. Melton, UNC Chapel Hill


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