Campus free speech – Challenges for rights and values

Over the last few years, many campuses have become embroiled in free speech controversies. From cancelled speakers to physical fights, it seems that no post-secondary institution is safe from this new phase of the culture wars.

In her recent book, Free Speech on Campus, Professor Sigal Ben-Porath suggests that campuses need to reaffirm their commitment to free speech and inclusion, and clarify that both are tightly linked to their core missions.

On Thursday 5 April, Ben-Porath, who is a professor in the Literacy, Culture and International Education Division of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education in the United States, will address the increasingly heightened debate around free speech on campus in the fourth annual Worldviews Lecture on Media and Higher Education.

The lecture will be hosted by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and the Centre for the Study of Canadian and International Higher Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada.

It is supported by University World News, Inside Higher Ed and Academica Group.

The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Paul Axelrod, former dean and professor of education at York University in Canada, Shree Paradkar, who writes on race and gender for the Toronto Star, Scott Jaschik, editor of the Washington-based Inside Higher Ed, and Jasmin Zine, professor of sociology and the Muslim studies option at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada.

They will further explore issues of free speech and the challenges posed to democratic values and minority rights in Canadian academia and beyond. The panel discussion will be moderated by Toronto Star columnist Rick Salutin.

For more information or to register, please visit