HISTORY OF FREE SPEECH

Events in France & the Maghreb as in North Carolina, challenge us to deepen the investigation of the comparative, Francophone-American history of free speech.  In this course we’ll study key concepts and questions that define the principle at the heart of the shared ideal of a Republic.  The political, religious/secular, and legal contexts shaping it; the State’s role of protecting it; the rights and limits of individual expression; the crimes of hate speech.  All our study of free speech will engage with its opposite: censorship.  A series of case studies ground our work: ‘fighting words’; authors pursued for incitement to hatred or obscenity; writing banned for blasphemy; journalists targeted.  Works include: Voltaire, Heloise and Abelard, Sade, Dolet, Céline, Camus, Djaout.  This course is intended for those at 300 level in French.