Free Speech: French Speaking World-USA
One course in French this semester is responding rightaway to President Price’s call to debate all the issues surrounding the defacing and removing of Confederate statues in Durham and on our campus.
FR/PJMS 335 Free Speech: French Speaking World – USA offers a wide-ranging investigation of the two traditions that claim inventing free speech and confronting its violent opposite. 9/11 made it an urgent matter to study; so did the murder of journalists in war zones. In the French-speaking world, Charlie Hebdo and attacks in Paris, Tunis, Beirut, and Bamako made clear the vital stakes in understanding why free speech is so charged. The course “seems to become more and more relevant with each passing year,” a student from last year’s class said.
This fall, it’s time again to consider the key questions defining the principle at the heart of the French and American Republics. The political, religious/secular, and legal contexts shaping it; the State’s role of protecting it; the rights and limits of individual expression.
Is defacing the statue of Robert E Lee in Duke Chapel a form of speech? How does it compare with French revolutionaries defacing statues on Notre Dame? Should Google and Facebook be able to regulate racist and anti-Semitic hate speech? What does French law, enacted after the Holocaust, tell us about prohibiting it?
Now is the time for students in French to participate in the campus-wide debate!