March 23-31, 2017
Examining Freedom of Speech at App State

What is Hate Speech?

A panel discussion featuring Dr. Paul Gates, Dr. Marian Williams and Dr. Cary Fraser
Thursday, March 23, 2017 / 5:00pm-7:00pm
114 Belk Library and Information Commons
Free event

Hate speech – it’s a term we hear in conversation, in the media and in discussions of free speech. But what does “hate speech” mean? Our faculty panel brings legal, political and journalism expertise to a discussion of the legal and social implications on our campus and in American society.

About the participants

Dr. Paul Gates

Dr. Paul Gates has been a member of the faculty at Appalachian since 1995, where he serves as professor in the Department of Communication. As chair of the Faculty Senate, Gates is an ex-officio member of Appalachian’s Board of Trustees. A former journalist, he is also a member of the Louisiana Bar Association. Gates holds a Ph.D. in mass communication/media law and policy from the University of Florida, and a juris doctorate from California Western School of Law.

Dr. Marian Williams

Dr. Marian Williams is a professor of criminal justice in Appalachian’s Department of Government and Justice Studies. Her areas of teaching interest include the court system, constitutional law and civil liberties. While at Appalachian, she has taught courses in the judicial process, constitutional law, law and society, criminal law, criminal procedure, and writing in criminal justice. Her areas of research have focused on the effectiveness of assigned counsel, bail practices and the use of civil asset forfeiture by the police. Her research has been published in a variety of journals, including Criminology, Justice Quarterly and Journal of Criminal Justice. Williams holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Georgia and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in criminology and criminal justice from Florida State University.

Dr. Cary Fraser

Dr. Cary Fraser has pursued a dual career as both an academic and a public intellectual in North America and the Caribbean. At Appalachian, he is associate professor of political science in the Department of Government and Justice Studies. Fraser teaches courses in civil rights, American political history in the 20th century, Caribbean history and politics, African diaspora in the Atlantic world, war and politics in post-1945 America and American citizenship.

Say What? Examining Freedom of Speech at App State

Appalachian State University, like universities across the nation, is faced with the challenge of balancing a respect for and obligation to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution with an institutional culture of respect for thought, belief and community.

  • When members of our community express themselves in ways that belittle or degrade others, how do we address these actions?
  • When members of our community view expressions of speech as threats, how do we ensure their safety?
  • How can we protect freedom of speech and thought for all members of our community?
  • Can we – or should we – use policy to address these matters?

Through a weeklong series of conversations, panel discussions, speeches and forums with experts in the field, our community will explore these questions, and others.

Join the conversations!

Learn more | View the entire schedule