Keynote Part Two: Stewart Harris: Of Fascists and Snowflakes: Liberty, Equality, and the Modern American University
Former environmental, civil rights and First Amendment attorney, constitutional law professor and radio show host Stewart Harris presents and discusses issues close to home at any university around free speech, hate speech and how to navigate First Amendment rights at a public university. After a 45-60 minute talk, audience members will be invited to ask questions and further the conversation around issues facing Appalachian’s campus and beyond.
*This event may be recorded or live streamed.
Harris graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1986, where he won the school’s Edwin R. Keedy moot court championship.
He then worked for the federal government in Washington, D.C., where he spent four years on Capitol Hill advising the Army Corps of Engineers on civil works projects throughout the continental United States. His duties included drafting congressional testimony for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.
Harris subsequently worked for a large private law firm before establishing his own law practice in Florida. In Florida, he concentrated on environmental, civil rights and First Amendment law, notably obtaining a half-million dollars for a public official who had been libeled by a newspaper.
In 1999, Harris began teaching at the University of Florida College of Law. From 2001 to 2016, he taught at the Appalachian School of Law, where he earned the Faculty Scholarship Award and multiple awards for teaching. For the past several years he has also taught constitutional law during the summer semester at the University of Tennessee College of Law. In 2016, he started teaching at the Duncan School of Law.
In 2011, Harris created a public radio show, “Your Weekly Constitutional,” which is produced at WETS-FM, the NPR affiliate in Johnson City, Tennessee, and syndicated nationally. YWC is underwritten by the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at Montpelier, the historic home of the “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison. The show is on Facebook and Twitter, and podcasts are available on iTunes.
Say What? Examining Freedom of Speech at App State
Appalachian State University, like universities across the nation, faces 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?
Each semester, the Appalachian Community investigates these questions, and others like them, through intentional programming designed to explore meaningful, challenging issues respectfully.
Join us for a weeklong series of conversations, panel discussions, speeches and forums.