CEE | Center for Experimental Ethnography
The Documentaries & the Law lecture series on Media and the First Amendment, sponsored by Stephanie Abrutyn L’91, will consider the impact of the first amendment in documentaries and modern media.
This year’s lecture will be a Dialogue On Demagoguery and Free Speech between Professor Patricia Roberts-Miller, Professor and Director of the University Writing Center, Department of Rhetoric, The University of Texas at Austin and Professor Seth Kreimer, Kenneth W. Gemmill Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.
Demagoguery has been a frequent topic of American documentary films. Demagoguery is also seen as posing a threat to news media around the world today. But what precisely is “demagoguery”? Where does the power of its appeal of populism and irrational prejudice come from?
American demagoguery has a “peculiar” relationship to the First Amendment. Freedom of speech allows demagoguery to develop, yet free speech is generally among its targets. Nonetheless, a democratic society that pursues a political praxis of robust debate and disagreement is best able to fend off and recover from demagoguery’s polarization and factionalism. Can we trust the First Amendment to right the ship of state if it is overtaken by demagoguery and bring about a return to democratic deliberation?
Professor Roberts-Miller, a distant relative of Penn Law’s own Justice Owen J. Roberts, is the author of Demagoguery and Democracy, a pocket-size primer from Experiment Books. Professor Seth Kreimer is a constitutional law scholar who has represented plaintiffs in a range of constitutional litigation.
Held in GITTIS 214 | HAAGA CLASSROOM on Feb 20 at 5:00-7:30 PM
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