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Free Expression

How Free Should Speech Be?

Lindsay Hoffman | Posted 09.30.2014 | Media
Lindsay Hoffman

It's worth reconsidering such normative questions in the face of disputes over freedom of expression and censorship, whether they regard Hollywood photo scandals or threats toward national security.

Hundreds Rally in New York for Release of Ilham Tohti

PEN American Center | Posted 09.30.2014 | World
PEN American Center

More than 200 supporters joined PEN American Center Monday night at a public candlelight vigil for Ilham Tohti, the Uyghur writer and scholar who was sentenced to life in prison on September 23 in China on unfounded charges of separatism.

#FreeIlham: Writers Pose for a Cause

PEN American Center | Posted 07.19.2014 | Arts
PEN American Center

As his daughter Jewher Ilham accepted the award on his behalf, she had one last request from the luminaries in the room, who included James Salter, Jennifer Egan, John Waters and even members of Pussy Riot: support the campaign for her father's release online with the hashtag #FreeIlham.

It Wasn't the American Flag Versus the Mexican Flag: Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District

Gary L. Bostwick | Posted 03.03.2014 | Education
Gary L. Bostwick

I wish press releases and media reports and even politicians were more scrupulous in reporting what really happened in court cases about free speech. ...

We Don't Need Your Stories: President Obama and Sensationalizing Surveillance

Deji Olukotun | Posted 02.08.2014 | Books
Deji Olukotun

Whether or not NSA employees themselves are "interested" in reading text messages does not change the fact that they can, and the checks and balances that should in principle limit their ability to do so have failed to work.

Visualizing the Digital Repression of Writers

Deji Olukotun | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Deji Olukotun

Since PEN is a 90-year-old organization that has had some illustrious writers in its membership, we had to decide who we would consider a writer in the 21st century.

Live Tweets, Journalism, Middle East Culture and NPR Branding

Jeremy Harris Lipschultz | Posted 10.20.2013 | Media
Jeremy Harris Lipschultz

As the story in Egypt continues to unfold, mature questions need to be asked about the role of Twitter in news reporting.

PEN 10: An Interview with Masha Hamilton

PEN American Center | Posted 08.04.2013 | Books
PEN American Center

I've written on moving subways and in war zones, in cemeteries and in hospitals, as well as more prosaically in libraries and behind desks.

High School Violated Class President's Rights With Suspension

Adam Goldstein | Posted 07.08.2013 | Politics
Adam Goldstein

If you have identifiable people who are threatening to fight, you suspend them. If you don't have identifiable people who are threatening to fight, then you're making it up and you don't have a legitimate, let alone substantial, risk.

Open Source Design Tools for Human Rights Activists

Deji Olukotun | Posted 03.24.2013 | Impact
Deji Olukotun

The world's premier human rights organizations often have entire communications teams with dedicated graphic designers to celebrate their work. But not every organization can afford to have a designer. Not to worry!

Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo's Imprisonment a Painful Reminder of China's Dictatorship

Thor Halvorssen | Posted 12.10.2012 | World
Thor Halvorssen

Three Decembers ago, Mr. Liu, a university professor, was tried and sentenced to 11 years in a Chinese prison. His crime: he authored and promoted Charter 08, a manifesto that appeals for freedom of expression, democratic elections, and human rights in China.

Free Speech: Just a Recent Fad?

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 12.08.2012 | College
Greg Lukianoff

It should not come as a surprise that some of these voices against free speech arise out of higher education. Yet the great irony in this is that our colleges should be places where people live the reality of the potential that is unleashed by free expression.

The Banning of Harry Potter

Deji Olukotun | Posted 11.07.2012 | Books
Deji Olukotun

Harry Potter is now the most banned book in America, according to the American Library Association. But these books have taught children to read, to think, to write and to criticize, all hallmarks of free expression.

Gold, Guns and Books Part II: The Meyomesse Affair

Deji Olukotun | Posted 09.08.2012 | World
Deji Olukotun

In January, I wrote about the bizarre case of the imprisonment of writer Enoh Meyomesse in Cameroon, a country with a terrible record on free expression. Why is Mr. Meyomesse still in prison?

A Bold New Literary Festival in Haiti

Deji Olukotun | Posted 06.30.2012 | World
Deji Olukotun

Two years after Georges Anglade's death, PEN Haiti announced its re-emergence on the international literary scene with full fanfare last weekend.

Rog Walker's 'The Meaning Of Love'

Rog Walker | Posted 02.16.2012 | Black Voices
Rog Walker

2012-02-14-20120213Meaning11.jpg Love with and through your art, your relationships, and your dreams, rather than seeking meaning in those things alone. To know love and to show love is to believe in eternal value.

Gold, Guns and Books: the Meyomesse Affair

Deji Olukotun | Posted 03.24.2012 | World
Deji Olukotun

Writer Enoh Meyomesse landed in Yaounde, Cameroon after a trip to Singapore on November 22. As he deplaned, the national police detained him, searched his belongings, and accused him of stealing gold as part of a sophisticated coup d'état against President Paul Biya.

China as Poster Boy for IP Protection?

Leslie Harris | Posted 02.08.2012 | Technology
Leslie Harris

In the middle of one of the most contentious debates in Congress about intellectual property in recent memory, the MPAA appears to have finally found an analogy that it believes will persuade skeptics to support slash-and-burn piracy bills now before Congress: Google in China.

Free Speech, the N-word, and an Orientation Issue Come to a Head at NC State

Dan Reimold | Posted 09.12.2011 | College
Dan Reimold

The second college media controversy of the summer centered on an orientation issue has surfaced at North Carolina State University. According to a S...

Free Speech, Academic Freedom, and First Amendment Rights of College Faculty

David Moshman | Posted 06.18.2011 | College
David Moshman

We should not be lulled into complacency about the state of academic freedom. At the academic core of teaching and research, intellectual freedom is no longer protected by the First Amendment.

Colleges Should Have Faith in Religious Speech

Adam Goldstein | Posted 05.25.2011 | College
Adam Goldstein

One of the unusual aspects of student speech law is that some problems are seasonal. For example, showdowns over high school yearbook themes tend to h...

When Enough is Enough: Corporate Responsibility in China and Beyond

Leslie Harris | Posted 05.25.2011 | Technology
Leslie Harris

In the wake of Google's announcement on Monday that they were redirecting mainland Chinese users to an uncensored version of search through Hong Kong,...

Pakistan: Free Detained Opposition Activists

Human Rights Watch | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Human Rights Watch

The government of Pakistan should end its crackdown against activists of opposition groups led by the Pakistan Muslim League.