In the past year, student protests have erupted at colleges nationwide. At the University of Missouri (Mizzou), protestors responding to a series of racist incidents on campus tried to block journalists from entering their encampment. At Princeton, students staged a sit-in to demand Woodrow Wilson’s name be removed from a building. At Yale University, a controversy about offensive Halloween costumes led to a lecturer’s resignation. To some, all these students are speaking out against injustice. But critics say their demands have created an atmosphere of intolerance for opposing or unpopular points of view. Are the protestors silencing free speech, or are they just trying to be heard? On Tuesday, March 1, Intelligence Squared U.S. brings its tenth year of debates to the Yale University itself for a live debate on the motion “Free Speech Is Threatened on Campus.”

Arguing for the motion are Wendy Kaminer, a writer and civil libertarian who has written extensively on the issue, and John McWhorter, a professor at Columbia who wrote a much-discussed op-ed on the topic this fall for the Wall Street Journal. Arguing against the motion are Jason Stanley, a professor at Yale who has been outspoken in support of the protesters there, and a partner.

The debate will be held at the Yale Repertory Theatre and stream live online, then air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast “Intelligence Squared U.S.” The debate is sponsored in part by the Adam Smith Society, a project of the Manhattan Institute. On March 1, online viewers can tune in here ( or via IQ2’s app (

WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates “Free Speech Is Threatened On Campus”

WHEN: Tue, March 1, 2016 / Debate 6:30-8:00 PM

WHERE: Yale Repertory Theatre / 1120 Chapel Street (at York) / New Haven, CT 06520

TICKETS: $20 (free for students, Yale staff and alumni). To purchase, visit

Arguing for the motion:

* Wendy Kaminer: Writer & Lawyer

Wendy Kaminer, an author, lawyer, and civil libertarian, has been writing about the intersections of law and culture for the past 30 years. Her subjects range from feminism, free speech, religion, and the personal development tradition to criminal justice and the post 9/11 surveillance state. She has published eight books, including Worst Instincts; Free for All; Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials; It’s All the Rage; A Fearful Freedom; and I’m Dysfunctional, You’re Dysfunctional. A former Guggenheim fellow and Smith College medalist, she is an adviser to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and a member of the Massachusetts State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

* John McWhorter: Professor of Linguistics, Columbia University

John McWhorter teaches linguistics, philosophy, American Studies and music at Columbia University. He specializes in language change and language contact. He is the author of many books, including The Language Hoax, What Language Is, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, Word on the Street, The Power of Babel and Losing the Race. A contributing editor at The New Republic, he has also been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker. Prior to Columbia, he was an associate professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, and a fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Arguing against the motion:

* Jason Stanley: Professor of Philosophy, Yale University

Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. Before coming to Yale in 2013, he was Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University. He has also been a professor at the University of Michigan and Cornell University. Stanley has published four books, two in epistemology, one in philosophy of language and semantics, and one in social and political philosophy. Stanley’s fourth book, How Propaganda Works, was published by Princeton University Press in 2015. Stanley earned his PhD from MIT.

*Shaun Harper: Exec. Dir., Center for the Study of Race & Equity in Education, UPenn

Recognized in Education Week as one of the 12 most influential professors in the field of education, Shaun R. Harper produces groundbreaking research on race, equity, and students at U.S. colleges and universities. He teaches in the Graduate School of Education, Africana Studies, and Gender Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he founded and serves as executive director of the Center for the Study of Race & Equity in Education. He is author of over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and other academic publications, and recipient of nearly $12 million in research grants. Johns Hopkins University Press is publishing Race Matters in College, Harper’s 13th book. The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chronicle of Higher Education, and over 11,000 other newspapers have quoted Harper and featured his research. He has been interviewed on CNN, ESPN, and NPR, and is president-elect of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.


A non-partisan, nonprofit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to restore civility, reasoned analysis and constructive public discourse to today’s often biased media landscape. IQ2US reaches millions through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts and interactive digital content. It is one of the top 25 most popular podcasts on iTunes, and has won the 2014 Clarion Award for Radio Regular Feature Program and three consecutive 2013-2015 New York Festivals International Radio Awards for Best Public Affairs Program. The debates have attracted some of the world’s top thinkers, including Malcolm Gladwell, Paul Krugman, Laura Ingraham, Nicholas Carr, Arianna Huffington, Peter Thiel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Andrew Solomon, and Hannah Rosin. With over 100 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to “think twice” on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008. The executive producer is Dana Wolfe.

For more information on Intelligence Squared U.S., please contact Ray Padgett ( or Mark Satlof ( at Shore Fire Media.

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