Faculty Seminar: Trans Identification, Online Speech, and Digital Power
Friday, March 19, 2021 - 11:00am to 12:30pm
Recent events at UNH involving online racial and gender fraud have increased harm to people already marginalized by white supremacy and heteropatriarchy, and thus to our academic institutions and disciplines. They also focus long-needed attention on the complex issues of passing and trans-identification, especially in a digital context. How can we address the messy and fascinating history of failures to know what race and gender are while also defining the material wrongs perpetrated by internet trolls who deploy racialized and gendered personas to attack marginalized groups?
This faculty seminar will complement our broader campus conversation around identity, representation, and free speech with an eye to advancing anti-racism and preserving hard-won freedoms. Journalist P.E. Moskowitz argues that, given the barriers to equal expression in an unequal world, the notion of “free speech” has been effectively evacuated. The term “free speech” itself, along with empty gestures toward the First Amendment, have historically been used to silence critics of racism and capitalism, from the country’s founding to Charlottesville and Standing Rock. Moskowtiz’s book The Case Against Free Speech: The First Amendment, Fascism, and the Future of Dissent argues that this loaded concept has ultimately been manipulated to limit freedom of expression among those whose speech is already endangered by a white supremacist and heteropatriarchal society.
In our discussion we will parse Moskowitz’s arguments in the context of recent events at UNH and beyond. We are grounded in commitments to the idea that black lives matter, to a valuation of transgender lives and transgender scholarship, and to extending these commitments to justice and equity on campus and beyond.
Registration required. The first 50 people to register will receive a hardcover copy of The Case against Free Speech
Hosted on the following Fridays 11:10-12:30
Registration required: first 50 to register will receive a hardcover copy of The Case against Free Speech by Moskowitz
Sponsored by the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Department of English and College of Liberal Arts