Our first event of the year is an interdisciplinary discussion ith leading Oxford thinker and political historian Timothy Garton Ash, who will explore the definitions of freedom of speech.

An evening of debate with TIMOTHY GARTON ASH, co-hosted by Oxford Student PEN and the St Anne’s College Graduate Discussion Groups
Tuesday 9 October 2012, 5.15pm to 6.15pm

Tsuzuki Lecture Theatre, St Anne’s College, Oxford


How do we define freedom of expression? Should there be limits placed on that freedom? And does it matter?

Headlines this summer have served to remind us that the question of freedom of expression is never far from the news or the international political agenda. Violent clashes over representations of the Prophet Mohamed in an American film and a French magazine, as well as those pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge, are only the latest and most high-profile ignitions of a debate that is constantly evolving. The perennial issues confronted by writers, editors, and publishers are increasingly faced by academics and researchers. With legal challenges mounted against scientists and the findings of their research fears are growing that the UK’s libel laws, now more than 100 years old, are stifling scientific discussion.

As a new Defamation Bill works its way through Parliament, Oxford Student PEN and the St Anne’s College Graduate Discussion Groups propose an interdisciplinary evening of free thinking on free speech. Leading Oxford thinker Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies at St Antony’s College, will introduce his international Free Speech Debate programme, and give a provocation of what free expression might mean for the twenty-first century, before engaging in discussion with the audience.


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