EVENT: Timed to coincide closely with the first anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, a three-day conference on “What Cannot Be Said: Freedom of Expression in a Changing World” will take place on the University of California, Irvine and USC campuses. It will examine the changing parameters of expression as the horizons of freedom shift under the pressures of technology, social media and repressive regimes. Internet freedom advocate and activist Rebecca MacKinnon will deliver the keynote address, and the event will feature a live conversation with Edward Snowden in Moscow. Participants include prominent policymakers, legal analysts, writers, political cartoonists, stand-up comedians, musicians, artists and journalists.

WHEN/WHERE: Jan. 22-24 at the UCI School of Law (bldg. 4, grid G11 on campus map), the UCI Student Center (bldg. 113, grid E8 on campus map) and ballrooms A and B in USC’s Ronald Tutor Campus Center (grid D5.5 on campus map)

INFORMATION: Media planning to attend events held on the UCI campus should contact Annabel Adams at amadams@uci.edu. Media planning to attend events held on the USC campus should contact Gilien Silsby at gsilsby@law.usc.edu. Parking is complimentary for media who RSVP in advance.


Friday, Jan. 22 UCI School of Law

  • 3:45 p.m.: Welcome remarks by UCI professor of English Amy Wilentz.
  • 4-5:30 p.m.: Roundtable with political cartoonists Zunar, Steve Brodner, Ann Telnaes, Matt Bors and Lalo Alcaraz. Moderated by Tom Lutz, founder and editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Review of Books and UC Riverside professor of creative writing.
  • 6-7:30 p.m.: Keynote address by Rebecca MacKinnon, Internet freedom advocate. Introduction by Georges Van Den Abbeele, dean of the UCI School of Humanities.

Saturday, Jan. 23 UCI Student Center (morning) and UCI School of Law

  • 9-10 a.m.: “Stand-Up 1,” with author, radio commentator, playwright, actress and comedian Sandra Tsing Loh.
  • 10:30 a.m.-noon: Google hangout with Edward Snowden, whistleblower and cybersecurity expert, in conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Barton Gellman. Q&A to follow.
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m.: “The Law, the Media & the Changing Parameters of Free Expression,” with New York Law School professor Nadine Strossen; attorney Paul Smith; UCLA Blueprint editor Jim Newton; and UCI law professor David Kaye, N. special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Moderated by Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UCI’s School of Law.
  • 2:45-4 p.m.: “Freedom of Expression in Repressive Conditions,” with author Louisa Lim, former NPR China correspondent; William Dobson, political editor at Slate; author Nina Khrushcheva, Russian American professor at The New School; and author Saree Makdisi, UCLA professor of comparative literature. Moderated by Jeffrey Wasserstrom, UCI Chancellor’s Professor of history.
  • 4:30-5:45 p.m.: “The New Correct: Freedom of Expression on Campus,” with Barry Glassner, president of Lewis & Clark College; author Caitlin Flanagan, a contributor to The Atlantic; author David Palumbo-Liu, professor of comparative literature at Stanford University; and Brendan O’Neill, editor of spiked. Moderated by Arlene Keizer, UCI associate professor of English.

Sunday, Jan. 24 – USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center

  • 10-11 a.m.: “Religion & Freedom of Expression,” with Sherman Jackson, King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought & Culture at USC; Krista Tippett, host of NPR’s “On Being”; author Laila Lalami, UC Riverside professor of creative writing; and Rabbi Sharon Brous. Moderated by author David Myers, Sady & Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History at
  • 11:15 a.m.-noon: “Stand-Up 2,” with comedian Azhar Usman.

This conference is sponsored by UCI’s Forum for the Academy & the Public. Lead organizers include the UCI School of Humanities, the UCI School of Law, UCI Illuminations, USC Center for Law, History and Culture, USC Law School, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. For more information, including the event’s full agenda, or to RSVP, visit sites.uci.edu/freedom.