Davis, Markert, and Nickerson Academic and Intellectual Freedom Lecture

The annual Davis, Markert, Nickerson Lecture on Academic and Intellectual Freedom is named for three U-M faculty members—Chandler Davis, Clement Markert, and Mark Nickerson—who in 1954 were called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. All invoked constitutional rights and refused to answer questions about their political associations. The three were suspended from the University with subsequent hearings and committee actions resulting in the reinstatement of Markert, an assistant professor who eventually gained tenure, and the dismissal of Davis, an instructor, and Nickerson, a tenured associate professor.

Past Speakers

Jonathan Friedman
Director of Free Expression and Education Programs
PEN America

Event Page

Academic Freedom 2024: Educational Gag Orders, State Censorship, and the Fight for Higher Education

Jamelle Bouie
New York Times
Political Analyst
CBS News

Revisiting Du Bois and ‘The Propaganda of History’”

Dima Khalidi
Palestine Legal

A New McCarthyism? Academic Freedom and Palestine

Nadje S. Al-Ali
Robert Family Professor of International Studies
Professor of Anthropology and Middle East Studies
Brown University

Susan Benesch
Faculty Associate
Harvard University
Adjunct Professor
American University
Director, Dangerous Speech Project

Michael Bérubé
Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Literature
Pennsylvania State University

Melanie Tanielian
Associate Professor
History, University of Michigan

Panel Discussion: “Challenges to Academic Freedom in a Changing Landscape, at Home and Abroad”

Hank F. Reichman
AAUP Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure
Chair, AAUP Foundation
Professor Emeritus of History
California State University, East Bay

“Do Adjuncts Have Academic Freedom? Why Tenure Matters”

Gene Nicol
Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor
University of North Carolina

Academic Freedom: New Politics, Old School Censorship and Meaningful Constitutional Review

Michael Mann
Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science
Pennsylvania State University

“The Madhouse Effect: Climate Change Denial in the Age of Trump”

Marc Rotenberg
President and CEO
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Professor of Law
Georgetown Law

The Misunderstood Right to be Forgotten: The Future of Free Expression and Privacy in the Online World

Natalie Zemon
Davis Henry & Charles Lea Professor of History Emerita
Princeton University
Adjunct Professor of History and Medieval Studies
Senior Fellow in the Centre for Comparative Literature
University of Toronto

Experiencing Exclusion: Scholarship in the Wake of Inquisition

Joan Wallach Scott
Professor Emerita, School of Social Science
Institute for Advanced Study
Adjunct Professor of History, Graduate Center
City University of New York

Civility and Academic Freedom

Douglas Laycock
Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law
Professor of Religious Studies
University of Virginia School of Law

“Religious Liberty and the Culture Wars”

Marjorie Heins
Founding Director of the Free Expression Policy Project

Priests of Our Democracy: The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom and the Anti-Communist Purge

Robert C. Post
Dean and Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law
Yale Law School

The Constitutional Meaning of Academic Freedom

Ellen W. Schrecker
Professor of History
Yeshiva University

The Lost Soul of Higher Education

Michael A. Olivas
William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law
University of Houston Law Center

God, Grades, and Sex: The Developing Law of the College Classroom

Philip Hamburger
Maurice & Hilda Friedman Professor of Law
Columbia University School of Law

Galileo’s Ghost: Seventeenth-Century Censorship in Twenty- First-Century America

Cass R. Sunstein
Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law
Harvard Law School

My University.com, My Government.com: Is the Internet Really a Blessing for Democracy?

Nadine Strossen 
Professor of Law
New York Law School
President of the American Civil Liberties Union

Defending Freedom: Even for the Thoughts We Hate!

Bill Keller
Executive Editor, The New York Times

Editors in Chains: Secrets, Security and the Press

Floyd Abrams
Walter J. Brennan, Jr. Visiting Professor of First Amendment Law
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Partner, Cahill Gordon & Reindel

Whose Academic Freedom?

Noam Chomsky
Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Illegal but Legitimate: A Dubious Doctrine for the Times

David D. Cole
Professor of Law
Georgetown University Law Center

Freedom and Terror: September 11th and the 21st Century Challenge

Catharine A. MacKinnon
Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law
University of Michigan Law School

From Powerlessness to Power: The Uses of Academic Freedom

Vartan Gregorian
Carnegie Corporation of New York

Universities in the 21st Century: Perils, Challenges, and Prospects

Anthony Lewis
Journalist, New York Times
James Madison Visiting Professor
Columbia University

“Freedom: The Seamless Web”

David A. Hollinger
Chancellor’s Professor of History
University of California at Berkeley

“Universities and Cosmopolitanism”

Eugene L. Roberts, Jr.
Professor of Journalism
University of Maryland – College Park

“Free Speech, Free Press: Free Society”

Roger Wood Wilkins
Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History and American Culture
George Mason University

“Opportunity and Academic Integrity”

Avern Cohn
United States District Judge Eastern District of Michigan

“Academic Freedom: A Trial Judge’s View”

Linda Ray Pratt
Professor of English
University of Nebraska- Lincoln and
Past-President, AAUP

“Academic Freedom and the Merits of Uncertainty”

Walter P. Metzger
Emeritus Professor of History
Columbia University

“A Walk Along the New Frontiers of Academic Freedom”

Catharine R. Stimpson
University Professor and Dean of the Graduate School
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

“Dirty Minds, Dirty Bodies, Clean Speech”

Lee C. Bollinger
Dean and Professor of Law
University of Michigan Law School

“The Open-Minded Soldier and the University”

Robert M. O’Neil
Professor of Law and Founding Director
Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression

University of Virginia
“Inaugural Lecture”