American Sociological Association

Sociology-Focused Resources on Campus Speech

The ASA affirms the critical value of speech rights on college campuses. Attacks on speech and speakers fundamentally jeopardize the intellectual heart of sociology and, in several cases, the wellbeing of sociologists. Therefore, such rights to free campus speech must constantly be safeguarded to ensure that institutions of higher education remain laboratories of learning and expression.

To that end, we offer the following resources for members and others to better understand what comprises free speech on campus and find the tools to help protect it.


ASA Statement on Campus Speech (August 22, 2017)

On Air: Sociologists Discuss Freedom of Speech on College Campuses (August 4, 2017)


Faculty Under Attack (Sociologists for Women in Society)

Modern Language Association Toolkit on Academic Freedom

American Association of University Professors Resources on Academic Freedom

New Guidance for Trustees on Free Speech Issues (Inside Higher Ed on Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges)

Grants for Sociologists and Other Academics Under Attack (AAUP)

Tips for Responding to Right-Wing Attacks (Inside Higher Ed,  November 7, 2017)


On the Recent Attacks and Violence toward Progressive Scholars
editorial by David G. Embrick, David L. Brunsma (Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, August 18, 2017)

How a Group of Instructors Is Standing Up to the Right-Wing Outrage Machine 
(Chronicle of Higher Education, September 13, 2017)

Conservatives say campus speech is under threat. That’s been true for most of history
by Todd Gitlin (Washington Post, August 11, 2017)

How online cruelty can turn people off political engagement
By Justin Knoll (August 9, 2017)

Belly of the Beast:  Sociologists call for a systematic response to online targeting of and threats against public scholars
(Inside Higher Ed, August 14, 2017)

‘If There’s an Organized Outrage Machine, We Need an Organized Response’
By Chris Quintana (Chronicle of Higher Education, July 18, 2017)

Protect Scholars Against Attacks From the Right
By Jessie Daniels and Arlene Stein (Inside Higher Ed, June 26, 2017)
As right-wing groups scale up their attacks on higher education, colleges and universities need to take bold steps to support scholars who are being targeted, Daniels and Stein argue.

Op-Ed: The case for restricting hate speech
By Laura Beth Nielsen (Los Angeles Times, June 21, 2017)

There’s a well-funded campus industry behind the Ann Coulter incident
By Amy Binder (Washington Post, May 1, 2017)

Academic Outrage: When The Culture Wars Go Digital
Blog post by Tressie McMillan

Everyday Sociology - Who Deserves Freedom of Speech?
Blog post by C.N. Le

On Speech & Belonging
John A. Powell, Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society


Sociology and Its Publics: Reframing Engagement and Revitalizing the Field by Douglas Hartmann (The Sociological Quarterly, 2016)

Working at the Intersection of Race and Public Policy: The Promise (and Perils) of Putting Research to Work for Societal Transformation
by Amanda E. Lewis, David G. Embrick (Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, May 24, 2016)

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