Associate professor of philosophy Chris W. Surprenant received a $45,000 grant from the Institute for Humane Studies to support activities focusing on freedom of speech, especially within the context of U.S. colleges and universities. Surprenant is the founding director of the Alexis de Tocqueville Project, an academic research, public policy and educational programming center at the University of New Orleans dedicated to examining the history of Western moral and political thought.
“This topic is especially timely given recent political developments and ongoing discussions on college campuses relating to free speech, safe spaces and the aim of universities,” Surprenant said.
The grant will support several scholarly events, including a January 25th panel discussion at UNO with Thomas Cushman, a professor of sociology at Wellesley College, and Peter Wood, National Association of Scholars president. Additionally, UNO will host a weekend conference for undergraduates at its Lakefront campus and an academic conference on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina set to take place over Mardi Gras weekend (Feb. 26-26, 2017).
The Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) is housed at George Mason University. The organization engages with students and professors around the country to encourage the study and advancement of a free and open society. IHS partners with faculty to run campus programs and connects scholars to opportunities to inform policy debates.