Institute hosts dialogue on academic freedom

On Wednesday, October 25, Danielle Allen of Harvard University and Peter Berkowitz of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University participated in the St. Olaf College Institute for Freedom and Community’s fall series, “Academic Freedom: Its Meaning and Limits.”

Well-known for their academic scholarship, as well as for opinion pieces that have appeared in places such as the Washington Post, RealClearPolitics, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, Allen and Berkowitz engaged in a timely dialogue about the idea and implications of academic freedom and politics in the classroom.

The discussion was moderated by St. Olaf Professor of Religion and Philosophy Edmund Santurri, the Morrison Family Director of the Institute for Freedom and Community. It is available online.

As campus incidents from Middlebury to Berkeley grab national headlines, Allen and Berkowitz helped the St. Olaf community to make sense of the issues at hand, both through their thoughtful observations of current events but also by modeling, themselves, a civil exchange of diverse opinions on a contentious topic.

Allen is the James Bryan Conant University Professor at Harvard University; is author of, among other texts, Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality (2014) and Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A. (W. W. Norton, 2017); and is a contributor at the Washington Post.

Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover institution at Stanford University; is author of, among other texts, Constitutional Conservatism: Liberty, Self-Government, and Political Moderation (2013); and is a contributor at RealClearPolitics.

Established at St. Olaf in 2014, the Institute for Freedom and Community encourages free inquiry and meaningful debate, and offers a distinctive opportunity to cultivate civil discourse within the context of a liberal arts setting.