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UT’s Department of History will host a symposium Monday, April 10, exploring the history and future of intellectual autonomy on college campuses.

The event, which will feature a panel of faculty members from various UT departments, will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the College of Law Auditorium, Room 132. It is free and open to the public.

“Today’s controversies are only the latest chapters in a much longer story of university communities engaging in the defense of intellectual freedom,” said Ernie Freeberg, head of the UT Department of History and the event co-organizer.

The question of universities’ intellectual autonomy has been the subject of conversation and controversy in recent years. Panelists will examine historic and current topics including the McCarthy era, the prospects for secular religious studies, intelligent design in science classrooms, the relationship between academic freedom and artistic expression, the role of the American Association of University Professors, and the role of students in advocating free speech on campus.

The panelists are:

  • Bruce Wheeler, professor emeritus of history
  • Charles Maland, chair of the Cinema Studies Program
  • Rosalind Hackett, religious studies department head
  • Beauvais Lyons, Chancellor’s Professor in the School of Art
  • Ed Caudill, professor of journalism and electronic media
  • Joan Heminway, Rick Rose Distinguished Professor of Law
  • Mary McAlpin, professor of modern foreign languages and literatures


Max Matherne (865-974-5421,

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,