After twenty years of teaching political theory and constitutional law to Marlboro College undergraduates, Meg Mott has taken her love of argument to the general public. She attended the University of New Hampshire in the 1970s and is currently teaching at Keene State College. Meg’s award-winning series Debating Our Rights on the first ten amendments brings civil discussions on contentious issues to public libraries and colleges.
Putney, VT 05346
Available Program Formats: In person or online presentations
Meg Mott's Programs
The First Amendment
The First Amendment protects our most basic freedoms, none more important than freedom of speech. But what do we do about speech that threatens to destroy the social fabric? This presentation considers the constitutional arguments for and against hate speech codes and why the Supreme Court ruled against St. Paul's hate speech ordinance. If hate speech codes are unconstitutional, it falls on citizens to find other ways to counter hateful speech. We'll explore what capacities citizens need to preserve freedom and the social fabric. Could it be that persuasion and deliberation might be better strategies for all of us?
What the Declaration of Independence offers U.S. Social Movements
No other sentence in American history has done as much work as the one that begins "We hold these truths to be self-evident." Starting in 1777, when it became the basis of petition to end slavery in Massachusetts, to the 1960s, when Huey Newton used it to justify armed rebellion, the Declaration has provided the operating instructions for a free nation. Come discuss how people have used the Declaration to argue for social change and explore how the digital era has impacted protest movements.