This is a past event
Clark House, room 100

On Monday, April 29 at 4:30pm in Clark House Room 100 at Amherst College, Elizabeth Anker, Professor of English and Associate Member of the Law Faculty at Cornell University, will present a paper titled “Weaponizing Pluralism and the Dilemmas of Illiberal Speech.” This is the final presentation in a series of seminars that will take place this year on the theme “Law and Illiberalism.”

Professor Anker’s field of research includes human rights, law and literature, immigration law, and legal and political theory. She is the author of Fictions of Dignity: Embodying Human Rights in World Literature (Cornell, 2012). She is currently writing two books, On Paradox: Rights and the Claims of Theory and Our Constitutional Metaphors: Law, Culture, and the Management of Crisis.

To receive a copy of the paper which will be presented, please email the LJST Department assistant coordinator at

About the seminar series – Law and Illiberalism

With increasing pressure on liberal constitutional values in the United States and abroad, legal institutions face complex challenges. Such taken-for-granted phenomena as judicial independence, freedom of the press, and a commitment to truth are now under attack. "Law and Illiberalism" is designed to explore how legal institutions and legal officials can and should respond to those challenges.

What techniques and resources does law offer in the face of growing illiberalism? How can law check executive power when the executive insists that there is no difference between law and politics? What is law’s role in policing, protecting, framing truth in a world of radical lying and dissembling? What happens to free speech notions that the answer to bad and even false speech is more speech in a world of Facebook and Twitter? What pressures do such technologies place on liberal legal regimes? Does law have a role to play in protecting scientific truth? What lessons can be learned from examining other places or times when liberal values were under attack?

Contact Info

Stephen E. Laizer
(413) 542-2208
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