PEN America’s Free Expression Student Summit- UC Irvine

UC Irvine Student Summit Image - Fall 2023

PEN America and UC Irvine are teaming up to co-host the first-ever Free Expression Student Summit in Irvine this fall. Our half-day program will include workshops led by UCI faculty on a variety of topics related to free expression including international human rights, book bans and educational gag orders, news media literacy, and protest rights in the United States. During lunch, students will also be invited to a special opportunity fair where they can learn about jobs, internships, fellowships, and other engagements to take part in free expression advocacy at UC Irvine, with PEN America, and beyond.

Main events include:

  • PEN America: Defending Free Expression in US and Around the World
    Lunch & Opportunity Fair
    Michelle Deutchman, Executive Director, UC Center for Free Expression and UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement: “Expression Controversies and Challenges on Campus”


This event is open to students at UC Irvine and is free to attend. Lunch will be provided. Capacity is limited so register as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact Fran Hom, [email protected].






  • Simone Chambers and Jeff Kopstein (Political Science), “Civility, Citizenship, and the Right to Protest”
  • Julia Lerch and Evan Schofer (Sociology), “Defending Academic Freedom at Home and Abroad”
  • Judy Wu (Asian American Studies and History), “Multimedia Approaches to Writing for Justice”
  • Kristin Turney (Sociology), “Free Speech in Prison”
  • Hashmat Nadirpor (Law), “Freedom To Write from an International Human Rights Law Perspective”
  • Sherine Hamdy (Anthropology), “Nurturing Communities of Free Speech: Think Globally, Act Locally”
  • Duncan Pritchard (Philosophy), “Understanding Fake News (and Why It Matters)”


Year of Free Speech:


Year of Free SpeechThis event is in support of UC Irvine’s 2023-24 University-wide Thematic Year on Free Speech, Academic Freedom, and Conversations Across the Divide. For the 2023-24 academic year, UC Irvine is organizing a wide-ranging series of programs and events designed to provide our community with a deeper understanding of the values of free expression and academic freedom. This will also address and model what it means for people who disagree with one another to discuss and debate their differences in a way consistent with the norms of an academic community. This universitywide set of thematic events and programs is co-sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor and by the UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement, led by Executive Director Michelle Deutchman, and involves schools, programs and division-specific activities organized throughout the university.