Annenberg Lecturer Carlin Romano has been named an Inaugural Free Speech Fellow by the University of California's new National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement in Washington, D.C. The Center, a project driven by UC President Janet Napolitano, former Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama, seeks to catalyze attention to free-speech issues across the country. It will convene a major conference on such matters at its Washington headquarters in early 2019.
Romano's fellowship, which comes with a $20,000 honorarium, invites him to visit a University of California campus of his choice in the fall to deliver two lectures on free speech, engage in a free-wheeling public debate with a UC faculty member on a key public issue, and conduct a Town-Hall conversation after the screening of an important film involving freedom of expression. Romano, who has been involved in several free-speech controversies in his career, will visit the University of California, Irvine, site of its own prominent free-speech clashes in the past decade.
As part of the project, Romano is also writing a four-part series, in his role as Critic-at-Large of the Chronicle of Higher Education, under the general rubric, "When Free Speech on Campus Becomes `Unacceptable.'" The first part, "How to Keep Violent Speech Off Campus," appeared in the June 17th issue of the Chronicle.
Romano recently finished the research portion of his Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University last year, a 6,000-word (not yet published) essay entitled, "Journalists Must Go Pro Bono--They're Not Pro Bono Enough." This summer Romano is the Inaugural Foreign Philosopher in Fudan University's School of Philosophy in Shanghai, where he delivered five lectures on John Dewey and other subjects in American philosophy. He will teach "Comparative Journalism" in the fall.