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Coors forum to explore free speech and ‘cancel culture’

The tension between free speech and “cancel culture” will be explored in the next installment of the Peter ’69 and Marilyn ’69 Coors Conversation Series.

The Oct. 1 forum will feature journalist Masha Gessen and linguist John McWhorter.

The series, which launched in fall 2019, brings together speakers with diverse political viewpoints and provides the Ithaca campus community with a forum for intellectual discourse on difficult yet timely issues.

The event, which starts at 6 p.m., is free and open to students, faculty and staff. It will be held virtually via Zoom. Registration with a Cornell NetID is required.

Gessen is the author of 11 books, including “The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia,” which won the National Book Award for nonfiction in 2017. A staff writer at The New Yorker, Gessen has covered an array of political subjects – from Russia to LGBT rights to Donald Trump – in The New York Times, Vanity Fair and other publications.

McWhorter is an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, where he teaches linguistics, American studies and music history. A contributing editor at The Atlantic, he is the author of more than 20 books, including “Words on the Move: Why English Won’t – and Can’t – Sit Still (Like, Literally),” and hosts Slate’s podcast, “Lexicon Valley.”

Their discussion will be moderated by Odette Lienau, professor of law and associate dean for faculty research and intellectual life.

The forum will include an audience Q&A, with questions submitted on Zoom’s Q&A feature.

Media Contact

Rachel Rhodes