Marian Miner Cook
Athenaeum

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC

Monday, March 2, 2020

Monday, March 02, 2020 - Evening Program
From Unlearning Liberty to "Coddling:" The Surprising Connection between Campus Free speech & Mental Health
Greg Lukianoff

Since 2001, Greg Lukianoff, now president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (“FIRE”) has been defending students and faculty across the political spectrum who have come under fire for their speech. After dealing with a personal serious depressive episode, Lukianoff came to realize that not only are young people today being taught the wrong lessons about free speech, but also the mental habits of the anxious and depressed. As he explored the issue further, he realized that these bad lessons had serious repercussions for everything from freedom of speech and mental health on campus to the health of democracy itself. Thus, in collaboration with NYU psychologist Jonathan Haidt, Lukianoff explored this idea and its many serious down-stream repercussions in “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.”   

Greg Lukianoff is an attorney, New York Times best-selling author, and the President and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). He is the author of “Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate,” “Freedom From Speech,” and FIRE’s “Guide to Free Speech on Campus.” Most recently, he co-authored “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure” with Jonathan Haidt. This New York Times best-seller expands on their September 2015 Atlantic cover story of the same name. Lukianoff is also an executive producer of "Can We Take a Joke?", a feature-length documentary that explores the collision between comedy, censorship, and outrage culture, both on and off campus.

Lukianoff has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and numerous other publications. He frequently appears on TV shows and radio programs, including the CBS Evening News, The Today Show, and NPR. In 2008, he became the first-ever recipient of the Playboy Foundation’s Freedom of Expression Award, and he has testified before both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives about free speech issues on America’s college campuses.

Mr. Lukianoff’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored with funding from CMC's Open Academy.

Photo credit: Pushnik Photography

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