Index on Censorship and Wellesley College launching an annual Freedom of Expression lecture
28 Feb 2017

Leading international freedom of expression organisation Index on Censorship and the Freedom Project at Wellesley College, Boston, are pleased to announce the launch of a new partnership to promote awareness of censorship.

The partnership includes a series of events at Wellesley College in early March and an annual Freedom of Expression keynote lecture, which this year will be given by Danish journalist and editor Flemming Rose on Thursday 9 March. Mr Rose, the editor who commissioned cartoons of the prophet Mohammed that sparked international controversy in 2006, is an international advocate for free speech and is the author of several books about his experiences with censorship and threats of violence. In 2015 Rose was awarded the prestigious Publicist Prize from Denmark’s national press club and received the Honor Award for defending free speech from the Norwegian Fritt Ord Foundation. In 2017 the University of Cape Town withdrew its invitation to Mr. Rose, who was set to give its annual TB Davie Academic Freedom Lecture for fear of “security risks” and the possibility of provoking conflict and further polarisation on campus.

As part of the new partnership, three students each year will enjoy a two month internship at Index on Censorship at their UK headquarters.

The inaugural Freedom of Expression keynote lecture on 9 March will be given by Danish journalist and editor Flemming Rose.

Index on Censorship is partnering with Wellesley on this project because we believe that the notions and principles of free speech are being eroded in traditional liberal democracies – as well as remaining under continued pressure in authoritarian states – and that this has enormous implications for the future development of all democracy. Our aim is to encourage greater debate about this central value, and particularly with an academic community, where these traditions and principles ought to burn brightest. I will be travelling to Wellesley for the lecture and taking part in debates and seminars with students in connection with this new annual lecture, which we hope will become a globally recognised fixture.

At Index, we believe this new lecture could help to bring greater international prominence to current free speech questions and, as a non-profit dedicated to the promotion of free expression, push back against a rising tide of censorship world-wide.

About Index on Censorship
Index on Censorship is a UK-based freedom of expression charity that campaigns against censorship and promotes free expression worldwide. Founded in 1972, Index has published some of the world’s leading writers and artists in its award-winning quarterly magazine, including Nadine Gordimer, Mario Vargas Llosa, Samuel Beckett and Kurt Vonnegut. It also has published some of the greatest campaigning writers from Vaclav Havel to Elif Shafak.

About Wellesley College
Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an outstanding liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to some 2,400 undergraduate students from 49 states and 58 countries.

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