Forum to address views on the Middle East and freedom of expression at DePaul

DePaul sign
(DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
A recent opinion article published by DePaul professor Jason Hill sparked important discussions on this campus on issues that are close to the heart of our entire community. Many students have characterized the article as an act of racism, which has created a hostile environment on campus. The topics of human rights, Middle East politics, Vincentian values, and freedom of expression generate passionate opinions, an outcome that is expected in an intellectual community when people care deeply and feel empowered to make their voices heard. 

To encourage a dialogue incorporating distinct perspectives, DePaul Acting Provost Salma Ghanem is convening a university-wide event, featuring five professors from different disciplines, exploring “Views on the Middle East and Freedom of Expression at DePaul.”

Scheduled for Tuesday, May 7, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. in Cortelyou Commons, the discussion will present diverse viewpoints on these topics based upon each professor’s area of expertise and give attendees an opportunity to share their own thoughts, as well as to ask questions of each panelist.

The moderator and panelists are:
  • Carol Marin, moderator:  Co-director of the Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence at DePaul; political editor for NBC 5 News in Chicago
  • Scott Hibbard: Associate professor of political science, politics of the Middle East, religion & politics, American foreign policy, human rights
  • Jason Martin: Associate professor of journalism, media law and ethics, political communication, First Amendment law
  • Scott Paeth: Professor of religious studies; peace, justice & conflict studies
  • Shaijla Sharma: Professor of international studies, refugee & forced migration studies, critical ethnic studies, global Asian studies
The event is open to all students, faculty and staff. Please be aware of the following:
  • A current DePaul student/employee ID will be required for entry. No other forms of ID will be permitted.
  • No large purses, bags or backpacks (anything larger than 12” by 12” will not be allowed).
  • Bags can be checked. This is for everyone's safety.
  • No re-entry.
“While this situation is heavily charged on many different levels, it is also an opportunity to have robust discussions,” says Salma Ghanem, acting provost. “We will come together to listen, refute and debate -- participating in an intellectual and civil dialogue on the various ramifications of the issues before us.” 

“Difficult conversations on pressing issues are at the core of an intellectual community,” Ghanem says. “The forum is the first of several events where we will come together to address this and other complex issues.”