Freedom of the Press Lecture Series: full line up!

Discovering Katherine Graham  Wednesday, August 15, 2018, 2:00 pm

This program will consider relevant sections of Katherine Graham’s Pulitzer Prize winning biography, Personal History (1997) alongside the film adaptation, The Post . We will focus on Graham’s representations of the Newspaper Guild and the pressman’s strike, the Pentagon Papers, the Watergate Affair, and the Vietnam War in light how The Post depicts the struggle to uphold the principles of journalistic integrity when faced with adversity. Literature discussion will be led by Aimee Pozorski, CCSU English Department; film discussion will be led by Dr. Karen Ritzenhoff, CCSU Communication Department. Copies of Personal History will be available at the reference desk. Please focus on the sections that emphasize the centrality of the Freedom of the Press (pp 375-530).

“We Hold These Truths”: The Declaration of Independence;  A Single Page that Changed the World  Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 2:00 pm

Join Bev York, Education Director for the Windham Textile and History Museum, for an interactive and illustrated discussion about the events surrounding the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress. Discover and digest the contents of the document and the Bill of Rights through excerpts of the text and the arts.  We’ll consider and connect its  relevance to America 242 years later. Please review the Declaration of Independence before attending.

The Bill of Rights for High School Students Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 3:00 pm

What can students say and do to exercise the First Amendment right of free speech and freedom of religion in schools?  How has the Supreme Court ruled on these issues, and what avenues of redress are open to students if they think that their rights have been violated?  These and other questions will be explored in this session. Geared for teens, adults are welcome too! This program will be led by Stephen McGrath, CCSU History Department.

The Popularity of Alexander Hamilton Thursday, September 13, 2018, 3:00 pm

Discover the inspiring story of the Alexander Hamilton, who stood for American ideals. Bev York, Education    Director for the Windham Textile and History Museum, will share an illustrated talk about his contributions, struggles, and tragic death.  After years of being perceived as having only a supporting role, Hamilton’s star has risen, confirming his belief that “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.”

Social Media, the Press, and Us        Monday, September 17, 2018, 6:30 pm

The everyday reality of media use around the globe is changing rapidly due to the proliferation of smart phones, tablets and multiple screens that allow access to, and immediate dissemination of, the news. The US President prefers to communicate via twitter feed while labeling mainstream journalism as “fake news”; Facebook data has been hacked to access personal information about users’ likes and dislikes. Many teenagers communicate via text messages rather than in person, let alone speak on the phone. This talk will focus on the way social   media is not only shaping our human relationships in a digital age but also our understanding of the world around us. How does user-generated content allow for new participatory energies to develop while also deeply affecting cultural identities and generating new types of intimacies. Lecture and discussion led by Dr. Karen Ritzenhoff, CCSU Communication Department.

A PDF of additional reading materials for this series is available on the library’s website. Find it by visiting, and typing Freedom of the Press Reading into the search box. The first result contains the PDF.

Completed lectures:

Inside the Inaugural Address: Lessons in the Great American Experiment    

Parties, the Press, and Political Politeness: Well, Not Really! 

The Alien and Sedition Acts

The Enigma of Benjamin Franklin

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