Bucknell Forum
Notable Authors
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Critical Conversations

Notable authors, activists to discuss ‘Freedom of Expression’
by Mike Ferlazzo
With the escalation of book bans and challenges being brought against the content shared in school curricula, there is a growing national dialogue about censorship and free speech. Bucknell will contribute to this important conversation with five events on the theme “Freedom of Expression” during the Bucknell Forum 2023-24 speaker series.

“Issues related to freedom of expression have increasingly drawn scrutiny on campuses, and been the topic of great debate across the country,” President John Bravman says. “We are proud to be providing this forum to discuss one of our most cherished American ideals with prominent individuals who have all encountered freedom of expression experiences.”

The 2023-24 lineup includes:

George Will, Sept. 19
Will is the country’s most widely read political columnist. His column for the Washington Post syndicate reaches 300 newspapers throughout the United States and Europe, and his voice has reached millions more through ABC’s Sunday political show This Week, on which he has served as a commentator since 1981.

Jon A. Shields, Oct. 17
Shields is a professor of American politics and chair of the government department at Claremont McKenna College, where he teaches courses on issues such as policing, free speech and America’s culture wars. He is the author or co-author of three books on the American right. He has also been published in a range of outlets, including the The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Jodi Picoult, Jan. 23
The No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of 28 novels, Picoult has had books translated into 34 languages. Four of her novels — The Pact, Plain Truth, The Tenth Circle and Salem Falls — have been made into television movies. My Sister’s Keeper was adapted into a film.

George M. Johnson, Feb. 27
An award-winning Black nonbinary writer and executive producer, Johnson is author of the New York Times bestselling Young Adult memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue. Johnson was listed as one of The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2020, as well as one of Out’s 100 Most Influential LGBTQ People in 2021, and in 2022 was honored as part of TIME100 Next, a list of the most influential people in the world.

Jane Fonda, March 19
Known as a Hollywood icon, Fonda is the recipient of various accolades, including two Academy Awards, seven Golden Globe Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award. Fonda was a political activist in the counterculture era during the Vietnam War and has also protested the Iraq War and violence against women. In 2023, she picketed with writers during the Writers Guild of America strike.

The Bucknell Forum
Since 2007, the Bucknell Forum has featured leaders, scholars and commentators who have examined issues from diverse viewpoints. All events are free and open to the public.

For more details about upcoming Bucknell Forum events, visit bucknell.edu/forum