Friday, March 08, 2013
Sarat Symposia--Past, Present, and Future
Today at the University of Alabama, we were pleased to have our friend Austin Sarat serving as host for a symposium titled "Civil Rights in the American Story." The lineup was terrific, and although I couldn't be there for every talk, the ones I saw were excellent.
Austin has hosted a variety of excellent symposia at Alabama and I've been delighted to participate in several of them. Here, by way of weekend reading, is an abstract for a paper I gave in response to Martin Redish at a symposium on speech and silence in American law. The paper is titled "Anonymity, Signaling, and Silence as Speech." In it, I argue, inter alia, that Internet anonymity takes a variety of forms, including genuine anonymity and consistent pseudonymity, and that rather than viewing it as a form of silence, anonymity can be understood "as an attributional decision that sends important signals about the reliability of the speech and the speaker." I would do some things differently if I were writing the paper today, but I still think the signaling point is worthwhile, and in any event I was just grateful to share a stage with Prof. Redish. I'm also very much looking forward to participating in a symposium Austin will be presenting at the Law School this fall on civility. It will be a great spur to think about those issues.
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