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Global Freedom of Expression

Cornell University is engaged in a yearlong exploration of freedom of expression. The Indispensable Condition: Freedom of Expression at Cornell theme has particular significance for international research and teaching and for members of Cornell’s international community.

This year, Global Cornell will host events and discussions dedicated to exploring critical issues related to free expression, academic freedom, scholarship, and global collaboration. We hope you will join us for these important conversations.

Important Conversations


Ethical International Engagement: The Role of the University

In October, Allan Goodman, CEO of the Institute of International Education, joined Vice Provost Wendy Wolford and an expert panel to discuss how universities can provide safe haven for displaced scholars and act to promote scholarship, free expression, and global collaboration.

During his visit, Goodman presented IIE's Centennial Medal to Cornell for its work supporting international scholars. Read about the award.

Global Freedom of Expression in the News

Azat Gündoğan speaks with an audience member after the panel session.

Defying the Odds: Azat Gündoğan’s Journey to FSU

New Global Cornell Series Features Scholars Under Threat Alumni: After his family was forced to flee a government crackdown in Turkey, Florida State University sociologist Azat Gündoğan found a "lifeline" at Cornell as an International Institute of Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund fellow.

Lecture room with a slide up about the challenge behind a five-person panel.

Author Jemisin Builds ‘the World from Scratch’

N.K. Jemisin, award-winning fantasy author and critic, spoke at the Bartels World Affairs Lecture about building worlds, connecting to this year's theme and introducing Cornell's new Global Grand Challenge: The Future.

Panel sitting in front of audience.

For Threatened Artists, Free Expression is Political and Personal

A panel featuring threatened artists from Nicaragua and Afghanistan kicked off Global Cornell’s contribution to this year’s campuswide freedom of expression theme. Watch the event video.

Student Voices

Alisa Orlova headshot

Freedom of expression is being yourself, your vision, or your choice. It means giving a chance to create and shape the reality as you want it, as you feel it. It makes humans different yet unites [us] all together.

— Alisa Orlova
Nolan School of Hospitality Administration
Sascha Palmer

As someone with a background different from the average American, [freedom of expression] allows me to articulate alternative viewpoints, and I'm grateful for the open-mindedness of the Cornell community.

— Sascha Palmer
University of Sydney
Gustav Nielsen headshot

To me, freedom of expression is the universal right to express one's opinions and thoughts while respecting others. This means that I can say and think whatever I want without having to worry about punishment. However, with the power of free speech comes great responsibility. We should therefore be aware of what we say and how it might affect both ourselves and others.

— Gustav Nielsen
Operations Research and Information Engineering
Erianti Rusydina Edward

[Freedom of Expression] means we can speak our minds freely. Everyone can have an equal chance to speak out without being afraid of suppression, threat, or sanction.

— Erianti Rusydina Edward
MBA, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

Upcoming Events

Full listing

3:00 pm, Biotechnology Building, G10
Free expression is a human right and cornerstone of a democratic society.
7:00 pm, Willard Straight Theatre
Film screening with Sahraa Karimi (Director), followed by Q&A and conversation moderated by Iftikhar Dadi, John H. Burris Professor of History of Art
5:00 pm, Statler Hall, 165
Planning for study abroad? No matter how you identify or where you're studying, early planning is the key to a successful study abroad experience.
5:00 pm, Goldwin Smith Hall, 132
Shibley Telhami (University of Maryland) and Marc Lynch (George Washington University) will give a joint talk titled "Academic Freedom and Middle East Scholars after October 7" as part of Cornell University's Freedom of Expression…
12:00 pm, Uris Hall, 204
Y.S. Lee, author of Sustainable Peace in Northeast Asia (Anthem Press, 2023) and Adjunct Professor of Law at Cornell Law School speaks about his book which examines the causes of lasting and complex tensions in the region and explores possible…

Recent Events

Full listing

5:00 pm, Physical Sciences Building, 120
Politics and Protest: Historical, Sociological, and Political Perspectives
5:30 pm, Biotechnology Building, G10
Part of Cornell’s yearlong exploration of freedom of expression, this event from Global Cornell brings together the campus community to discuss how Cornell can protect academic freedom while collaborating with institutions and scholars in places with…
2:00 pm
Two of Latin America’s most forceful dissident voices will explore the power and limits of fiction and other forms of creative expression in a public online conversation organized by Ithaca City of Asylum and co-hosted by the Latin American and…
5:30 pm, Cornell University, Rhodes Rawlings Auditorium, Klarman Hall
Bartels World Affairs Lecture Fantasy author N. K. Jemisin discusses how she learned to build unreal worlds by studying our own—and how we might in turn imagine a better future for our world, and reshape it to fit that dream.
3:30 pm, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art - Cornell University, Wing Lecture Room, Floor 2L
Artistic freedom is a fundamental democratic right. Creative expression, from poetry to street art, theater, and literature, is often at the vanguard of political resistance and change, and so artists are some of the first to be silenced.

Molina drawing Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

Scholars Under Threat 

Discover how Global Cornell supports international scholars, students, critics, artists, and journalists whose work puts them at risk in their home countries. We offer refuge and resources by creating space for free expression and scholarship. Learn more about Supporting Scholars Under Threat.