The Merton Equality Conversation 2022 - 'Free Speech vs. Equal Speech in an Era of Informal Activism'

Date: Thursday 2 June 2022
Time: 17:15
TS Eliot Theatre, Merton College

With Professor Teresa M Bejan, Professor of Political Theory at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Oriel College; and Dr Temi Ogunye, Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow in Politics at Nuffield College, Oxford.

Professor Bejan spoke on 'Free Speech vs. Equal Speech'; Dr Ogunye’s remarks focused on 'Social norms and informal activism: On the efficacy of ‘cancel culture’.'

Following the conversation, audience members were able to engage in the discussion by participating in a Q&A session.
The event was followed by a drinks reception.


Teresa M Bejan's research brings historical perspectives to bear on questions in contemporary political theory. She has written extensively on themes of free speech, civility, tolerance and equality in historical contexts ranging from ancient Athens to 20th-century analytic political philosophy. Her first book, Mere Civility: Disagreement and the Limits of Toleration (2017), examined contemporary calls for civility in light of 17th-century debates about religious toleration. Her forthcoming book explores the fascinating but forgotten history of equality before modern egalitarianism, due out in 2023 from Harvard University Press.

Temi Ogunye is the Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow in Politics at Nuffield College at the University of Oxford. His research interests include social and political philosophy; social justice (domestic and global); authority and obligation; and activism and resistance. He has published articles on the personal and political dimensions of the right of necessity, and on global justice and transnational civil disobedience.