More than 200 students, faculty, and community members attended the 2016 Robert G. Bone Distinguished Lecture presented October 10 by Steven Salaita.
Salaita's presentation, "Critical Thinking in a New-liberal Age," explored various notions of academic freedom. He argued that certain aspects of academic freedom contradict other forces and some are in direct conflict with the practice of academic freedom. Salaita emphasized the importance of critical thinking in maintaining academic freedom on a vibrant campus.
Salaita currently holds the Edward W. Said Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut. His career attracted national attention when the University of Illinois withdrew its offer of employment as a tenured faculty over Salaita's controversial tweets on the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict.
The Distinguished Lecture is named after Illinois State's ninth president, Robert G. Bone, who led the University between 1956 and 1967. This lecture rotates among three departments: Politics and Government, History, and Sociology and Anthropology. The 2016 lecture is a part of the yearlong celebration for the Department of Politics and Government's 50th anniversary.