170 West 76th St., #301

New York, NY 10023

cell: 917-566-1659





Founder and Director, Free Expression Policy Project (FEPP), 2000–present ( A think tank and informational resource on free expression issues, including censorship, media ownership, and intellectual property. FEPP was part of the National Coalition Against Censorship from 2000-04, and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law from 2004-07.


Adjunct Professor, New York University, Department of Media, Culture & Communication, fall 2009, spring 2012, spring 2013. Taught undergraduate course, “Censorship in American Culture,” with new syllabus focusing on censorship law.


Frederic Ewen Academic Freedom Fellow, New York University, spring 2011: for research and writing of Priests of Our Democracy: The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom, and the Anti-Communist Purge.


Visiting Professor, American University of Paris, Department of Global Communication, fall 2010. Created and taught graduate seminar: “Free Expression and the Media: Policy and Law.”


Visiting Lecturer, University of California-San Diego, winter 2008; winter/spring 2009. Created and taught courses in “Censorship, Culture, and American Law” and “Political Repression and the Press: Red Scares in U.S. History and Law.”


Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice, NYU School of Law, 2004–07.


Individual Project Fellow, Open Society Institute, 1998–2000: for research and writing of Not in Front of the Children:  “Indecency,” Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth.


Director and Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union Arts Censorship Project, 1991–98.


Tobias Simon Visiting Professor, Florida State University College of Law, 1994. Created and taught a three-week intensive course on censorship law.


Chief, Civil Rights Division, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, 1990–91.


Visiting Professor, Boston College Law School, 1988-89. Taught Federal Courts, Advanced Constitutional Law, and Introduction to Lawyering.


Staff Counsel, Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, 1982-89.


Attorney, Palmer & Dodge, 1980-82.


Attorney, Silverglate, Shapiro & Gertner, 1979-80.


Law Clerk, Justice Benjamin Kaplan, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, 1978-79.


Visiting Lecturer, Tufts University, 1975. Created and taught a course on the Red Scare and political repression in America, 1947-60.





JD, Harvard Law School, 1978, magna cum laude; senior articles editor, Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review.


BA, Cornell University, 1967; supplement editor and review editor, Cornell Daily Sun.





Priests of Our Democracy: The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom, and the Anti-Communist Purge (NYU Press, 2013). A legal and social history of the investigations and firings of allegedly subversive teachers and professors in the 1950s, particularly in New York, and the Supreme Court’s eventual recognition of academic freedom as a “special concern of the First Amendment” in response.


Not in Front of the Children: “Indecency,” Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth (Hill & Wang, 2001; second edition, Rutgers U. Press, 2007). A history of indecency laws and other restrictions aimed at protecting youth, from Plato’s argument for rigid censorship to contemporary battles over sex education, the Internet, and media violence. Winner of the American Library Association’s 2002 Eli Oboler Award for best published work in the field of intellectual freedom.


Sex, Sin, and Blasphemy: A Guide to America’s Censorship Wars (The New Press, 1993; second edition, 1998). A survey of modern censorship controversies, including obscenity law, film and music ratings, arts funding, and academic freedom.


Cutting the Mustard: Affirmative Action and the Nature of Excellence (Faber & Faber, 1988). The story of a free speech lawsuit against the dean of Boston University’s School of Theology for firing a staff member who advocated affirmative action and opposed discriminatory practices.


Strictly Ghetto Property: The Story of Los Siete de la Raza (Ramparts Press, 1972). An account of the murder trial of six Latino activists in San Francisco; its cultural background and political ramifications.





The Brave New World of Social Media Censorship,“ 127 Harvard Law Review Forum 325 (2014). 

Priests of Our Democracy: The Origins of First Amendment Academic Freedom,” 38 Journal of Supreme Court History 386 (2013).

“Rethinking Academic Boycotts,” AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom, September 2013.

“Is Teaching ‘Junk Science’ Protected by Academic Freedom?” Inside Higher Ed, May 30, 2013,

“Academe’s Still Precarious Freedom,” Chronicle of Higher Education, February 4, 2013.


“The Supreme Court and Political Speech in the 21st Century: The Implications of Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project,” 76 Albany Law Review 561 (2013).


“Naming Names in New York City: Teachers, Ethics, and the Anti-Communist Purge,” Frederic Ewen Academic Freedom Center Seminar, New York University, spring 2011.


“’The Right to Be Let Alone’: Privacy and Anonymity at the U.S. Supreme Court,” Revue Française des Etudes Américaines, No. 123 (2010).


Six articles in The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd ed., K. Jackson, ed., Yale U. Press, 2010). Subjects: the Feinberg Law, D.M. Bennett, Fredric Wertham, Samuel Roth, Mary Ware Dennett, the “Miracle” Case.


“A Pall of Orthodoxy: The Painful Persistence of Loyalty Oaths,” Dissent, summer 2009.


“A Landmark Case Over the Censorship of Films,” in Censorship (K. Burns, ed.) (History of Issues Series, Thomson-Gale, 2007).


“What is the Fuss About Janet Jackson’s Breast?” in Quest: Reading the World and Arguing for Change (K. Stallings, ed., Prentice-Hall, 2007).


“Foreword:  Reclaiming the First Amendment – Constitutional Theories of Media Reform,” 35 Hofstra Law Review 917 (2007)


“Sex and the Law: A Tale of Shifting Boundaries,” in Pornography: Film and Culture (P. Lehman, ed., Rutgers U. Press, 2006).


Internet Filters: A Public Policy Report (with Ariel Feldman & Christina Cho) (Brennan Center/Free Expression Policy Project, revised and updated, 2006).


“Media Effects” (adapted from Not in Front of the Children), in Censoring Culture (S. Mintcheva & R. Atkins, eds., The New Press, 2006).


Foreword to Lynn Sutton, Access Denied: How Internet Filters Impact Student Learning (Cambria, 2006).


TheMiracle’ of Burstyn v. Wilson,” in Defending the First (J. Russomanno, ed., Laurence Erlbaum, 2005).


Will Fair Use Survive? Free Expression in the Age of Copyright Control (with Tricia Beckles) (Brennan Center/Free Expression Policy Project, 2005).


“Do We Need Censorship to Protect Youth?” 2005 Michigan State Law Review 795.


“Will Fair Use Survive the Digital Age?” in Free Culture & the Digital Library (Emory University, 2005).


“On Protecting Children – From Censorship: A Reply to Amitai Etzioni,” 79 Chicago-Kent Law Review 229 (2004).


“Media Violence Fact Sheet,” in Contemporary Issues Companion: Censorship (K. Burns, ed., Thomson-Gale, 2004).


Free Expression in Arts Funding: A Public Policy Report (with Kim Cammarato & Christina Cho) (Free Expression Policy Project, 2003).


“The NEA, Arts Funding, and the Culture Wars,” in The New Gatekeepers:  Emerging Challenges to Free Expression in the Arts (National Arts Journalism Program, Columbia University, 2003).


“The Progress of Science and Useful Arts”: Why Copyright Today Threatens Intellectual Freedom (Free Expression Policy Project, 2003).


Introduction and Brief of 33 Media Scholars in Interactive Digital Software Association v. St. Louis, 31 Hofstra Law Review 419 (2002).


Media Literacy: An Alternative to Censorship (with Christina Cho) (Free Expression Policy Project, 2002).


Foreword to Forbidden Films (D. Sova, ed., Facts on File, 2001).


“Filtering Fever,” in Filters and Freedom (revised from Not in Front of the Children) (D. Sobel, ed., Electronic Privacy Information Center, 2001).


Violence and the Media, Freedom Forum First Amendment Center White Paper, spring 2001.


“Criminalizing Online Speech to Protect the Young: What Are the Benefits and Costs”? in Crime and the Internet (D. Wall, ed., Routledge, 2001).


Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union,” in Porn 101:  Eroticism, Pornography, and the First Amendment (J. Elias, ed., Prometheus, 1999).


“Censorship,” in The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (M. Kelly, ed., Oxford U. Press, 1998).


“Three Questions About Television Ratings,” in The V-Chip Debate (M. Price, ed.,  Erlbaum, 1998).


“High Drama on the High Court: The First Amendment in the 1996 Term,” 14 Touro Law Review 373 (1998).


“Viewpoint Discrimination,” 24 Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 99 (1996).


“Masculinity, Sexism, and Censorship Law,” in Constructing Masculinity (M. Berger et al. eds., Routledge, 1996).


“The Taxpayers’ Money: Why Government Funding Doesn’t Mean Government Control,” in The Cultural Battlefield (J. Peter & L. Crosier, eds., Avocus, 1995).


“Affirmative Action and Women’s Rights in the Reign of Chief Justice Rehnquist,” in Challenging Times: The Women’s Movement in Canada and the United States (D. Flaherty & C. Backhouse, eds., McGill U. Press, 1992).


Book Review, Girls Lean Back Everywhere: The Law of Obscenity and the Assault on Genius, 19 NYU Review of Law & Social Change 933 (1992).


Redgrave v. Boston Symphony Orchestra: Federalism, Forced Speech, and the Emergence of the Redgrave Defense,” 30 Boston College Law Review 1283 (1989).


“The Right to Be Let Alone: Drug Testing and the Fourth Amendment,” 21 Suffolk U. Law Review 118 (1987).


“’The Marketplace and the World of the Ideas’: A Substitute for State Action as a Limiting Principle Under the Massachusetts Equal Rights Amendment,” 18 Suffolk U. Law Review 347 (1984).


“Banning Words: A Comment on ‘Words That Wound,’” 18 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 586 (1983).


“’Other People’s Faiths’: The Scientology Litigation and the Justiciability of Religious Fraud,” 9 Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 153 (1981).


OTHER ARTICLES (partial list)


 “Are Teachers Really ‘Priests of Our Democracy’? The Supreme Court and Academic Freedom During the McCarthy Era,” American Constitution Society Book Blog, Jan. 2013,


"An Old Story: The Corporate University," Dissent Blog, November 14, 2012,


“Trading Academic Freedom For Foreign Markets,” Academe Blog, July 30, 2012,


“In Memoriam: Benjamin Kaplan,” 124 Harvard Law Review 1351 (2011).


Review of Harvey Klehr, The Communist Experience in America, in Labour History (Australian Society for the Study of Labour History), No. 101, Nov. 2011, 226.


“Not in My Backyard” (on “community standards” and obscenity law), Index on Censorship (UK), Vol. 38, No. 1 (2009).


“Fair Use – or Lose It,” Extra (magazine of Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting), May/June 2006.


“A Question of Fair Play“ (with Adam Morse), Legal Times, Nov. 15, 2004.


“Filtering Free Expression,” AlterNet, Sept. 4, 2003.


“The Bishops Go to the Movies,” Conscience: A Newsjournal of Catholic Opinion, spring 2003.


“More Than Seven Dirty Words,” AlterNet, July 25, 2003.


“Screen Rage” (review of Jonathan Freedman, Media Violence and Its Effects on Aggression), The Nation, July 22-29, 2002.


“Culture on Trial: Censorship Trials and Free Expression,” Insights on Law & Society, winter 2002.


“Our Children’s Hearts, Minds, and Libidos,” AlterNet, Apr. 15, 2002.


“Net Filter: This Year’s Censorship Tool,” Philadelphia Daily News, March 22, 2002.


“Like a Deer in the Headlights: Abstinence Education and Censorship,” Family Life Matters, fall 2001.


Book Review, “The Government v. Erotica: The Siege of Adam & Eve,New York Law Journal, Oct. 30, 2001.


“Defending Strossen” (reply to a review of Nadine Strossen’s Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women’s Rights), Books on Law, summer 2001.


“Sex, Lies, and Politics – Congress is Poised to Reauthorize Abstinence-Only Sex Ed,” The Nation, May 7, 2001.


“Helmsmanship in the Arts” (review of Jane Alexander, Command Performance: An Actress in the Theater of Politics), The Nation, Aug. 7-14, 2000.


“Rejuvenating Free Expression,” Dissent, summer 1999.


“Screening Out Sex: Kids, Computers, and the New Censors,” The American Prospect, July/Aug. 1998.


“Academic Freedom and the Internet,” Academe: Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors, May-June 1998.


“A Birth Control Crusader” (review of The Sex Side of Life: Mary Ware Dennett’s Pioneering Battle for Birth Control and Sex Education), Atlantic Monthly, Oct. 1996.


“Sworn in the USA,” The Guardian (UK), June 1996.


“From X to NC-17,” Index on Censorship (UK), 1995.


“South Africa Meets X: A Tentative Taste of Freedom,” The Nation, Sept. 20, 1993.


“Blacklist in Boston: The Clearing of Vanessa Redgrave,” The Nation, Dec. 12, 1987.



PUBLIC SPEAKING (partial list)


“Priests of Our Democracy,” University of Buffalo, Baldy Center for Law and Society, March 25, 2013.


“The Feinberg Law, the Keyishian Case, and Academic Freedom in New York,” Albany Law School, February 25, 2013.


Frederic Ewen Academic Freedom Lecture, Brooklyn College, Wolfe Institute for the Humanities, February 19, 2013.


“Priests of Our Democracy,” Tamiment Library, New York University, February 12, 2013.


Politics, Sex, and Academic Freedom: Prelude and Postscript to the Leo Koch Case,” American Association of University Professors Annual Meeting, June 2012.


“The Shifting Sands of Secrecy” panel, University of Paris – Diderot, Institut d’Anglais, December 2010.


“Not in Front of the Children: Young Consumers and Censorship,” Children & Teen Consumption (CTC) Conference, Norrkoping, Sweden, June 2010.


“Sex, Art, and the First Amendment,” Art Law Seminar, Cornell Club of New York, April 2010.


“A Pall of Orthodoxy Over the Classroom: Teachers, Loyalty Tests, and Academic Freedom,” History of Education Society Annual Meeting, October 2009.


“Minors, Sex, and Censorship,” New York Law School Forum, September 2009.


“Not in Front of the Children,” Englewood, New Jersey Public Library, October 2008.


“Fair Use and Copyright,” Manhattan Neighborhood Network, May 2008.


“’Bong Hits for Jesus’: What’s Left of Student Free Speech?” New School University, May 2008.


“Not in Front of the Children: Free Speech Conflicts in the U.S.,” Conferencia Internacional, University of Porto, Portugal, April 2008.


“Not in Front of the Children.” Escola Superior de Comunicação Social, Lisbon, April 2008.


Guest lecturer, University of Pennsylvania, “Provocative Art,” December 2007.


Guest lecturer, University of Michigan School of the Arts, “Bodies in the World: Representing Human Rights,” November 2007.


“The Abortion Controversies” (moderator), Wolfson Center, New School University, October 2007.


“Libraries, Censorship, and Freedom of Information,” Boston Athenaeum 200th Anniversary Speaker Series, May 2007.


“Fleeting Expletives and Gross Offensiveness: The FCC’s Indecency Regime at the Crossroads,” University of Miami Politics of Pornography Symposium, Apr. 2007.


Introduction: Conference on “Reclaiming the First Amendment: Constitutional Theories of Media Reform,” Hofstra Law School, Jan. 2007.


“Internet Filters and Public Schools,” McCormick-Tribune Foundation Conference on Schools and Free Expression, Oct. 2006.


“Internet Filters, and New Developments in Indecency Law,” First Amendment Lawyers Association annual meeting, July 2006.


Seminar on Copyright and Fair Use, New York Foundation for the Arts, May 2006.


“Life, Liberty, and Digital Rights,” National Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy, May 2006.


“Media Reform,” National Council of Jewish Women, May 2006.


“Internet Pornography and Technology: Is Filtering the Solution?” Problems of Censorship Conference, New York University, Apr. 2006.


“Fifteen Years in the Censorship Trenches,” Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Apr. 2006.


“Will Fair Use Survive?” Cardozo Law School, Feb. 2006.


“Sex, Drugs, and Lock’n’Load: Minors and the Regulation of Speech,” Association of American Law Schools Annual Conference, Jan. 2006.


“Will Fair Use Survive?”, New York University Information Law Institute, Jan. 2006.


“Artistic Appropriation in the Age of Litigation,” Ursinus College, Nov. 2005.


“Constitutional Issues in Copyright Law,” Fordham Law School, Nov. 2005.


“The NEA at 40: Cultural Policy and American Democracy,” LBJ Presidential Library, Oct. 2005.


“Fair Use and Copyright Law,” Rhode Island Council for the Humanities/Rhode Island School of Design, Oct. 2005.


Taking the Temperature of Artistic Freedom: What Are the Challenges Today?” Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Initiative, June 2005.


“Recent Constitutional Challenges to Copyright,” Copyright Society of the USA, Apr. 2005.


“Structural Free Expression Issues: Copyright, Funding, and Media Democracy,” University of Buffalo Center for the Arts/Center for Law & Social Policy, Sept. 2004.


“The ‘Barbie’ Copyright Cases,” New York County Lawyers’ Association, Apr. 2004.


“What Are You Looking At? Regulating Pornography and the Internet,” Albany Law School, March 2004.


“Does Filtering Software Empower Education or Restrict It?” Consortium on School Networking annual conference, March 2004.


“Video Game Violence: From Screen to Schoolyard,” National Academy of Sciences, Feb. 2004.


“Censoring Cyberspace,” Middlebury College, Nov. 2003.


“Cyberspace and the Censorship of Youth,” Hobart College, Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men, Oct. 2003.


“Reclaiming the Public Domain,” Philadelphia Creative Rights Conference, Oct. 2003.


“Censorship of the Printed Word in America Today,” Words on Fire Festival (commemorating the 70th anniversary of the first Nazi book burnings), Boston Public Library, March 2003.


“Video Games and Free Expression,” Emory University Violence Studies Program, March 2003.


“Legacies of Transgression,” Columbia University National Arts Journalism Program “New Gatekeepers” Conference on Free Expression and the Arts, Nov. 2002.


“Art Censorship and Law,” Vera List Center for Art & Politics, New School University, Nov. 2002.


The Miracle: Film Censorship and the Entanglement of Church and State,” University of Virginia Forum on Contemporary Thought, Oct. 2002.


“Internet Filters and Harm to Minors,” Education Law Institute, Aug. 2002.


“Not in Front of the Children,” American Library Association Annual Conference, Eli Oboler Award Speech, June 2002.


“Internet Filtering,” Princeton University Center for Law & Public Affairs, May 2002.


“Pornography and ‘Harm to Minors’: The History of Censorship to Protect Kids,” Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality Western Regional Conference, Apr. 2002.


“Sex, Fear, and Popular Culture: Free Expression in the Aftermath of Terror,” New York State Bar Association Annual Meeting, Jan. 2002.


“Decency, Offense, and Harm,” and “Art Effects: Does Art Incite Behavior?” Ethics and the Arts Conference, Arizona State University, Oct. 2001.





American Association of University Professors, Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, 2012-present


New York State Conference, American Association of University Professors, Committee A on Academic Freedom, 2012-present.


National Coalition Against Censorship, Board of Directors, 1999-2010.


Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Copyright Law Committee, 2003-06.


Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Media & Communications Law Committee, 1994-97.


PEN American Center/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award Committee, 1993, 1999, 2002, 2005.


Editor-in-Chief, Massachusetts Law Review, 1989-91





Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award in Book Publishing, for Priests of Our Democracy: The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom, and the Anti-Communist Purge, May 2013.


Frederic Ewen Academic Freedom Center Fellowship, spring 2011, for work on Priests of Our Democracy: The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom, and the Anti-Communist Purge.


American Library Association Eli Oboler Award for Best Published Work in the Field of Intellectual Freedom, 2002, for Not in Front of the Children.


“Sexual Intelligence” Award, from Sexual Intelligence: the Electronic Newsletter of Sexuality and Popular Culture, 2002.


Open Society Institute Individual Project Fellowship, 1998–2000: for research and writing of Not in Front of the Children.


Luther McNair Award for Significant Contributions to Civil Liberties, Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, 1991.