The Munk Debates
The twenty-second Munk Debate pits acclaimed journalist, professor, and ordained minister Michael Eric Dyson and New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg against renowned actor and writer Stephen Fry and University of Toronto professor and author Jordan Peterson to debate the implications of political correctness and freedom of speech.
Is political correctness an enemy of free speech, open debate, and the free exchange of ideas? Or, by confronting head-on the dominant power relationships and social norms that exclude marginalized groups are we creating a more equitable and just society? For some the argument is clear. Political correctness is stifling the free and open debate that fuels our democracy. It is also needlessly dividing one group from another and promoting social conflict. Others insist that creating public spaces and norms that give voice to previously marginalized groups broadens the scope of free speech. The drive towards inclusion over exclusion is essential to creating healthy, diverse societies in an era of rapid social change.
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Michael Eric Dyson
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON is an author, professor, and broadcaster. He currently teaches sociology at Georgetown University, hosts the acclaimed “The Michael Eric Dyson Show” on NPR, and is a contributing editor for the New Republic and ESPN’s website The Undefeated. He has written more than a dozen books on issues of race, culture, and politics in the United States, including the recent New York Times bestseller Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America.
MICHELLE GOLDBERG is a columnist for the New York Times, a journalist, and bestselling author. Brooklyn-based Goldberg holds a master of science degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, is a frequent political commentator on MSNBC, and has had her writing featured in the New Yorker, Newsweek, the Nation, the New Republic, and the Guardian. She is the author of three books, including the award-winning Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism.
STEPHEN FRY is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, and film director who studied English literature at the University of Cambridge. He’s best known for playing Lord Melchett and other characters in the television comedy series Blackadder and the Irish writer Oscar Wilde in the 1997 film Wilde. Fry has also written and presented several documentary series, including the Emmy Award–winning Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive.
JORDAN PETERSON is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist, and the author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. Peterson received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from McGill University and has been called “one of the most important thinkers to emerge on the world stage for many years” by the Spectator. His online self-help program, The Self Authoring Suite, and his online lectures have been viewed more than forty million times on YouTube.
RUDYARD GRIFFITHS is the chair of the Munk Debates and a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. In 2006 he was named one of Canada’s “Top 40 under 40” by the Globe and Mail. He is the editor of thirteen books on history, politics, and international affairs, including Who We Are: A Citizen’s Manifesto, which was a Globe and Mail Best Book of 2009 and a finalist for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.