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Jennifer Petersen
University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA 22903-4833)
How Machines Came to Speak: Media Technologies and the First Amendment

To date, histories of free speech have focused on the political and legal factors propelling the expansion of rights associated with speech--a history of the "free" in free speech. "How Machines Came to Speak: Media Technologies and the First Amendment" adds to this history by unearthing the ways that the expansion of our speech rights has depended on changes in the very definition of speech within the law. It provides a history of the "speech" of free speech. This story focuses on the impact of new media technologies and ideas about communication on the law. Such a history not only helps us better understand the constitution of core rights and visions of citizenship, but also highlights the impact of ideas about agency, perception, and the human on the law.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
American Studies; Legal History; Media Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2014 – 7/31/2014