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Speech Out of Doors


  • 11 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 362 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.49 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521731966)

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$41.99 (P)

Even in an age characterized by increasing virtual presence and communication, speakers still need physical places in which to exercise First Amendment liberties. This book examines the critical intersection of public speech and spatiality. Through a tour of various places on what the author calls the “expressive topography,” the book considers a variety of public speech activities including sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics, residential picketing, protesting near funerals, assembling and speaking on college campuses, and participating in public rallies and demonstrations at political conventions and other critical democratic events. This examination of public liberties, or speech out of doors, shows that place can be as important to one’s expressive experience as voice, sight, and auditory function. Speakers derive a host of benefits, such as proximity, immediacy, symbolic function, and solidarity, from message placement. Unfortunately, for several decades the ground beneath speakers’ feet has been steadily eroding. The causes of this erosion are varied and complex; they include privatization and other loss of public space, legal restrictions on public assembly and expression, methods of policing public speech activity, and general public apathy. To counter these forces and reverse at least some of their effects will require a focused and sustained effort – by public officials, courts, and of course, the people themselves.


1. Introduction: the geography of expression; 2. The expressive topography and public liberties; 3. Embodied places; 4. Contested places; 5. Non-places; 6. Inscribed places; 7. Militarized places; 8. Places of higher learning; 9. Networked public places.


"Professor Timothy Zick (William & Mary College of Law) has written a superb new book, Speech Out of Doors: Preserving First Amendment Liberties in Public Places (Cambridge, 2008)....his book raises interesting and important free speech issues involving speech in various places where people commonly gather..."
--Daniel J. Solove, Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School, Concurring Opinions

"In this multidisciplinary examination of the past, present, and future of public expression, Professor Timothy Zick “identifie[s], describe[s], and examine[s]” different kinds of places “with reference to the manner in which speech and spatiality intersect”..."
--Harvard Law Review

"...This is a well-written text, making an important argument about vital constitutional guarantee...SPEECH OUT OF DOORS makes the simple claim that we have squandered a great resource, and it is now time to reverse course."
--The Law and Politics Book Review, Jerome O'Callaghan, Associate Dean, Arts and Sciences, State University at Cortland

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