Knight Foundation Grant to Support OU Law Professor Evelyn Aswad’s Research Project on Internet Governance

June 29, 2020 | By Rebeka Morales, Event and Communications Coordinator

Contact: Rachel Egli
Director of Events
and Continuing Legal Education
Office: (405) 325-2011

NORMAN The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced a $50,000 investment to fund a University of Oklahoma College of Law project led by Evelyn Mary Aswad, OU law professor and Herman G. Kaiser Chair in International Law. The grant supports comparative research between the First Amendment and international human rights law’s protections for speech online.

“I am immensely grateful for this opportunity to pursue research into these two bodies of law and how their similarities and differences may have implications for online content moderation,” Aswad said. 

Aswad’s comparative research is one of 20 projects that received $1.7 million today from the Knight Foundation, all of which will focus on research to inform the public conversation on current issues in technology policy, including free expression online and the scale and power of digital platforms. The awards mark the culmination of the Knight Foundation’s $50 million commitment to catalyze new research to inform how technology is transforming democracy.

A focus of Aswad’s scholarship has been on social media platforms and the future of speech online. Her course on International Business and Human Rights includes an examination of corporate responsibility and online platforms. Her Human Rights Practicum course provides students with experiential learning based on comparative approaches to freedom of expression.

As the director of OU Law’s Center for International Business and Human Rights, Aswad has also brought many guest speakers from industry, civil society and government to speak to students about technology, human rights and democracy.

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