The Campus Carry Law in Texas: Rights and (In)Security in an Armed Campus

Endast inbjudna · Arkadiankatu 23 B, 5th floor, Helsinki · 14.10.2022 14:00 - 15:30

Endast inbjudna

This presentation discusses an Academy of Finland-funded research project that studied the implications of the Texas state “Campus Carry” gun legislation (SB 11) at The University of Texas at Austin. The Campus Carry law has multiple practical and theoretical ramifications for communities’ and individuals’ senses of security and insecurity, and it is also linked to broader assumptions about constitutional rights. A central tension related to extending the Second Amendment to the context of campuses has to do with ideological assumptions about individual rights and the institutional authority to regulate firearms without infringing on the Constitution. The examination probes the university community’s negotiation of rights after the implementation of the law within various spatial contexts on campus. In particular, the question of gun rights/restriction is interpreted through notions of freedom, privacy, and agency in public, semi-public, and private space.



Benita Heiskanen

Professor, University of Turku

Benita Heiskanen is Professor of North American Studies at the University of Turku. Her current research interests include transnational American studies, U.S. gun culture and politics, U.S.-Cuba relations, and visual-spatial politics and culture. She recently completed a four-year Academy of Finland-funded project that studied the Campus Carry Law in Texas. Publications resulting from the research include the anthology, Up in Arms: Gun Imaginaries in Texas (Brill, 2022), the Forum, “Perceiving Security and Insecurity: The Campus Carry Law in Texas,” in the Journal of American Studies, and the article “Un/Seeing Campus Carry: Experiencing Gun Culture in Texas,” in the European Journal of American Studies. Heiskanen is a member of the University of Turku Collegiate Council (2022–2025) and serves as President of the American Studies Network (2020–2023) and member of the Advisory Board of the European Journal of American Studies (2021–2029).


Charly Salonius-Pasternak

Leading Researcher, FIIA

Charly Salonius-Pasternak is a Leading Researcher at FIIA and leads the work of the Center on US Politics and Power (CUSPP). His work at FIIA focuses on international security issues, especially Nordic and transatlantic security (including NATO), as well as U.S. foreign and defence policy. Recently he has focused on Finnish-Swedish defence cooperation and the evolution of US and NATO alliance reassurance approaches in light of the changed regional security situation. In 2017, he was a visiting research fellow at the Changing Character of War programme at Pembroke College (Oxford University), where he studied the hybridization of warfare and the impact of the Information Age on the character of war.