CfP on Comedy Controversies

2 December 2022

Jennifer Young and Alberto Godioli (University of Groningen) are convening a stream on ‘Comedy Controversies: Humour and Free Speech’ within the upcoming annual conference of the Socio-Legal Studies Association (Derry – Londonderry, 4-6 April 2023).

Stream description:

Debates on free speech, ‘cancel culture’ and the limits of humour are more topical than ever, as shown by the the latest controversies surrounding comedians like Jimmy Carr, Dave Chappelle or Jerry Sadowitz. Humour in its various forms (from stand-up to cartoons and memes) is also often at the centre of complex legal cases, ranging from copyright law to defamation and hate speech. Recent scholarship has highlighted the benefits of an interdisciplinary approach to humour and freedom of expression, combining insights from sociology, law and the humanities (see for instance HUMOR 35.3, ‘The Difficulty of Judging Jests’, ed. by B. Adriaensen, A. Bricker, A. Godioli and T. Laros, 2022). Our conference stream aims to encourage further dialogue in this direction, with particular regard to sociolegal approaches to recent and ongoing comedy controversies.

Papers might consider topics including:

  • Analysis of humour related legal cases (e.g. defamation, hate speech, intellectual property, etc.)
  • General reflections on humour in free speech jurisprudence
  • (Socio)legal perspectives on humour and hate speech
  • Audience and media responses to humour controversies
  • Empirical approaches to humour production and reception

The deadline for submitting abstracts is 9 January 2023. Please click here for more info