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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics Events & Colloquium

ICOG/DemCP Symposium: Humor and Free Speech in the Digital Age: Law and Humanities Perspectives

When:Tu 18-06-2024 15:00 - 17:30
Where:Harmonie building, room t.b.a.

The transformations of humor in the digital age ( Attardo 2023) pose new challenges for free speech and its adjudication – whether in court or by means of content moderation practices. For example, how can courts deal with the complex intertextuality of internet memes, where the same template could take on different cultural or political meanings depending on the forum in which it circulates (Greene 2019)? How is it possible to distinguish between outright disparaging humor and satirical criticism of hate speech, within digital environments dominated by “comic confusion” and “ironic ambiguity” (Holm 2021)? Who is the “reasonable audience” of a given controversial joke, in a time of viral circulation and growing fragmentation between “irony-laden subcultures” (Nagle 2017)?

Building on recent interdisciplinary work in the field of humor and the law, this one-day symposium will combine insights from humanities and legal scholarship to address the multifaceted intersection of online humor and free speech – including recent jurisprudence on defamation ( Little 2019), hate speech and incitement (Godioli & Young 2023), as well as new developments in Intellectual Property law (Jacques 2019).

The program will feature presentations by Prof. Laura Little (Temple Law School) and Dr Sabine Jacques (Liverpool University) as well as DemCP members Dr Alberto Godioli and Jennifer Young.