When does humour go too far?
Debates over humour and free speech are more relevant than ever, as shown by the recent series of dramatic events revolving around Charlie Hebdo’s controversial cartoons – including, most tragically, the murder of schoolteacher Samuel Paty just a few weeks ago. But how can we define the limits of freedom of expression, and what are the particular challenges posed by humour in this respect? During this session we will discuss and compare different approaches to these issues, with particular attention to how law courts deal with humour in the context of free speech regulation.
Alberto Godioli is Senior Lecturer in European Culture and Literature at the University of Groningen, and programme director of the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies. His research focuses on humour controversies, with particular regard to the legal regulation of humourous expression. His work on the topic has been published by Strasbourg Observers, Global Freedom of Expression and Open Library of Humanities. He is Principal Investigator of the project ‘Cartoons in Court: Towards a Forensic Analysis of Visual Humor’ (Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study, 2020-2023).
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