Skip to main content
In series
20:00 – 21:00


Free registration (via ticket button)

When does humour go too far?

Let's ask... Alberto Godioli

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).

Let's Ask
In Let's Ask (before: Ask a Scientist) Groningen's finest researchers share their knowledge to provide context to that recurring 'thing' in the news and will answer your questions. In collaboration with Usva.

Also in this series

Karène Sanchez-Summerer, Pieter Nanninga and Karim El Taki

All eyes are currently focused on Israel and Gaza. The ‘Gaza war’ that erupted after October 7th is stirring intense emotions far beyond the Middle East.

See also

during the workshop Make Your Own Cartoon

Where do we draw the line between a humorous cartoon and a harmful one? How do we make legal judgements on cartoons which are open for many different interpretations?