Ben Fenton-Smith Joins the Panel for “Hate Speech, Love Speech, Free Speech?”

Ben Fenton-Smith of Griffith University, Australia, has joined The 3rd Asian Conference on Language (ACL2022) on the panel for “Hate Speech, Love Speech, Free Speech?”.

Additional panelists that have been chosen to discuss this topic will be announced over the coming weeks. Follow the conference website and social media pages (Facebook / Twitter) for more information.

The presentation will also be available for IAFOR Members to view online. To find out more, please visit the IAFOR Membership page.

Speaker Biography

Ben Fenton-Smith
Griffith University, Australia

Ben Fenton-Smith

Ben Fenton-Smith is a lecturer in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. He is also the International Director of the university’s Arts, Education and Law faculty. He completed a doctorate on political discourse at Macquarie University and published on the topic in journals such as Discourse and Society and the Journal of Language and Politics. Hate speech, love speech and free speech are themes that run through two courses he convenes at Griffith: ‘Discourse, Text and Power’ and ‘Public Policy for Change’.


Hate Speech, Love Speech, Free Speech?

In 2021 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to two journalists, Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.” In a context of rising global authoritarianism and autocracy, the award was a reminder of the long and difficult history of journalists holding power to account.

It is little wonder that the ways in which we communicate, whether through the spoken or the written word, are the subject of constant discussion or controversy. Our communication is guided and regulated by myriad de facto and de jure rules and laws, and these change by context and country. What is acceptable or appropriate in one context may not be in another. The same words that make you celebrated, may also make you reviled, and the same words that can make you a reputation, a living and a life, can also take these away.

In this panel, a group of linguists and academics will discuss speech in the global academy to look at the rights and responsibilities associated with expression through language, to include the following: Who has a voice? Who gets the right to say what? Who has agency? Who has representation? Who should shut up and in what circumstances should they? Who has the right to speak for whom? Who gets to set the agenda? What of “culture” wars and “cancel” culture? What of state censorship and self-censorship?

Posted by IAFOR