Neil Thin Joins the Panel for “Hate Speech, Love Speech, Free Speech?”

Neil Thin of the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, has joined The 3rd Asian Conference on Language (ACL2022) on the panel for “Hate Speech, Love Speech, Free Speech?”.

Ben Fenton-Smith of Griffith University, Australia has also been chosen to discuss this topic. Additional panellists 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

Neil Thin
University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Neil Thin

Neil Thin is a senior lecturer in Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh. He researches and lectures on happiness, social quality, sustainable development, and appreciative and aspirational social planning. He has authored four books and several institutional policy guides on these themes. He promoted the wellbeing lens in social planning through a Parliamentary Fellowship in the Scottish Parliament, and through service on the UN/Government of Bhutan panel of experts on happiness and development. He also has over 20 years of practical and policy experience working towards the reduction of poverty and promotion of justice and wellbeing in poorer countries, working at all levels from grassroots to governmental and international official agencies. He has frequently served as a social development adviser and trainer for international development agencies such as the UK Department for International Development, UN Agencies, the World Bank, and international NGOs.


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