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The Taboo Conference – TaCo2016 Taboo and Humour in Language, Culture, Society, and the Media

  • Fechas:

    Del 20/09/16 al 21/09/16

  • Lugar:

    Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Campus del Poblenou (C/Roc Boronat, 138 08018 Barcelona), Edifici 52. Roc Boronat, Barcelona, España (mapa)

Web del evento

Descripción ↑ subir

For more information, visit the TaCo website.

The Taboo Conference – TaCo2016

Taboo and Humour in Language, Culture, Society, and the Media

In a world that seems continuously to be pushing the envelope of what is acceptable to the inhabitants of specific linguistic and cultural contexts, this interdisciplinary conference acknowledges the importance of investigating taboos and their reinforcement/breaking in various areas of language, culture and society, and across different cultures. We propose to explore the delicate balance and subtle boundaries between the need for inclusion and respect for different ethnic, religious, sexual, etc. backgrounds – which seems to be at the basis of modern multicultural societies – and a (un)conscious push towards the breaking of existing taboos, for example for shock value, as in the case of comedy and art. In such context, investigation of the linguistic, cultural, social, institutional and personal implications of taboo reinforcement/breaking appears of extreme value.

For its 3rd edition, The Taboo Conference series will specifically address the intricacies of taboo and humour/comedy in the broad contexts of language, culture, society, and the media and in its various occurrences from the points of view of production, performance, and perception/reception. The subject of taboo and humour seems to have become especially relevant in the last few years, in which political correctness at both the institutional and individual level has been seen, on the one hand, as a crucial tool in protecting minorities from verbal abuse and in preventing the reinforcement of stereotypes and, on the other hand, as a set of measures and a way of thinking which significantly stymie free speech in many aspects of the public sphere.

This conference seeks to explore the shifting boundaries of the acceptability of taboo humour and comedy in their various incarnations as produced and perceived in today’s multicultural society, both in real-life and virtual communities and contexts. Possible areas of inquiry include, for example, the interplay and the influence of political orientations on comedy, political satire, identity and gender politics, ethnic humour and stereotypes, comedy tackling different kinds of non-normative behaviour, political correctness and the discourse surrounding it, and the debate between real and perceived offense through comedy.

We welcome individual proposals or pre-organized panels from different disciplines pertaining – but by no means limited – to the following thematic areas and their intersections with taboo, humour and comedy:

• Sex and Sexuality (e.g. nudity, bizarre sex)

• Death and Dying (e.g. aging, widowhood, funerals and burials, mortal accidents)

• Sickness, disability and deformity

• Scatology (e.g. toilet humour)

• Politics (e.g. political corruption, political incorrectness, prejudice, discrimination, party politics)

• Religions and Blasphemy (rituals, prejudice, afterlife)

• Social institutions and cultural values (e.g. drugs and alcohol, law and order, family, education, food and eating habits, gambling, personal image, work ethics, social hypocrisy)

• Money (meanness, greed, theft, exploitation, waste, extravagance, poverty)

• Changing social attitudes towards violence, exploitation and abuse (prostitution, slavery, trafficking, rape, children’s rights)


Early birds

(from March 1st to July 31st 2016)


€ 100


€ 15

Full price registration

(from August 1st 2016)


€ 150


€ 25

One day registration

(not available for presenters)


€ 70


€ 10

Conference dinner

(Regular and Student)

€ 40

* Student status does not apply to speakers. These places are limited, and proof of student status will be required, e.g. valid student card, or scanned copy of institutional letter confirming student status at the time of the Conference, sent to thetabooconference@gmail.com. Student registration prices do not include coffee breaks or conference pack.

Lugar ↑ subir

Programa ↑ subir


DAY 1 (20th Sept)


Welcome height:26px;">


Keynote Speech 1


Coffee break 1

Parallel Sessions - papers


Paper 1

Paper 2

Paper 3

Paper 4




Paper 5

Paper 6

Paper 7

Paper 8


Coffee break 2


Paper 9

Paper 10

Paper 11

Paper 12

DAY 2 (21st Sept)

Parallel Sessions - papers


Paper 13

Paper 14

Paper 15

Paper 16


Paper 17

Paper 18

Paper 19

Paper 20


Coffee break 2


Paper 21

Paper 22

Paper 23

Paper 24


Paper 25

Paper 26

Paper 27

Paper 28




Paper 29

Paper 30

Paper 31

Paper 32


Keynote Speech 2


Closing Remarks

Ponentes ↑ subir

Organising Committee:

Patrick Zabalbeascoa, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Guillermo Parra, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Victoria Alsina, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Anna Espunya, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Didac Pujol, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Montse Corrius, Universitat de Vic

Katarzyna Gorska, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Stavroula Sokoli, Hellenic Open Univeristy

Blanca Arias Badia, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Scientific Committee

Chiara Bucaria, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna-Forli

Delia Chiaro, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna-Forli

Eva Espasa, Universitat de Vic

Marta Mateo, Universidad de Oviedo

Raquel Merino, Universidad del País Vasco

Anthony D. Mitzel, Durham University

Jessica Milner Davis, Univeristy of Sydney

Christie Davies, University of Reading

Don Kulick, Uppsala University

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