CFP: Curb Your Enthusiasm: Analysing the Ethics and Politics of Political Correctness

Submission deadline: July 30, 2024

Conference date(s):
November 21, 2024 - November 22, 2024

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Call for Papers 

Online Conference 

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Analysing the Ethics and Politics of Political Correctness 

21-22 November 2024 

Convenors: Michele Bocchiola (University of Geneva) and Matteo Bonotti (Monash University)   

The conference will convene virtually on Zoom, fostering a global exchange of ideas and scholarly discussions. 

Conference Overview 

Curb Your Enthusiasm, the acclaimed sitcom created by Larry David and scheduled to end in 2024 with its 12th season, serves as a rich backdrop for exploring the intricacies of political correctness. Larry David’s unfiltered approach to social interactions provides a lens through which we can examine the nuances and challenges of navigating the boundaries of political correctness in contemporary societies. 

Political correctness involves avoiding language (and, in some cases, actions) that may be perceived as discriminatory or offensive, especially towards members of oppressed and vulnerable groups. To be politically correct therefore means to speak and act in ways that communicate respect for diverse identities and minimize the potential for harm or exclusion.  

Debates surrounding political correctness also explore questions related to civility, free speech, the potential for stifling open dialogue, and the challenges of balancing linguistic sensitivity with the expression of diverse perspectives. 

This international conference invites scholars in moral philosophy and political theory to engage in a thoughtful exploration of political correctness with a specific focus on the perspectives illuminated by Curb Your Enthusiasm. The conference aims to foster insightful discussions on the impact of excessive political correctness, its role in potentially exacerbating social and political divisions, and the moral and justice-based considerations associated with gender and identity politics. 

Keynote Speakers 

Simeon Goldstraw (University of Oxford) 

Justin Kitchen (San Francisco State University) 

Bekka Williams (Minnesota State University, Mankato) 

We invite paper proposals which draw on Curb Your Enthusiasm and engage, inter alia, with the following issues: 

  • The ethical, social, linguistic and/or conceptual foundations of political correctness; 
  • The potential impact of excessive political correctness on societal divisions; 
  • The challenges of forming progressive coalitions amidst heightened polarization around political correctness; 
  • Moral and justice-based critiques of gender-focused political correctness; 
  • Political correctness and the intersectionality of identity politics beyond gender; 
  • Alternative approaches to political correctness, including the use of neopronouns; 
  • Political correctness and the limits of free speech; 
  • Political correctness, civility and incivility. 

Submission Guidelines 

We welcome 500-word abstract submissions in English, anonymized for blind review. Abstracts should clearly articulate the defended position or discussed issue and provide an outline of the argument. Accepted contributions will be allocated a 30-minute presentation slot followed by a 15-minute discussion. 

Important Dates

  • Abstract submission deadline: 30 July 2024 
  • Notification of acceptance: 15 September 2024  


For all correspondence, including paper submissions and additional inquiries, please direct your communication to the conference convenors via [email protected] and [email protected]

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