CFP: The Moral and Political Challenges of Speech

Submission deadline: March 6, 2019

Conference date(s):
April 6, 2019 - April 7, 2019

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Philosophy Graduate Student Association, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, United States

Topic areas



The Moral and Political Challenges of Speech: The Second Annual PGSA@UT Philosophy Conference

  • When: April 6-7, 2019

  • Where: University of Tennessee, Knoxville

  • NEW Submission Deadline: March 6, 2019

The Philosophy Graduate Student Association at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville invites abstract submissions from graduate students and post-doctoral scholars in philosophy and other relevant disciplines for its second annual conference, “The Moral and Political Challenges of Speech,” to be held on the UTK campus on April 6-7, 2019. We are thrilled to have Professor Susan Brison of Dartmouth University joining us as this year's keynote speaker!

Submissions may engage with any aspect of the nature of speech acts, the moral norms and considerations governing those acts and/or the political status of freedom of speech. Some possible questions to engage with might include the following (though this list is by no means exhaustive):

  • What is a speech act? What counts? What doesn’t?

  • What roles do context, intent, and/or uptake play in speech acts?

  • How can speech acts be harmful? How should we assess those harms?

  • What are our responsibilities with respect to the idea of freedom of speech on an individual, societal, or institutional level

  • What counts as speech in contexts of protest? What are our moral and political responsibilities in these contexts?

  • What other values might compete with the freedom of speech? How ought we adjudicate conflicts among these values?

  • What is the relationship between freedom of speech and other key democratic ideals, e.g., pluralism, self-determination, various kinds of moral and political advocacy, etc.

  • How should we conceptualize the value of speech on campuses and in educational/epistemic contexts?

Abstracts of 500-750 words should be formatted for blind review and submitted via email to by February 22, 2019. Please include your name, contact information, and disciplinary/institutional affiliation in the body of your email.

Accepted presenters will be notified in early March. Full papers should be prepared for 30 minute presentations (with a short Q&A/discussion to follow).

For more information, visit our website at, or email us at!

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)