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Speech can be used to change societies in bad ways. It supports institutional oppression, establishes new oppressive norms, silences opponents, spreads disinformation and propagates feelings of hate. Online communities magnify the effects of individual speech acts. This workshop series, comprising five meetings, will dive into five different aspects of oppressive speech. We’ll look at social norms and institutions, silencing and free speech, social meaning, norm-shifting and disinformation. We’ll bring several tools and perspectives from linguistics, social modelling, and philosophy, including game theory, semantics/pragmatics and speech act theory. We’ll seek answers to how oppressive speech works and how to defend against it. 

Please sign up below for each event that you would like to attend. Registration for each event closes three days prior to the respective event. 


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