Obscenity! Blasphemy! Treason! An Interdisciplinary Conference on Censorship

deadline for submissions: 
September 7, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Dr L. Acadia / National Taiwan University
contact email: 

Obscenity! Blasphemy! Treason!

An Interdisciplinary International Conference on Censorship


March 3–4, 2022 at NTU and online

Keynote: Ramona Naddaff (UC Berkeley)


Obscenity! Blasphemy! Treason! Justifications for censorship imply that censored objects hold the power to subvert moral, religious, and civic good. The censor assumes that power, turning the censored object into a hidden hypothetical danger, whose excision from public view reinforces values and even realities the censor is protecting. This conference seeks to understand the power, interactions, and evolution of the censor, censored, and censorship. We welcome presentations addressing theoretical or actual censorship of a range of objects (e.g. text, sound, visual media, education, thought) and from across disciplines (e.g. literature, history, philosophy, film studies, art history, anthropology, politics, law).

Possible topics include:

  • motivations vs justifications for censorship
    (e.g. were Nazi campaigns against ‘degenerate art’ actually about aesthetics?)
  • power dynamics in censorship
    (does the term ‘self-censorship’ misrepresent the source of censorship?)
  • censorship’s production of discourse
    (how are Critical Race Theory bans attempting to alter understandings of history?) 
  • defining the parameters of censorable material
    (what is ‘pornography’?)
  • geographic, cultural, historical differences in censorship
    (how does censorship of Chinese-funded journalism abroad vs domestically compare?)
  • new concepts in censorship
    (how did ‘fake news’ go from describing deceptive information to justifying censorship?)
  • new censors
    (how have ‘fact checkers’ led to social media censoring science in the covid-19 info war?)
  • speculative futures of censorship
    (will capitalist net-partiality breed new forms of censorship?) 

Please send an abstract of your proposed presentation (200–300 words) and a brief bio to Dr L. Acadia (acadia@ntu.edu.tw) by September 7, 2021.

The evaluation committee—Professors Acadia (NTU), Santiago Juan-Navarro (Florida International University), and Greg Simons (Uppsala University)—will evaluate the abstracts and set the conference program. This conference is hosted and sponsored by National Taiwan University’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, with additional funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology.