The Pen & The Sword

Date(s) - 15/12/2020
18:00 - 20:00


How does humor work, and what do we do when it becomes controversial? Where do we draw the
line between the so-called ‘right to offend’ and the ‘right not be offended’? How do judges make
these decisions when dealing with contentious cartoons? The importance of these questions has
been dramatically illustrated by recent events, such as the brutal murder of French schoolteacher
Samuel Paty, who showed Charlie Hebdo’s provocative Muhammad caricatures during a class on
freedom of expression.

During this interactive lecture, we will explore the controversies surrounding humor from a variety
of perspectives. In the first half, Alberto Godioli will show how courts deal with humor in the context
of free speech regulation, setting the basis for a group discussion of selected recent cases. In the
second half, Sanne Boekel will share her experience as a cartoonist and illustrator and will lead a
hands-on workshop in which you will have the opportunity to create your own cartoons!

Alberto Godioli is a Senior Lecturer in European Culture and Literature at the University of
Groningen, and programme director of the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL).
His research focuses on humor controversies, with particular regard to the legal regulation of
humorous expression. His work on the topic has been published by Strasbourg Observers, Global
Freedom of Expression and Open Library of Humanities. He is Principal Investigator of the project
‘Cartoons in Court’ (Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study, 2020-2023).

Sanne Boekel is an illustrator and screen printer. She studied Illustration at Minerva Art Academy in
Groningen and won the Minerva Art Academy Design Award 2018 for her graduation project
Actieshop de Moraalridder. She makes zines, books and posters and coordinates BARRICADES, an
illustration festival in Groningen. In her work she uses humor to show struggles in society and
everyday life.


Total spaces: 30
Available spaces: 14

Bookings are closed for this event.


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