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Thursday, 15 December 2011 13:55

The Taboo Conference


The Taboo Conference – TaCo2012

Forlì (Italy), 25-27 October 2012


Call for papers

In a world that seems continuously to be pushing the envelope of what is acceptable to the inhabitants of specific linguistic and cultural contexts, this interdisciplinary conference acknowledges the importance of investigating taboos and their reinforcement/breaking in various areas of language, culture and society, and across different cultures. We propose to explore the delicate balance and subtle boundaries between the need for inclusion and respect for different ethnic, religious, sexual, etc. backgrounds – which seems to be at the basis of modern multicultural societies – and a (un)conscious push towards the breaking of existing taboos, for example for shock value, as in the case of humour. In such context, investigation of the linguistic, cultural, social, institutional and personal implications of taboo reinforcement/breaking appears of extreme value.

We welcome individual proposals or pre-organized panels from different disciplines pertaining – but by no means limited – to the following thematic areas:

  • Sex and sexuality
  • Nudity
  • Death and the afterlife
  • Sickness and disability
  • Scatology/bodily fluids
  • Deformity/otherness
  • Blasphemy
  • Altered states/drug culture
  • Body modifications
  • Fat
  • Prostitution


Keynote speakers include:

Christie Davies – University of Reading

Don Kulick – University of Chicago

Brett Mills – University of East Anglia

Jessica Milner Davis – University of Sydney


The working language for the conference is English. Each paper presentation should be scheduled for 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for questions.


Abstracts should be submitted through the conference website by 15th February 2012. If you are interested in submitting a panel, please contact us by the same deadline at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notification of acceptance for both abstracts and panels will be given by 15th March 2012.

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