Event Detail

Thu Sep 25, 2014
Howison Library, 4–6 PM
Townsend Visitor
Jennifer Hornsby (Birkbeck, University of London)
Free Speech and Pornography

I’ll assume that it’s a good a question what comes under the head of “speech and expression” so far as a right to freedom of speech and expression is concerned (and that this question is not automatically answered by making reference to the Constitution and law of a particular jurisdiction). My claim then will be that there is a sub-class of pornography which isn’t correctly reckoned speech or expression. I’ll revisit some of the thinking of Catharine MacKinnon (in the ’70s through to Only Words [1993]) in the light of subsequent literature and technological developments.

Possible background reading:

  • Jennifer Hornsby and Rae Langton, “Free Speech and Illocution”. Legal Theory 4 (1998): 21-37.
  • Andrew Koppelman, “Is Pornography ‘Speech’?”. Legal Theory 14 (2008): 71-89.