University of Connecticut

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Dangerous Speech and What to Do About It

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
11:15am – 12:15pm

Storrs Campus
Konover Auditorium, Dodd Center

Dangerous Speech and What to Do About It: Fear and Loathing in Our Discourse Dr. Cathy Buerger, Dangerous Speech Project

Wednesday, March 27, 2018 11:15am-12:15pm Konover Auditorium

No one is born hating or fearing other people. That has to be taught – and those harmful lessons seem to be similar, though they’re given in highly disparate cultures, languages, and places. Leaders around the world use particular kinds of rhetoric to turn groups of people violently against one another. But this rhetoric is, of course, nothing new. The vocabulary varies, but the same themes recur: members of other groups are depicted as threats so serious that violence against them comes to seem acceptable or even necessary. In this talk, drawing from both historical and contemporary examples, Dr. Cathy Buerger will outline a framework for identifying Dangerous Speech – any form of expression that can increase the risk that its audience will condone or commit violence against members of another group. The lecture will conclude with a discussion of productive responses to dangerous and otherwise harmful speech.


Post-Presentation Focus Group 12:30pm – 1:30pm Room 162

Join us following the Dr. Buerger’s presentation for a focus group discussion designed to inform the Dangerous Speech Project’s efforts in developing educational resources. Participants will provide feedback on key elements of the presentation and resources, and consider strategies for educational impact. Lunch will be provided.

To RSVP for the focus group, please email


Thomas J. Dodd Research Center (primary), Human Rights Institute, UConn Master Calendar

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