The Politics of Dissent: Satire, Sarcasm and Spite in Civil Society

Eric Bain-Selbo Announcement
Ohio, United States
Subject Fields
Composition & Rhetoric, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Political Science, Social Sciences

Society for Values in Higher Education

92nd Annual Meeting

The Politics of Dissent

Satire, Sarcasm, and Spite in Civil Society

July 13-17, 2016

Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH


Some see satire and other forms of political humor as undermining the civility necessary for the functioning of a civil society. Others see these forms of expression as signs of healthy democratic discourse. At its 2016 annual meeting, the Society for Values in Higher Education will explore the nature of civil discourse. How can we establish a more robust and productive dialogue with one another—across our political, religious, and cultural divides? Paper or panel proposals are invited on (but not limited to) the following questions: 

  • - What distinguishes political humor from hate speech? 
  • - When do norms of civility stifle political dissent? 
  • - Are there moral and religious boundaries within which political humor should be con-tained? 
  • - What if any impact does Citizens United have on the quality of civil discourse? To what standards should corporations that fund political attack ads be held? 
  • - Do anonymous social media undermine or facilitate civil discourse? 
  • - How can individuals foster civility through participation in local institutions and organizations? 
  • - What role can colleges and universities play in establishing a genuine civil discourse? 


Contact Information 


Direct inquiries and proposals to Eric Bain-Selbo, Executive Director, Society for Values in Higher Education ( Proposals should not exceed 1000 words. Proposals will be reviewed as they are submitted. Review will continue until all available slots are filled. No proposals will be accepted after the deadline of April 15, 2016. Interdisciplinary and/or practice oriented proposals are especially encouraged. 



Those selected to present will receive a reduced registration rate of $50 for members or $75 for non-members (which includes a complimentary year-long membership) for the 2015 Fellows Meeting. Two papers will be selected for the Robert Spivey Excellence in Scholarship Awards which include a prize of $300 each. To be eligible for an award, completed papers must be submitted by July 1, 2016 and authors are required to attend 

Contact Information

Eric Bain-Selbo

Executive Director

Society for Values in Higher Education


Contact Email