2018 Spring Symposium: "The State of our Satirical Union"

Co-curated by Jane E. Kirtley and Roslyn A. Mazur

“The State of Our Satirical Union: Hustler Magazine , Inc. v. Falwell at 30” symposium will mark the anniversary of a landmark Supreme Court decision, issued in 1988, affirming the First Amendment right of editorial cartoonists and satirists to lampoon public figures.

But 30 years later, cartoonists and journalists face intimidation on social media platforms.  Satirists of all stripes are working in an environment that presents challenges to freedom of speech unimaginable when the unanimous court decided Hustler v. Falwell.  There are calls to change libel laws to make it easier to sue the news media.  In the era of Trump and Charlie Hebdo, will Hustler’s protections endure?

The symposium will explore the many dimensions of the Hustler decision, including the history of the case and participation by editorial cartoonists and other First Amendment advocates as “friends of the court.”  Leading media law scholars and editorial cartoonists will interpret the legacy of the ruling in the context of major political events and legal developments of the last 30 years.

The symposium will feature some of the country’s best-known editorial cartoonists, whose work will be displayed throughout the event.

Co-sponsored by: The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Minnesota Journalism Center at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.

For more about this event, click on any of the following links:
A dedicated website with full coverage of “The State of Our Satirical Union: Hustler Magazine , Inc. v. Falwell at 30”
Silha Bulletin story following the 2018 Spring Symposium

Event Location

Cowles Auditorium, West Bank

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