Call for Abstracts and Participants: Freedom of Expression Scholars Conference


The Floyd Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression invites applications to participate in the seventh annual Freedom of Expression Scholars Conference (FESC). The conference will be held at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut on April 26 & 27, 2019. We ask all those interested in presenting a paper or commenting on a paper to respond by February 15, 2019.   

At FESC, scholars and practitioners discuss works-in-progress on the freedoms of speech, expression, press, association, petition, and assembly as well as on related issues of knowledge and information policy. FESC has become a fixture on the calendar of leading First Amendment thinkers and scholars nationwide. The paper titles and attendees from prior conferences are available here: 20182017201620152014, and 2013.

Each accepted paper is assigned to a discussant, who will summarize the paper, provide feedback, and lead a discussion. Workshop sessions are typically lively discussions among authors, discussants, and participants. Sessions run from Friday morning through Saturday afternoon, with a casual dinner on Thursday evening. Conference participants are expected to read the papers in advance and to attend the entire conference.

We accept papers on a wide array of freedom of expression and information policy topics.  Although participation at the conference is by invitation only, we welcome paper proposals from scholars, practitioners, and free speech advocates all over the world. Please feel free to share this call for submissions widely. 

  • Titles and abstracts of papers should be submitted electronically to Heather Branch no later than February 15, 2019.
  • Those interested in attending the conference or acting as a discussant should also contact Heather Branch no later than February 15, 2019.
  • Workshop versions of accepted papers will be due on March 29, 2019, so that they can be circulated to discussants and other conference participants.

As before, we are expecting that participants will ask their home institutions to cover travel expenses. However, thanks to a generous donation from the Stanton Foundation, we are able to offer Abrams Travel Fellowships to cover some of the costs of associated flights, lodging, and reasonable travel expenses for presenters and discussants who would not otherwise be able to attend. This fellowship is intended to encourage submissions from junior faculty and lawyers. Should you be invited to participate as an author or discussant, please inform us in your response whether you will require Abrams Travel Fellowship funding.

If you have any questions please feel free to be in touch with Heather Branch