Call for Abstracts: Freedom of Expression Scholars Conference 2020

Conference date: April 25-26, 2020- rescheduled for Oct. 24-25, 2020

Abstracts due: January 31, 2020


The Floyd Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression invites applications to participate in the eighth annual Freedom of Expression Scholars Conference (FESC). The conference will be held at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut on April 25 & 26, 2019. We ask all those interested in presenting a paper to submit an abstract by January 31, 2019. Those interested in commenting on a paper should also respond by this date indicating their interest.

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: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 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 Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon. There is a casual dinner Friday evening and a conference dinner Saturday 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 [email link to] no later than January 31, 2020. Please use the subject line “FESC Paper Submission” in your email. Abstracts should be no more than one page.
  • Those interested in attending the conference or acting as a discussant should also contact Heather Branch [email link to] no later than January 31, 2020. Please use the subject line “FESC Participant” in your email.
  • Authors will be informed whether their paper has been selected on or before February 21, 2020.
  • Workshop versions of accepted papers will be due on April 1, 2019, so that they can be circulated to discussants and other conference participants.

We expect that participants’ home institutions will 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 lodging and reasonable travel expenses for authors and discussants who would not otherwise be able to attend. This fellowship is intended to encourage submissions from junior faculty and lawyers.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Heather Branch [email link to].