Taboo Conference II – TaCo2014

Durham University (United Kingdom), 8-9 September 2014
Recommended arrival: 7 September (pm) - Conference Day 1: 8 September - Conference Day 2: 9 September

Venue:  Grey College, Durham University, UK


Confirmed keynote speakers: 

Emeritus Professor Keith Allan (Monash University, Australia)

Professor Phil Hubbard (University of Kent, UK)

Professor Don Kulick (University of Chicago, USA)


Call for papers
DEADLINE: 31 May 2014


Building on the success of the first Taboo Conference held at the Alma mater studiorum University of Bologna in Forlì, Italy (2012), Durham University (UK) is pleased to announce a call for papers for the Taboo Conference II to be held on 8 and 9 September 2014 (with most delegates arriving in the evening of 7 September).


Western societies’ politics of inclusion and respect for ethnic, religious, cultural, and sexual Others is often juxtaposed with a fascination for or experimentation with the breaking of existing taboos; these apparently conflicting stances provide a stimulating backdrop for research across a wide range of academic fields. Thus, the examination of taboo reinforcement/debasement is fundamental in forward-looking, multicultural societies governed by institutions such as political correctness and cultural and personal civility.


The Centre for Intercultural Mediation, Durham University and the Department of Interpreting and Translation, Alma mater studiorum, University of Bologna jointly organize this interdisciplinary conference that seeks to explore questions related to taboos as diverse as sex, sexuality and nudity to disability, sickness and death, among others, and to showcase research into linguistic, cultural and societal taboos and their reinforcement/debasement from both an intra- and inter-cultural perspective. 


We welcome individual proposals or pre-organized panels from different disciplines engaging with the following thematic areas or other areas pertaining to taboo of any form:
•Sex and sexuality
•Death and the afterlife
•Sickness and disability
•Scatology/bodily fluids
•Altered states/drug culture
•Body modifications

The working language for the conference is English. Each paper presentation should be scheduled for 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for questions.

Abstracts should be submitted online at by 31 May 2014 and should include:

·       Title of your paper

·       A 250-word abstract

·       6 keywords

·       Professional affiliation

·       Email address

·       150 words of bio-notes


If you are interested in submitting a panel of three speakers, please contact Denise Filmer ([log in to unmask]) and Callum Walker ([log in to unmask]) by the same deadline providing the information required above for each panellist and paper.


Notification of acceptance for both abstracts and panels will be given by 10 June 2014.


Questions and queries about the event can be addressed for the attention of the conference convenors Ms Denise Filmer and Mr Callum Walker to the above email addresses. Please use “TACO2014” in the subject field.