The Origins of the Concept of Hate Speech

bob-simpsonResearcher Profile: Dr Robert Simpson

Project Title: The Origins of the Concept of Hate Speech

Brief description of the research project: In 2017 I’ll be undertaking a piece of research which examines the question of whether “hate speech” should be thought of as a feature of the social world that exists independently of its definition in law, or whether — as seems more natural — it is best understood as something that only exists as an ‘invented’ legal category. This project will result in the production of an interdisciplinary research article sitting at the intersection of philosophy and law.

Position description/Role of intern: The intern will provide research assistance helping to lay some of the groundwork for this piece of research. Their primary task will be to research books and articles in law, philosophy, and political science, to identify the contexts in which references to “hate speech” were first appearing (through the 1970s-1990s). The intern will be guided in their inquiries by my directives, and will be expected to produce annotated reports and keep electronic records of their work. The intern will also be given some time and opportunity to investigate issues and questions within the broader area of legal/philosophical work on hate speech if they have independent interests in this area.

Key duties/deliverables: Written reports; compendium of literature that’s been researched (in the form of PDFs and annotated PDFs of all documents read and examined); weekly one-hour debrief and planning meeting.

Work Location: Clayton Campus

Estimated hours: 144 hours

Student Type: Undergraduate or Postgraduate

Approximate start and end date: November 1 – February 28 (I will be working remotely from mid-December until late January; meetings during this time will be conducted via skype or Google chat)

Available Places: 1