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What the HEL? The 5th SwiSca Symposium on Swearing

What the HEL? The 5th SwiSca Symposium on Swearing

WHEN: Thu 23 November & Fri 24 November 2017, 9.30am to 5pm (Fri to 10am to 3pm)
WHERE: University of Helsinki, lecture hall 2 (konsistorin sali), Fabianinkatu 33, Helsinki

The Nordic research network Swearing in Scandinavia (SwiSca) would like to welcome you to What the HEL – the 5th SwiSca Symposium on Swearing. The event takes place on 23 November and 24 November 2017 at the University of Helsinki. SwiSca welco­­mes talks on any theme related to swearing, insults and other types of taboo language.
The symposium features invited international speakers, including Senior Lecturer Dr. Karyn Stapleton from Ulster University (keynote), Professor Kristy Beers Fägersten from Sö­­dertörn University (SwiSca) and Associate Professor Marianne Rathje from the University of Southern Denmark (Swisca). They will be joined by SwiSca members University Lecturer Elizabeth Peterson, University Instructor Robert Moncrief and PhD student Minna Hjort from the University of Helsinki.

We also welcome 20-minute presentations and poster presentations from other researchers on the general topic of swearing and taboo language. Your talk may belong to any relevant field (linguistics, translation studies, etc.) and concern any language. Also students who are working on or have completed a Master's thesis on the topic are encouraged to submit a proposal for a presentation. Please submit your proposal (max 300 words) to by 6/10/2017. Please also state your name and affiliation in your message.

The language of the symposium is English.

Attendance is free of charge, and anyone is welcome to come and listen to the presentations. Registration is not required from non-presenters, but because coffee will be served, advance registration would be greatly appreciated. Please register here:

The SwiSca symposium is the fifth symposium organized by the Swearing in Scandinavia network. The previous symposia took place in Copenhagen (2012), Oslo (2013), Uppsala (2013) and Odense (2016).


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6th SwiSca symposium keynote address: Dr. Richard Stephens “Give me strength!” Benefits of swearing for pain, physical performance and beyond Abstract Swearing is a fascinating aspect of language. For instance, evidence from Tourette's sufferers and aphasics suggests swearing may not rely on the usual language areas in the left cortex. In addition, while people tend to think of the use of four letter words as a modern phenomenon, the reality is that the earliest recorded uses of these words date back 1,000 years (the F word is one of the most recent, at c1500). Dr Richard Stephens, a psychologist based at Keele University in the United Kingdom, will be talking about his research, published in well-respected peer-review journals, conducted over the last decade. Across a number of studies Dr Stephens’s work has shown that swearing can help people become more tolerant of pain, that swearing can boost performance of physical strength and power tasks as well as other f

Programme: What the HEL – The 5th SwiSca Symposium on Swearing

What the HEL?  –  The 5th SwiSca Symposium on Swearing  23-24 November 2017, University of Helsinki University of Helsinki, main building, Fabianinkatu 33 , 2 nd  floor, lecture hall 2 (konsistorin sali) Join the event Facebook group at Programme ( updated 19/11/1017 ) Thursday 9.30-10.00 WELCOME & INTRODUCTION (Minna Hjort and Elizabeth Peterson) SESSION 1 Persuasive swearing 10.00-10.30 Kristy Beers Fägersten, Södertörn University: Swear words for Sale 10.30-11.00 Minna Hjort, University of Helsinki: Taboo in the Tabloids – Swearing celebrities and translating journalists 11.00-11.30 Anne Ketola, University of Tampere: From foul English to foul Finnish: Examining the translation of Adam Mansbach's Go the Fuck to Sleep 11.30-12.00 Jutta Rosenberg, Oscar Winberg, Åbo Akademi: Inflammable language and insults in the 2016 U