The Post-Truth Phenomenon

15 March 2018 - 17 March 2018

Jesus Lane Friends Meeting House

This event is being sponsored by CRASSH, but is not being hosted by the Centre. Further information is available on the conference's WordPress site.

An exhibition on the themes of the conference ('Reality Machines') will be held in the Alison Richard Building over 9-29 March. 



Ella McPherson (University of Cambridge)

Mara Polgovsky Ezcurra (University of Cambridge)

Devika Ranjan (University of Cambridge)



‘Post-Truth’ was the 2016 Oxford Dictionaries word of the year. Announced in November 2016, shortly after the election of Donald Trump in the United States and the referendum on Brexit in the United Kingdom, this selection added fuel to an ongoing mainstream and social media frenzy about fake news and ‘alternative facts’ and concomitant implications for politics, citizenship, journalism, and beyond. The post-truth phenomenon, ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief,’ as defined by Oxford Dictionaries, has been the subject of much instant commentary – though little academic analysis.

This conference is an opportunity to consolidate and advance our understanding of the post-truth phenomenon by bringing together scholars across disciplines. At the conference’s core is the view that this is a moment of ‘knowledge controversy,’ namely, a rupture of the naturalised order that provides a window onto the norms, practices, and power relations supporting that naturalised order.




Supported by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), and the Centre of Governance and Human Rights (CGHR).


Administrative Assistance: