18 Oct 20176:00pm - 7:30pmFisher Building, St John's College, Cambridge

Description

Conspiracy theories usually arouse scepticism. Yet when we confront them 'in the flesh,' they can appear – at least on first sight – strangely persuasive. Join a discussion about the strategies conspiracies use in making their pitch for plausibility and staking their claim to truth. Organised by the Conspiracy & Democracy project at CRASSH.

In the abstract and as a generic class, conspiracy theories arouse scepticism. Yet sometimes when we actually confront a conspiracy theory 'in the flesh,' they can appear – at least on first sight – strangely persuasive. What strategies do these narratives employ in making their pitch for plausibility and staking their claim to be true. The Conspiracy and Democracy Team has been conducting research at CRASSH for the last four years on this intriguing aspect of modern society. In this discussion, some of its members will examine the relationship between conspiracy theories and truth. 

Andrew McKenzie-McHarg – What role do images play? How can images unveil what is otherwise hidden?

Rachel Hofmann – How do revolutions and assassinations provoke conspiracy theories? Why with events of this nature can they attain a degree of plausibility?

Hugo Drochon – How do conspiracy theories mobilize emotions? How do they speak to our sense of identity?

Hugo Leal – How do conspiracy theories become viral memes? How is their spread promoted by the internet?

Alfred Moore – What role do FOIA requests play in this story? Have they suppressed or stimulated conspiracy theorizing?

This event is part of the University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas, booking is required. Bookings open 25 September.  

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