Beyond Verification: Authentication, Authenticity and the Spread of Fake News

Speaker(s): Wendy Chun

That fake news has affected recent political events in the U.S. and abroad has become a truism; the sense that combating fake news entails more than verification similarly has become accepted wisdom. So how do we understand and respond to fake news? This colloquium will map out different approaches to fake news in diverse fields, and outline a response that addresses the structures–rather than simply the content–that make fake news compelling. Framing fake news as an inter-medial narrative, will outline an approach based in dramatic / literary conceptions of authenticity.

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun will be the Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media at Simon Fraser University and was previously Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She has studied both Systems Design Engineering and English Literature, which she combines and mutates in her current work on digital media. She is author of Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics (MIT 2006), Programmed Visions: Software and Memory (MIT 2011), and Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media (MIT 2016). She is co-editor (with Tara McPherson and Patrick Jagoda) of a special issue of American Literature entitled New Media and American Literature, co-editor (with Lynne Joyrich) of a special issue of Camera Obscura entitled Race and/as Technology, and co-editor (with Anna Fisher and Thomas Keenan) of New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader, 2nd edition (Routledge 2015). She was a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow and an ACLS and American Academy of Berlin Fellow, and she has been a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and a Wriston Fellow at Brown. She has been the Velux Visiting Professor of Management, Politics, and Philosophy at the Copenhagen Business School, the Wayne Morse Chair for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon, Visiting Professor at Leuphana University (Luneburg, Germany), and Visiting Associate Professor in the History of Science Department at Harvard.

Event details

Annenberg School for Communication