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Mediating the Real 2: Mediations in a 'post-truth' era

A conference at the University of Otago 22nd – 24th November 2017

Presented by The Performance of the Real Research Theme and the Department of Media, Film and Communication

Keynote speakers

Dr Kim Toffoletti (Deakin University) &
Dr Laurie J. Ouellette (University of Minnesota)

‘Post-truth’ has become a buzzword in the last year generating think-pieces and SNS chatter lamenting 'truth' as a lost object that has enabled and / or smuggled in events like Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. With this discussion, comes a broader demonstration of anxiety that a true 'real' (world, political sphere, social …) has been either lost or obscured. The responsibility for this loss or obscurance has fallen firmly at the feet of 'the media' (as well as the so-called postmodernists).

This conference asks and unpacks the interactions of (post) truth, the 'real' and contemporary media.

Building on and following from the success of Mediating the Real ‘1’, we encourage critically informed approaches – particularly drawing from the work of Lacan. However, this time too, we invite scholars engaged with Jean Baudrillard's prolific engagement in these matters. 

Papers might ask but are not limited to:

  • What does post-truth mean in the contemporary media saturated context?
  • A consideration of the increasingly banal use of ‘post-truth’ (as OED word of the year 2016) in news chatter and the implications of this for understandings of 'truthful’ media
  • Where is the real located in this context? This might be through considerations of the Lacanian real and the possibilities for subjectivity and sociality – particularly in terms of the potential to build social bonds within the ‘discourse of capitalism’
  • What does the anguished / anxious response to 'post truth', particularly in popular and social media, tell us about contemporary subjectivity and sociality?
  • What do Baudrillard’s critical interventions tell us about the contemporary production of reality?

Postgraduate bursary

A number of travel and registration bursaries will be available for postgraduate students of around $250 per student. These will be allocated on the basis of the merit of submitted abstracts. We highly encourage postgraduate researchers to submit their work for consideration.

Register for the conference

Go to the conference registration page.

More info

Conference daily times

  • Wednesday, 22 November, 3pm - 8pm
  • Thursday, 23 November, 9.45am - 6.45pm
  • Friday, 24 November, 9.45am - 1.15pm

Performance of the Real website
Media, Film and Communication website
Performance of the Real
Media, Film and Communication

Date Wednesday, 22 November 2017 - Friday, 24 November 2017
Time 9:00am - 5:00pm
Audience All University
Event Category Research Events
Event Type Symposium
DepartmentMedia, Film and Communication
LocationRichardson Building, 6th Floor, North, room 4 (R6N4), Dunedin campus
CostRegistration: $95 (casual / sessional workers and postgraduates) and $225 (academic and waged workers) – includes cocktail function, lunches and teas
Dinner: $60
Contact NameDr Brett Nicholls and Dr Rosemary Overell

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