June 7 and 8, 2018
Center for Chinese Studies, National Central Library, Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences
About the Conference
“Fake News” has recently emerged in the global lexicon as a central issue affecting social and political systems around the world. Information has, of course, been manipulated by various agents since the dawn of time. But the large questions of trust and authority in the media have dramatically erupted at certain times in history, bringing instability and challenges to existing social and political orders.
This 2-day conference explores crises of authority in the circulation of information during three periods in Chinese history that have seen dramatic shifts in forms of social and political media:

  1. The late fifteenth and early sixteenth century of the Ming period, with the rise of printing;
  2. The late nineteenth and early twentieth century of the Qing and Republican periods, with the rise of new journalism;
  3. The late twentieth and early twenty-first century, with the rise of the internet.
This conference examines the dimensions and contexts of these disruptions at these three historical periods in China to both historicize the current media climate, and to seek for paradigms for understanding and analyzing the issue of trust and authority in media in the context of deliberate manipulation by various actors for political purposes. Specifically, the conference asks questions such as in what ways new media challenge the authority of established media forms and social and political institutions, how do established social and political institutions react to emergence of new and/or contesting media forms, and/or how does the consumption of news and information shift among the broader reading public as a result of these processes?
  1. Media and Social and Political Control
  2. Genres of Journalism
  3. Rumors, Stories and Fiction
  4. Propaganda and the Discourse of Dissent
  5. New Media and Social Media

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