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The Concordia Centre for Broadcasting and Journalism Studies (CCBJS) and Le Centre de Recherche Interdisciplinaire sur La Diversité et la Democratie (CRIDAQ) have collaborated to create  a series of conferences and round tables in 2017-2018 on the timely  theme of truth and democracy and the relations between Journalism, Politics, and Social Science. 

The conference series will ask quest speakers to address the following questions: 

  • How we can discuss a politics for everyone and everybody? 
  • Can democracy survive the next internet?  
  • Why journalism is so important for the deliberative form of democracy?  
  • How to document what politicians think as opposed to what they say? 
  • What truths (or lies) can journalism provide about health sciences? 
  • What intimate truths are journalists and anthropologists looking for?
  • What can we learn about democracy from First Nations radio?

Journalism (real and fake) and the fate of democracy (its truths and post-truths) have suddenly become a hot topic around the world. A veritable political and media storm has social critics and pundits perplexed as to how to explain many of today’s political events. The storm has spread out from the unexpected results of the American presidential elections along with the return of right-wing populism, and the subsequent series of attacks on Immigrants, DACA, LGBTI, and many other vulnerable communities. It comes with a return of ethnic nationalism and the Brexit referendum, a new Cold War, and the globally publicized impeachment (“constitutional coup”) of the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff. 

These examples are not simply a shift toward right-wing authoritarianism, bigger big business, militarization, or the scapegoating of minorities, but in many instances the fabulous denial of social facts journalists, politicians and social scientists are expected to trust in order to carry out their respective mandates in the production of democracy itself. 

In many ways the perfect political and media storm around the world has occurred because the strengths in these fields have given way to their weaknesses. Many believe the political field is weakened to the point of absurdity (endless spin) and that journalism’s professional culture (as gatekeeper) of values of accuracy, reliability, autonomy, and truth is simply a cover for the interests of the most well-off (hence the accusation of being fake news). The social science "thinkers" have not been able to dam the storm surge either perhaps because of their own long divisive debate over the relations between knowledge, truth and power.  

For more information or to stay updated on our program:

TRUTH & DEMOCRACY Program
Mosco TRUTH & DEMOCRACY Poster

The Politics of Everybody: A Marxist-Queer View from the U.S.

September 26, 2017, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

Room SB Atrium, Samuel Bronfman Building (1590 Docteur Penfield)

Our first speaker in the Truth and Democracy: Journalism, Politics, and Social Science conference series is Holly Lewis, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Texas State University.

Dr. Lewis specializes in Continental Philosophy, Marxist political economy and debates in gender. She is active in the anti-fascist movement in her University. Her specific interest has been in critiquing the voluntarist counter-cultural sentiment in Western queer politics through an economic analysis based on feminist readings of Capital. She holds a Ph.D. from the European Graduate School in Media and Philosophy, an MA from the University of Pennsylvania in Comparative Culture and Politics and an MFA in Fiction from New York University. She is the author of The Politics of Everybody: Feminism, Queer Theory, and Marxism at the Intersection.

This event has been organized by the Concordia Centre for Broadcasting and Journalism Studies (CCBJS) and Le centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la diversité et la démocratie (CRIDAQ).

LE CENTRE DE RECHERCHE INTERDISCIPLINAIRE SUR LA DIVERSITÉ ET LA DÉMOCRATIE (CRIDAQ) EN PARTENARIAT AVEC LE CENTRE D'ÉTUDE SUR LA RADIODIFFUSION ET LE JOURNALISME DE CONCORDIA (CCBJS) VOUS INVITE À UNE SÉRIE DE  CONFÉRENCES EN 2017- 2018 SUR LE THÈME DE LA VÉRITÉ ET LA DÉMOCRATIE : JOURNALISME, POLITIQUE ET SCIENCES SOCIALES.

Le journalisme est un champ faible en ce sens qu'il s'appuie sur d'autres champs pour produire des histoires et sur le marché pour subsister. De plus, on s'accorde à dire qu'il s'affaiblit à mesure que l'économie numérique se développe et que l'ère postvérité émerge. Or, le journalisme est également un champ fort dont la culture professionnelle accorde une grande valeur à la précision, à la fiabilité, à l'autonomie et à la vérité. Le domaine du journalisme contrôle l'accès à l'information du public en plus de l'encadrement et du ton choisis.

Les politiciens sont forts au sens où ils sont en mesure de fournir du contenu journalistique, bien qu'affaibli (parfois au point d’en devenir absurde). Cette situation s’explique par leur transformation de la vérité au service des intérêts du parti, mais aussi à l’importance accordée à ne pas contredire leurs électeurs.

À l'instar des politiciens, la force des spécialistes des sciences sociales réside en leur capacité à fournir du contenu et en leur indépendance vis-à-vis du spin et du marché. Mais la position du chercheur en science politique est affaiblie par le débat sans fin sur les relations entre faits et valeurs, ou entre la connaissance, la vérité et le pouvoir, et par son incapacité à accéder à un financement durable.

FR TRUTH & DEMOCRACY Programme
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