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Workshops & seminars, Conferences & lectures

Creation and Dissemination of Disinformation in Social and Traditional Media

Date & time
Monday, April 29, 2024
11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Registration is closed


This event is free




J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.

Wheel chair accessible


Join us for a panel discussing three topics with David Castillo, Joan Bartlett, and Lucie Laumonier, moderated by Bradley Nelson.

Disinformation Ops and Strategies of Resistance from Another Age of Inflationary Media:

The disinformation problem we face today is not unique to the digital age or even to the age of radio and television. While the Info Ops of totalitarian regimes like Stalinism and Nazism are often part of the conversation about the origins of disinformation and its devastating consequences, we can trace the history of this type of mass manipulation, including State sponsored disinformation operations, much further back in time, at least to the first age of inflationary media in early modern Europe. The new print technology provided the emerging reading public access to a vast repository of information, but it also made way for propagandists and demagogues, who would quickly learn to exploit the vulnerabilities of the expanding print market to their advantage. In this presentation, David Castillo will provide a few examples of officially sponsored dis-info ops in Imperial Spain while highlighting contemporaneous strategies of resistance.

Information literacy and mis- and disinformation:

Information literacy relates to the ability to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information. While the concept became prevalent in the 1990s, it has gained additional relevance in the era of mis- and dis-information. The development of strong information literacy skills, including the selection and evaluation of information resources, has been shown to be an effective means of mitigating against mis- and dis-information. The panel presentation by Joan Bartlett will focus on how information literacy relates to other literacies (e.g., media literacy), and how it can be used as a strategy against mis- and dis-information.

Teaching about Disinformation and Fake News: Challenges and Personal Reflections:

This presentation by Lucie Laumonier will focus on course material and organization, students' engagement in the classroom, challenges to overcome and how to approach a topic that often connects with racism, misogyny and antisemitism while providing a safe classroom environment for students. Dr. Laumonier's research on notarial and judiciary sources in the context of Medieval France provides a distanced and comparatively neutral sounding board for the ways that disinformation can become embedded in official discourses and documents, including legal and legislative decisions and programs. Teaching students how to tease apart disinformation, legal fiction, and legal facts is an excellent way to teach media and information literacy.

How can you participate? Join us in person by registering here or online by registering for the Zoom Meeting or watching live on YouTube.

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David R. Castillo

David Castillo is a Professor of Spanish and co-director of the Center for Information Integrity at the University at Buffalo, where he served as Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures from 2009 to 2015 and Humanities Institute Director from 2016 to 2022. He is a 2018 recipient of the UB Exceptional Scholar Award for Sustained Achievement and a 2001 recipient of the University of Oregon Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching. Castillo is the author of Un-Deceptions: Cervantine Strategies for the Disinformation Age, Baroque Horrors: Roots of the Fantastic in the Age of Curiosities and Awry Views: Anamorphosis, Cervantes, and the Early Picaresque, and co-author of What Would Cervantes Do? Navigating Post-truth with Spanish Baroque Literature, Medialogies: Reading Reality in the Age of Inflationary Media, and Zombie Talk: Culture, History, Politics.

He has coedited several essay collections, including Continental Theory Buffalo: Transatlantic Crossroads of a Critical Insurrection, Reason and Its Others: Italy, Spain, and the New World, Spectacle and Topophilia: Reading Early and Postmodern Hispanic Cultures and Writing in the End Times: Apocalyptic Imagination in the Hispanic World.

Joan Bartlett

Joan Bartlett is an expert in bioinformatics, information behaviour, information interaction, and information literacy. A faculty member in the School of Information Studies as well as the McGill Center for Bioinformatics, she has published and taught extensively on the relation between library research and practices and information and media literacy. Libraries have been at the epicentre of recent (and largely successful) efforts by right wing cultural warriors to remove and ban books that discuss the importance of colonialism, slavery, indigeneity in North American history. Professor Barlet'ts work on these and other related topics will bring vital perspectives to bear on the topic of disinformation from an institutional point of view.

Lucie Laumonier

Lucie Laumonier is an assistant professor of Journalism at Concordia University with an M.A. in history from Université de Sherbrooke (Québec) and a PhD in history from Université de Sherbrooke and Université Montpellier 3 (France). Her are of research is Medieval France, specifically, notarial sources (wills, marriage contracts...) and judiciary documents from the Parlement de Toulouse, which focuses on families from Languedoc (south of France) from the 1250s to the end of the 15th century. She's interested in the concepts of "crisis", "norm" and "normality" from the perspective of social history (urban or religious). Dr. Laumonier's focus on crisis mentalities in the Middle Ages will provide important historical connections and depth to the discussion of mis- and disinformation and also serve as a platform to demonstrate how the overarching theme of the conference can be taught across the curriculum.

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