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Call for Papers: What Comes After Disinformation Studies? | Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP)

By Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP)
February 2, 2022

The title of this pre-conference, “What Comes After Disinformation Studies?”, is something of a deliberate provocation. With an ongoing increase in authoritarian and nationalist politics globally over the past several years and the weakening of democratic institutions in many countries, scholarly and media attention to disinformation has exploded, as have institutional, platform, and funder investments towards policy and technical solutions. This has also led to critical debates over the “disinformation studies” literature. Some of the more prominent critiques of extant assumptions and literatures by scholars and researchers include: the field possesses a simplistic understanding of the effects of media technologies; overemphasizes platforms and underemphasizes politics; focuses too much on the United States and Anglocentric analysis; has a shallow understanding of political culture and culture in general; lacks analysis of race, class, gender, and sexuality as well as status, inequality, social structure, and power; has a thin understanding of journalistic processes; and, has progressed more through the exigencies of grant funding than the development of theory and empirical findings. These concerns have also been surfaced by journalists and community organizers in public forums, such as Harper’s Magazine’s special report “Bad News” in late August 2021; or, organizers highlighting the exclusions of communities of color in existing discourse and subsequent responses.

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