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“Post-truth” is the Oxford Dictionaries international word of 2016. It refers to a political culture in which debate is framed by appeals to emotion rather than factual rebuttals. Many commentators warn that Donald Trump’s victory and the Brexit vote signify our entrance into a ‘post-truth’ era.
Is the Asia-Pacific witnessing similar trends? Are we really living in post-truth age that is different from previous eras? If so, what distinguishes our current public sphere? Some attribute the 24-hour news cycle, and the rise of social media ‘echo-chambers’, as responsible post-truth politics. Others see more insular, nationalistic, even xenophobic beliefs amongst citizens who are ‘threatened by forces of globalisation’.
This workshop will bring together scholars of various disciplines to discuss how public information has been manipulated in the past and present; share experience in sifting facts from fiction; and to suggest ways of debating an emerging, yet so-far Western-centric, term which frames the times which we are living.