Skip to Content
University of Oregon

Digital Humanities Speakers Series: Ryan Cordell

Nov 9, 2017, 3:30 pm

Thursday, November 9, Digital Humanities Speakers Series: “A Pre-History of Fake News: Virality, Authority, and Nineteenth-Century Newspapers” by Prof. Ryan Cordell (Northeaster Univeristy). 3:30-5:00pm in the Knight Library Browsing Room.


While “fake news” might seem born of Twitter and Facebook, the viral circulation of sensationalistic, bias-confirming stories is a much older phenomenon. In this talk Prof. Cordell will draw on the Viral Texts Project at Northeastern University to trace a pre-history of fake news in the popular science, anecdotes, trivia, and vignettes “going the rounds” of the nineteenth-century newspaper exchange system. Then as now, the circulation fake news was driven in part by the affinities and biases of readers and in part by the technical affordances of the newspaper platform. Understanding fake news in any time period requires an understanding of both. As such, Cordell will weave into his talk a series of reflections on how experimental, experiential work in the humanities might aid humanities students and researchers in grappling with the social, technical, and political underpinnings of contemporary computational culture, virality, and fake news. This event is free and open to the public.

Professor Ryan Cordell is an Assistant Professor of English at Northeastern University and a core founding faculty member in the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks. In addition to his talk, Professor Cordell will also lead a hands-on Gephi workshop. Longer descriptions of both events can be found below. Please share this announcement with your friends and colleagues.