Disinformation in Memory Politics: Practices and Ways of Prevention

    An international online conference

    What is disinformation in memory politics? How is it constructed, who is behind it and what are its aims? More importantly, what can we do to prevent the manipulation of historical facts? International historians and communication specialists will answer these and other questions at an international conference; ‘Disinformation in Memory Politics: Practices and Ways of Prevention’, on 11–13 May, 2021. The conference will be streamed live over YouTube and Facebook.

    Disinformation as an instrument of political power is as old as mankind, but has reached a different stage with the evolution of digital media and the intensification of global exchange. Infamous examples include the denial of historical events such as the Holocaust, the Gulag system or the secret protocol of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, as well as current disinformation campaigns or the planned dissemination of falsehoods and half-truths in the context of elections and referendums.

    This conference will stress the need of intensified scholarly and professional collaboration to defend historical and current facts against the challenges of political propaganda. The proceedings will lead up to an examination of international strategies to combat disinformation and to the establishment of general recommendations in the field of memory politics.

    An overview of the learning toolkit ‘No to Disinformation’ (developed by ENRS, in 2021) will also be included. This toolkit is available online from the platform Hi-Story Lessons. ‘No to Disinformation’ is an educational package for secondary schools to tackle historical manipulation and other aspects of disinformation.

    Questions

    Viewers are welcome to ask questions via chat on YouTube or in the comment section on the stream on Facebook.

    Programme

    11/05/2021 Tuesday

    14:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time)
    Opening of the conference
    Moderator:
    - Prof. Ewelina Szpak

    - Prof. Remus Pricopie
    - Prof. Jan Rydel
    - Costel Lazăr
    - Prof. Florin Abraham

     

    14:30-16:00 CEST
    Opening Discussion: Truth and disinformation: theoretical and ethical approaches
    Moderators:
    - Prof. Constantin Iordachi
    - Prof. Ewelina Szpak

    Panelists:
    - Prof. Nicholas J. Cull
    - Prof. Marek Kornat
    - Prof. Adrian Pop

    Read the bios

     

    16:30-18:30 CEST
    First Panel Discussion: Case studies of disinformation in the field of memory politics (historical approaches: totalitarian regimes)
    Moderator:
    - Prof. Octavian Roske

    Panelists:
    - Prof. Richard Overy, Hitler and Stalin: Different Ways of Remembering Totalitarianism
    - Dr Łukasz Adamski, Historical Manipulations as the Kremlin’s Foreign Policy Instrument with Regard to Poland. Preliminary Results of a Campaign
    - Prof. Helmut Müller-Enbergs and prof. Thomas Wegener Friis, What Do We Learn from the Disinformation of the GDR State Security in the Federal Republic of Germany?
    - Prof. Marcela Sălăgean, The Romanian Revolution of 1989: Disinformation and Manipulation

    Read the bios

     

    12/05/2021 Wednesday

    09:00-10:00 CEST
    Keynote lecture
    Moderator:
    - Dr Gerald Volkmer

    Speaker:
    - Prof. Alina Bârgăoanu, Old Sins, New Technologies. Weaponizing Uncertainty in Times of Crisis

    Read the bios

     

    10:00-10:30 CEST
    Keynote lecture: Q&A
    11:00-13:00 CEST
    Second Panel Discussion: Case studies of disinformation in the field of current memory politics
    Moderators:
    - Dr Ana Maria Cătănuș
    - Dr Oldřich Tůma

    Panelists:
    - Prof. Attila Pók, Narratives of Victimhood and Heroism in Memory Politics
    - Dr Serena Giusti, Some Reflections on Disinformation and Foreign Policy
    - Prof. Juraj Buzalka, On Social and Cultural Elements of Disinformation: The Post-Socialist Nostalgia in Slovakia
    - Dr Ivo Juurvee, On Estonian Experience in Facing and Countering Historical Propaganda

    Read the bios

     

    14:00-16:00 CEST
    Third Panel Discussion: Actors, methods and techniques of disinformation today (mass media and education)
    Moderators:
    - Prof. Mălina Ciocea
    - Prof. Malkhaz Toria

    Panelists:
    - Dr Maria Snegovaya, Disinformation, Euroscepticism and Pro-Russian Parties in Eastern Europe
    - Dr Joel Breakstone, Civic Preparation for the Digital Age: How College Students Evaluate Online Sources About Social and Political Issues
    - Dr Eric Langenbacher, Free Speech, Memory and Disinformation in the United States and Germany
    - Prof. Joanna Wojdon, School Textbooks: Tools of Education or Disinformation?

    Read the bios

     

    16:30-18:30 CEST
    Fourth Panel Discussion: Actors, methods and techniques of disinformation today (fake news)
    Moderators:
    - Dr Sebastian Fitzek
    - Joanna Orłoś

    Panelists:
    - Prof. Eirikur Bergmann, The Role of Conspiracy Theories in Populist Politics
    - Prof. Marcin Napiórkowski, Ancient Empires and Modern Vaccines. Dangerous Links Between Conspiracy Theories
    - Todd Leventhal, Lessons Learned on How to Counter Disinformation

    Read the bios

     

    13/05/2021 Thursday

    09:00-11:00 CEST
    Fifth Panel Discussion: International / European strategies to combat disinformation
    Moderators:
    - Dr Bartosz Dziewanowski-Stefańczyk
    - Gentiana Sula

    Panelists:
    - Dr Michael Žantovský, Disinformation and Fake News: Are They the Same Thing?
    - Dr Łukasz Kamiński, Disinformation: How Can Historians Prevent It?
    - Prof. Florin Abraham, Geopolitics of Disinformation in the Age of Social Media
    - Paolo Cesarini, Disinformation and Systemic Risks in the Digital Information Sphere: Towards an EU-wide Co-regulatory Solution

    Read the bios

     

    11:30-13:00 CEST
    Sixth Panel Discussion: Recommendations for a guide to prevent disinformation in the field of memory politics
    Moderators:
    - Prof. Marie-Janine Calic
    - Prof. Mihail E. Ionescu

    Panelists:
    - Prof. Jan Rydel, Dr Bartosz Dziewanowski-Stefańczyk, Attempts to Create Guidelines for Discourse on History and Memory
    - Prof. Dan Dungaciu, Lessons from the Activity of the Information Warfare and Strategic Communication Laboratory
    - Dr Igor Gretskiy, Revealing the Limits of Disinformation in Memory Politics

    Read the bios
    13:00 CEST
    Closing remarks

    - Dr Bartosz Dziewanowski-Stefańczyk

    See the programme in PDF


    Partners

    Organisers
    Project co-financed with funds from the Romanian Ministry of Culture
    Funding
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