Mediating the Real 2: Mediations in a Post-Truth Era Conference CFP

Rosemary Overell's picture
Call for Papers
November 22, 2017 to November 24, 2017
New Zealand
Subject Fields: 
Communication, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Philosophy, Journalism and Media Studies

The abstract deadline (15th June) for Mediating the Real 2: Mediations in a Post-Truth Era (featuring Laurie Ouellette and Kim Toffoletti). Please see below for details. We look forward to seeing you in Dunedin!


Call for papers

Mediating the Real 2: Mediations in a 'Post Truth' Era


A conference at the University of Otago 22nd – 25th November 2017

Presented by The Performance of the Real Research Theme and the Department of Media, Film and Communication

Keynote speakers:

Dr Kim Toffoletti (Deakin University)


Dr Laurie J. Ouellette (University of Minnesota)


‘Post-truth’ has become a buzzword in the last year generating think-pieces and SNS chatter lamenting 'truth' as a lost object that has enabled and / or smuggled in events like Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. With this discussion, comes a broader demonstration of anxiety that a true 'real' (world, political sphere, social …) has been either lost or obscured. The responsibility for this loss or obscurance has fallen firmly at the feet of 'the media' (as well as the so-called postmodernists).


This conference asks and unpacks the interactions of (post) truth, the 'real' and contemporary media.


Building on and following from the success of Mediating the Real ‘1’, we encourage critically informed approaches – particularly drawing from the work of Lacan. However, this time too, we invite scholars engaged with Jean Baudrillard's prolific engagement in these matters. 


Papers might ask but are not limited to:

  • What does post-truth mean in the contemporary media saturated context?
  • A consideration of the increasingly banal use of ‘post-truth’ (as OED word of the year 2016) in news chatter and the implications of this for understandings of 'truthful’ media
  • Where is the real located in this context? This might be through considerations of the Lacanian real and the possibilities for subjectivity and sociality – particularly in terms of the potential to build social bonds within the ‘discourse of capitalism’
  • What does the anguished / anxious response to 'post truth', particularly in popular and social media, tell us about contemporary subjectivity and sociality?
  • What do Baudrillard’s critical interventions tell us about the contemporary production of reality?


Postgraduate bursary:

A number of travel and registration bursaries will be available for postgraduate students. These will be allocated on the basis of the merit of submitted abstracts. We highly encourage postgraduate researchers to submit their work for consideration.


Key information:

Organisers and contacts: Dr Brett Nicholls ( and Dr Rosemary Overell (

Abstract information: please email a 250-500 word abstract and 150 word biography by June 15th 2017.

Registration: $95 (casual / sessional workers and postgraduates) and $225 (academic and waged workers) – includes cocktail function, lunches and teas

Dinner:  $60

Venue: Richardson, 6th floor, Room 4 North

More info:

Contact Info: 

Rosemary Overell

Brett Nicholls