Actions and Detail Panel
Language, New Media and Alt. Realities
Fri 21 April 2017, 10:00 – 17:00 BST
This year's annual conference of the BAAL Language and New Media SIG will take up the important issue of how the semiotic affordances, information architectures and communicative practices associated with digital media are affecting people's constructions and interpretations of 'reality' and 'truth' - including such phenomena as 'filter bubbles' and 'echo chambers', 'fake news' and conspiracy theories, the decline in influence of mainstream media, 'post-truth' politics and 'alt' movements, and the role of new media in the rise of authoritarian governments. The focus will be on what scholars of language and discourse can contribute to understanding 1) the new ways information circulates through digital media and the new norms of communication and interpretation that have developed around these flows of information, 2) the effect that new media communciation is having on the status of such constructs as 'truth', 'facticity', 'objectivity', and 'expertise' and the new 'ways of knowing' it is giving rise to, and 3) the consequences of these new epistemologies on politics, public policy, governancy and democratic institutions.