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SPS Election 2020 Speaker Series with Michelle Nickerson
Join us for our third speaker of our SPS Election 2020 Speaker Series. This series is designed to connect the School of Professional Studies, and the wider Columbia community, with important historical contexts for some of the pressing questions surrounding America's electoral environment. Join us as renowned speakers share their perspectives and research. RSVP's are required!

Our third speaker, who you can learn more about below, is Professor Michelle Nickerson, an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer who will be presenting "Our Problem with "Truthiness": The Centuries-long History of Fake News in the United States"

"In “Our Problem with Truthiness,” Nickerson talks about American journalism’s historical and politicized relationship to facts. Starting with the partisan newspapers of the early republic, then moving through the sensationalistic and lurid decades of late 19th-century yellow journalism, she shows how Americans did not start demanding accuracy from news until the early twentieth century, when influential Americans grew tired of their privacy being violated by muckrakers and tabloid writers. This is when codes of ethics in journalism were first developed. Elite newspapers (New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post) and other news sources (Time, Newsweek) then become national civic institutions over the 20th century, critical to the meaning and understanding of what national community is. The final part of my talk discusses how the development of cable news and online social media, arriving as they did in the age of the culture wars, fractured American political culture with their double-whammy. Unlike the early nineteenth-century era of partisanship, however, we find ourselves in a post-truth era, when politics structure the packaging and delivery of news (as it did in the early republic), but this time “truth” and “fact” remain elevated standards to which journalists and politicians lay claim."

Oct 20, 2020 06:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Dr. Michelle Nickerson
Associate Professor of History @Loyola University Chicago
Michelle Nickerson is an associate professor of history at Loyola University, Chicago, where she teaches U.S. women's, gender, urban, and political history. She studies American conservatism, suburbanization, American Catholicism, the anti–Vietnam War movement, feminism, and the Cold War. Nickerson is the author of Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right (2012) and a coeditor of Sunbelt Rising: The Politics of Place, Space, and Region (2011). She is also a co-moderator of the Newberry Library's women and gender seminar. She is currently writing about the Camden 28 of the Catholic antiwar movement in 1971.