Thursday, March 18 at 9:00am to 12:00pm
Conspiracy theories have captured the attention of people throughout history, and they have become especially influential in current politics. Some recent conspiracists have deliberately adopted the language of the Middle Ages to advance their agenda. In this conference we will break down the history of conspiracy theories dating back to the Middle Ages and compare them to contemporary beliefs. We’ll also discuss how the Deep State and QAnon theories influenced political messaging in the age of Trump. Each panel will conclude with an audience Q&A.
9:00 a.m. to 9:10 a.m. PST- Welcome
9:00 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. PST - Comparing the Politics and History of Conspiracy Theories from the Middles Ages to the Modern
This panel will explore how beliefs in conspiracies shaped the politics and psychology of the medieval world and our current political climate.
10:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. PST - Conspiracies around Judaism: Anti-Semitism from the Medieval Era to George Soros
This panel will discuss how conspiracy theories regarding Judaism have perpetuated anti-Semitism and the treatment of Jewish people over the course of history. The Middle Ages witnessed the creation of some of the most pernicious stereotypes about Jews as well as accusations of ritual child murder and well poisoning. A reflexive intolerance toward Jews born of the same irrational antipathy continues to shape extremist activity in our own world.
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PST - The Spread of Conspiracies: Heretical Groups to Social Media
This panel will discuss how conspiracy theories are born, grow, and reach mass audiences. Some historical experts say heretical groups are described in source materials as vast secret conspiratorial movements that spread verbally through fear and fevered imaginations. Modern scholars contemplate the roles of television, search engine algorithms, online advertising, bulletin boards, and social media for their contribution to the vast speed and reach of conspiracy theories.
CLICK HERE to register in advance.
This event is a partnership with the USC Center for the Political Future and the USC Center for the Pre-Modern World.