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Lauren Cook Chosen to Lead Humanities Center's Honors Seminar for 2018-19

Posted 11/10/2017
Submitted by Nicholas Ealy
Category: Campus Announcements

Lauren Cook, associate professor of cinema in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been selected to lead the Humanities Center’s Year-Long Honors Seminar for the 2018-19 academic year.

Her topic, “Evidence in a Post-Truth World,” will explore how “fake news” and “alternative facts” have become recent additions to our political discourse. As she states: “While political dishonesty is nothing new, there is an alarming new trend of rejecting overwhelming evidence in favor of emotional appeal. In 2016, the Oxford Dictionaries selected ‘post-truth’ as the word of the year. It defines the word as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’ The aim of this course is to understand what has contributed to this trend, survey past and present examples, and to develop strategies for critically evaluating evidence, sources, and attempts at emotional appeal.”

Professor Cook will be the instructor for two honors courses on her topic, HON 389 in the fall of 2018 and HON 390 in the spring of 2019. The seminar meets each semester on Tuesdays from 7:30-10 p.m. and is taught to student fellows,15 excellent students from across the University. Students must apply to be fellows and must take the seminar both semesters. In addition, three or four faculty fellows, who are working on research projects related to the theme of “Evidence in a Post-Truth World,” will be chosen to give lectures in the spring and to contribute in other ways as agreed upon with the seminar leader.

The Humanities Center at the University of Hartford supports interdisciplinary scholarship focusing on the humanities through arts, sciences, technology, media, psychology, history, film, philosophy, music and literature. For more information, contact Nicholas Ealy, director, at