About this minor
From fake news to COVID-19 conspiracies, debates about truth claims have become more prominent during the past decade. Taking a global, comparative perspective, this minor focuses on the broad spectrum of contested narratives subsumed under the term ‘Truth Wars’.
The programme is designed to highlight both the global spread of media messages and formats, and the interaction between transnational and regional forms of disinformation and strategic communication as embedded in local settings, political economies, and platforms. To this end, the programme offers two mandatory semester-long core courses, which students combine with one regional elective in each study block. While the core courses focus on fundamental aspects related to the production, framing, and circulation of contested narratives, the regional electives allow students an in-depth study of local media landscapes while learning to work with a variety of methodological approaches and tools.
Students of this minor will learn to discern between different forms of contested narratives and analyze the production and spread of disinformation from various global and theoretical perspectives. They will enhance their media and critical reading skills by becoming acquainted with strategies to verify news items and deconstruct discourses on ‘fake news’. As such, they will be able to analyze the rhetorical, affective, and situated meanings and uses of terms such as ‘disinformation’ or ‘post-truth’ – concepts that are themselves often weaponized and impossible to define without considering their cultural context. Practical assignments will offer students ample opportunities to make connections with their own field of study.
Good to know
Following the whole minor is strongly recommended. However, since in some study programmes there is only room for 15 EC in elective courses, it is possible to take this minor for 15 EC. Students who wish to pursue this option take the following courses in block 1 of semester 1:
- Core course I: Disinformation and Digital Media in a Global Context. This course can be followed for 5 EC instead of 10 EC, to be completed at the end of block 1.
- Regional elective I: “Words as Weapons in the USA” (5 EC) in block 1
- Regional elective II: “Rhetoric and Politics in Europe” (5 EC) in block 1