Democracy and Disinformation in the Era of Trump

10th – 11th December 2018


Monday 10th Dec.

News Media and Disinformation

Speakers: Brett Bruen (Global Situation Room, Washington), Christine Bohan (

Join us for a discussion on how Irish and global news media

are battling the challenges of disinformation

6pm, Monday 10th December 2018

Venue: Little Museum of Dublin, 15 St Stephen’s Green

RSVP by 7th December to


The talk is part of a two-day event hosted by the UCD Clinton Institute on Democracy and Disinformation in the Era of Trump. It is open to all and free to attend, as are these talks at the UCD Clinton Institute:

Monday 10th December, 10am

Donald Pease (Dartmouth College) – Reality Distortion in Trump’s Retrotopia”

Monday 10th December, 1pm

Caitríona Perry (RTE News) and Liam Kennedy (UCD), ” Reporting the USA”

Tuesday 11th December, 11.30am

Gary Young (The Guardian) and Scott Lucas (EA Worldview)

Tuesday 11th December, 3pm

Siva Vaidhyanathan (University of Virginia) “Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy”


Full Conference Programme 

Monday 10th December

9.30     Registration (and T/C)

10.00   Plenary 1: Donald Pease (Dartmouth College), “Reality Distortion in Trump’s America”

10.45   Panels 1 and 2

Panel 1: Historical Perspectives (Chair: Scott Lucas)

Ryan P. Semmes (Mississippi State University Libraries), “’His Nature is One of Intrigue and Duplicity:’ Russian Meddling and ‘Fake News’ During the Grant Administration”

Tim Galsworthy (University of Sussex), “Whatever Happened to the Party of Lincoln?: American Civil War Memory in the Era of Trump”

Kevern Verney (Edge Hill University), “‘Old Wine in New Bottles’? The Trump Presidency in Historical Perspective”

Panel 2: Online Politics and Publics (Chair: Eugenio Lilli)

Young Mie Kim (University of Wisconsin-Madison), “The Weaponization of ‘News’ in Digital Political Campaigns”

Jeffrey St. Onge (Ohio Northern University), “Digital Disinformation and Weaponized Memes: The Fracturing of Reality in the Trump Era”

Zachary J. McDowell (University of Illinois at Chicago), “Learning from Wikipedia: Combatting Disinformation with Knowledge Community”

12.15   Lunch

  • Plenary 2: Caitríona Perry (RTE News) and Liam Kennedy (UCD), “Reporting the USA”

1.45     Panels 3 and 4

Panel 3: Democracy and Its Discontents 1 (Chair: Jonathon O’Donnell)

Colleen E. Kelley (Penn State Erie, The Behrend College), “New Media, Party Tribalism and the Trump Presidency: Democratic Fatigue or Disloyalty?”

Joseph P. Zompetti (Illinois State University), “The Fallacy of Fake News: Exploring the Commonsensical Appeal of Fake News through a Gramscian Lens”

Maria Hegbloom (Bridgewater State University), “Trump and the Impossibility of Democratic Discourse”

Panel 4: Literature and Film (Chair: Dolores Resano)

Paula Gilligan (Institute of Art Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire), “’Eco-Terror in the Mind of God’: Age, Sex, and Pastoral Power in Paul Shrader’s First Reformed

Francesco Bacci (Free University Berlin), “A Contemporary Outlook at The Handmaid’s Tale’s Political Message”

Simone Sannio (Free University Berlin)
”America Against the Plot: From “Paranoid” Fiction to Post-Truth Reality”

3.15     Tea/coffee

3.45     Panels 5 and 6

Panel 5: Journalistic Norms (Chair: Ted Smyth)

Diana Zulli (Purdue University), “Political Scandals and Journalistic Norms in the Modern Media Environment: An Examination of Hillary Clinton’s Email Use Scandal”

Robert Gutsche (Lancaster University), “Disrupting the Disruptors: A Critical View of Journalistic Connections to the Rise of Trump”

Panel 6: Twitter Politics (Chair: James Doran)

Rod Carveth (Morgan State University), “Trump, Tweets, Disinformation and Democracy”

Axelle Germanaz (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nuremberg), “Tweeting the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth? Trump’s use of Twitter and the Popularization of Politics”

4.45     Conference moves to the city centre and the venue is , The Little Museum of Dublin, St Stephen’s Green

6.00     Plenary 3: News Media and Disinformation: Christine Bohan (, Brett Bruen (Global Situation Room), Alireza Hajihosseini (CNN International)


Tuesday 11th December

9.30     Panels 7 and 8

Panel 7: Liberal Media (Chair: Liam Kennedy)

Des Freedman (Goldsmiths, University of London), “‘Liberal’ Media Policy Failures and the Rise of ‘Illiberal’ Politics”

Jabbar A. Al-Obaidi (Bridgewater State University), “Is the Watchdog Still There? Loyalty v. Ideology: American Media Polarization, Tribalism, and the Erosion of Democracy”

Panel 8: Democracy and Its Discontents 2 (Chair: Jonathon O’Donnell)

Roger Paxton, “Some Other reasons Why Trump’s Approach Works: Nationalism and Values”

Anthony P. McIntyre (University College Dublin), “Generational Discontent and Jordan Peterson’s Politics of Personal Responsibility”

Jessa Lingel (Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania), “Anarchist Ethics for Online ways of Being”

11.00   Tea and coffee

11.30   Plenary 4: Scott Lucas (EA Worldview) and Gary Younge (The Guardian)

12.30    Lunch

1.30     Panels 9 and 10

Panel 9: Rhetoric and Disinformation (Chair: Dolores Resano)

Rachel Bailey (University of Georgia), “Action Through Praise: Addressing the Electorate in Obama’s Eulogy for John McCain”

Benjamin R. Bates (Ohio University), “Doctoring Reports of the President’s Health: A Content Analysis of Responses to Donald Trump’s Physical of January 2018”

James Doran (University College Dublin), “‘What You’re Seeing and What You’re Reading is Not What’s Happening.” President Trump’s Rhetoric and the Shaping of (Dis)Information in the Trump Era”

Panel 10: Foreign Perspectives (Chair: Scott Lucas)

Jason Edwards (Bridgewater State University), “The Decline of the Liberal Order? Donald Trump, His Critics, and America’s Role for the 21st Century”

Geraldine Kidd (University College Cork), “Diplomacy of the Sword in Jerusalem – Divide and Conquer”

Pierre Guerlain (Université Paris Nanterre), “Debunking the ‘Religion of Russiagate’”

3.00     Plenary 5: Siva Vaidhyanathan (University of Virginia), “Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy”

3.44     Roundtable – tbc

4.30     Conference closes

























Registation & Fees

Registration Fee €125 and students €75


Accommodation Options

It is advisable to arrange your accommodation as early as possible.  The following hotels/B&B are only suggestions ,check their price both on the hotel’s website but also through or as sometimes it might be cheaper on their sites..  In addition do check out Airbnb options.

The address for the University is Stillorgan Road, Donnybook, Dublin 4


 Avalon House

Guest Houses


An addition website to look for accommodation near the University

If you decide to stay in the city centre there is a bus that will bring you directly onto the campus, this bus is the 39A, but there are other options that will leave you outside the campus and on the opposite side of the road, these include the 46A and the 145.

Getting from the airport to the city or your hotel

It is advisable to get a bus to the city centre as a taxi could cost up to €45 depending on where you are staying.

Bus to City Centre Airlink 747

The is an excellent bus service called the Aircoach which goes from outside the arrivals hall and delivers people to a number of hotels both in the city centre and on the outskirts of the city including the first 3 hotels. The return fare is €16

Also, for short-term rentals, check out

To help, here is a map showing safe and accessible locations throughout the city

Comments are closed.