Call for Papers

Trust and Truth: AHRC International Interdisciplinary Conference

From Ancient Greece until the present day, trust and truth have been core values for many civilizations. But their meanings have also been highly contested, and they continue to attract debate in the contemporary world. Marketing, propaganda, and more recently ‘fake news’, continue to question the nature and even the purpose of truth. As a consequence, there has been concern about the ability of citizens to make informed decisions. 

This conference addresses how the Arts and Humanities can help us to understand a major challenge of our epoch and explore possible solutions. All scholars in the Arts and Humanities question the nature, quality, and origins of evidence as the basis for truthful interpretations. We interrogate the trustworthiness of narratives in terms of the subject position of the narrator and the audience. And in many contexts, political authority and interpersonal relations depend on building and maintaining trust.

Such issues themselves raise further questions. What is truth in the present age? Does it have to do with the capacity to select certain pieces of information rather than others? How do scholars arrive at truth, in terms of research process and outcome? In what respects can sources of information be considered truthful and/or trustworthy? Can debate over trust and truth make us rethink previously mainstream and unchallenged “facts” within the Arts and Humanities?

To answer these questions, we invite papers that speak to the following themes, and beyond:

  • the concepts of trust and truth;
  • how intellectuals have interpreted trust and truth throughout time: philosophical, literary, historical, political, legal, aesthetic, economic concepts of trust and truth;
  • epistemologies of belief and knowledge;
  • hierarchies of truth and/or trust, at personal, social, and objective levels;
  • the impact of trust and truth on political power in the contemporary world and in the past;
  • the role of emotions in building trust and truth in social relations;
  • the role of data in deciding where and when to place trust;
  • geographical, historical, literary, and linguistic case studies on trust and/or truth;
  • how to build criteria of truth in an interdisciplinary context.

The themes above are simply a series of prompts, and we look forward to receiving a diverse range of proposals.

We invite proposals of no more than 300 words for papers of twenty minutes in length, from students currently at partner universities, to be submitted electronically to The Conference Committee at [email protected] by Monday 11 February 2019.

Download the Call for Papers as a PDF.