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Program Type: Workshop
Age: Teen, Adult

The Flat Earth Society. The Illuminati. QAnon. Sometimes it seems like conspiracy theories have been multiplying exponentially, especially in this time of global pandemic. Why do we gravitate toward conspiracy theories to make sense of the world? What human need do these stories fill? In this program, we’ll explore some conspiracy theories old and new, famous and obscure. What common themes do they share? How do they operate as stories and how do they evolve? What’s the difference between a conspiracy theory and myth, folklore, and “fake news”? We’ll talk about the mechanics of conspiracy theories as we explore how to determine what’s true, what’s false, and whom to trust.

Jennifer Roberts is a writer, researcher, teacher, and burgeoning banjo player who lives in Grants Pass with her family and the world’s best dog. She received a PhD in early modern literature from the University of Minnesota and is passionate about the power and potential of stories to help people connect, change, and make sense of the world.