DEEPFAKE : A Rhetorical and Economic Alternative to Address the So-Called “Post-Truth Era”

Screenshot 2023 05 01 at 1.59.13 PM


For more information see the poster and Argument


First Session: Rhetoric, Democracy and “Post-Truth”

How are rhetoric and fakeness consubstantial with democracy? To what conception of truth does the notion of “post-truth” correspond? And why is Post-Truth a problematic notion for the rhetorical tradition? 

  • 9.20am – 9.45 am: James Porter (UC Berkeley, Rhetoric Department)
  • 9.50am – 10.15am: Linda Kinstler (UC Berkeley, Rhetoric Department) 
  • 10.20am – 10.30am: Chiara Cappelletto (State University of Milan, CSTMS)
  • 10.30am – 10.50am: collective discussion with the audience

Break of 10 minutes

Second Session: Subjectivity, Digital Computationalism and Artificial Intelligence

How does the theorization of contemporary computing, which gave birth to the Internet and artificial intelligence, and which is based on computationalism, constitute a problematic conception of subjectivity? How is this conception opposed to the rhetorical and hermeneutic tradition? What conceptions of truth are discarded by computationalism?

  • 11.00 – 11.25: David Bates (UC Berkeley, Rhetoric Department)
  • 11.30 – 11.55: Warren Neidich (Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art)
  • 12.00 – 12.10: Morgan Ames (UC Berkeley, School of Information, CSTMS)
  • 12.10 – 12.30: Collective discussion with the audience

Lunch Break (buffet) of 1 hour and 30 minutes

Third Session: Critical Digital Rhetoric 

What renewals can be made within the rhetorical tradition to adapt it to the digital political and Artificial Intelligence contexts? What critical political powers can digital rhetoric retain in the face of computational digital media, fed by data sciences in the new social spaces that are the Internet and social networks? 

  • 14.00 – 14.25: Nina Begus (UC Berkeley, CSTMS)
  • 14.30 – 14.55: Justin Hodgson (Indiana University, Department of English)
  • 15.00 – 15.10: Nathan Atkinson (UC Berkeley, Rhetoric Department) 
  • 15.10 – 15.30: Collective discussion with the audience

Break of 10 minutes

Fourth Session: Computational Capitalism and Surveillance Capitalism in light of the Deepfake.

What conceptions and productions of truth do computational capitalism and surveillance capitalism promote? And against what conceptions or practices of producing truth do they discriminate? To which social groups, does this discrimination pose problems of expression and individuation today?

  • 15.40 – 16.05: Marion Fourcade (UC Berkeley, Social Sciences Matrix, N2PE)
  • 16.10 – 16.35: Igor Galligo (UC Berkeley, UPL, NEST, Founder of 
  • 16.40 – 16.50: Konrad Posch (UC Berkeley, Political Science, N2PE)
  • 16.50 – 17.10: Collective discussion with the audience

Break of 10 minutes

Fifth Session: For a New Digital Political Economy of Deepfake

How to extend the digital political economy to the symbolic and iconic economy? What new rhetorical and hermeneutic economy of truth can political economy invent? What circuits of collective truth production can political economy develop to grant the deepfake political meaning and value?

  • 17.20 – 17.45: Martin Kenney (UC Davis, Department of Human Ecology, BRIE)
  • 17.50 – 18.15: Mark Nitzberg (UC Berkeley, BRIE, BCHC, BAIR)
  • 18.20 – 18.35: John Zysman (UC Berkeley, BRIE, CITRIS)
  • 18.35– 18.55: Collective discussion with the audience



Funding and Scientific Partners: NESTTownsend Center for the Humanities, UC Berkeley
This project has received funding from the MSCA-RISE program under grant agreement No 101007915

Scientific Partners of UC Berkeley: UC Berkeley Department of Rhetoric, Social Sciences Matrix, Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society, Network for New Political Economy, Berkeley Economy and Society Initiative

Other Scientific Partner: Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art 


Poster for DEEPFAKE colloquium on May 10, 2023
Illustration: Lyes Hammadouche