Character Assassination in the 2020 Presidential Race: A New Low?

By Andrew Douglas The race for the White House between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden gets uglier by the day. Join the Washington Examiner and CARP Lab for the 3rd and final webinar on character assassination and the 2020 presidential race. Hear from leading academics and journalists about how the topsy-turvy Trump-Biden …

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Part I: Image Control and Character Enhancement under Louis XIV

By Mikayla Knutson  French reverence of the monarch shifted dramatically between Louis XIV to Louis XVI as the pendulum shifted from extreme character enhancement to rampant character assassination.  Under Louis XIV (1643-1715), a comprehensive program glorified the Sun King and engineered his reputation and image to further his political power. This initiative channeled French elite …

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Webinar #6: Fallen Idols: Toppling Statues throughout the Ages

Across the world, statues of historical figures have recently become the focus of fierce discussion. However, this is hardly a new phenomenon. From Egyptian pharaohs to American presidents, monuments celebrating the high and mighty have always been contested, defaced and removed. In a webinar hosted by CARP Lab, historian Martijn Icks and political psychologist Eric …

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Webinar #3: Evil Queens and Wicked Empresses

If you missed the webinar on May 15, 2020, featuring Martijn Icks and Eric Shiraev discussing Dr. Icks's chapter in the Routledge Handbook of Character Assassination and Reputation Mangement, it's now available here on YouTube. Martijn Icks and Eric Shiraev delved into how women throughout history have become targets of character assassination. From Cleopatra to …

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Salieri vs. Mozart: Wrongfully Attacked?

By Eric Shiraev The composer Antonio Salieri (1750-1825) could not have even thought about becoming one of the most noticeable victims of character assassination after his death. He had a dynamic and fruitful musical life while serving as Kapellmeister to the emperor of Austria. Yet Salieri is known today to most people as a man …

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The Amsterdam Colloquium: Some Thoughts

By Martijn Icks On June 21st, Edwina Hagen and I organized the colloquium “Character Assassination! Media and Mudslinging from Caligula to King Gorilla” in Amsterdam. We invited experts on various periods in Western history to discuss practices of character assassination from an historical perspective. Comparing various case studies, we hoped to shed light on some …

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Character Assassination: The Historical Perspective [Part 2]

By Martijn Icks In my previous blog, I argued for the importance of historical perspectives on character assassination. However, historical research also comes with its own challenges and limitations. Let’s have a look at some of these. Perhaps the most obvious challenge is the danger of anachronism: we should be very careful not to assume …

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Character Assassination: The Historical Perspective [Part 1]

By Martijn Icks “History is bunk,” American business man Henry Ford famously said. It’s a beloved quote, especially among historians, who like nothing better than arguing against it. Others have opined that those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. And then there’s the sentiment that history doesn’t repeat itself, but …

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Outing Eulenburg: A German Scandal

By Martijn Icks “Outing” politicians and other public figures as gay against their wishes is a long-established practice in modern journalism. Some reporters regard it as just another scoop when they can reveal a celebrity’s hidden sexual preference or gender identity. Others have ideological motives. They may want to advance the gay cause, or expose …

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