Webinars

2020

Webinar #1: Taking on the Bully: Character Assassination in the Age of McCarthy?

In this interview, Martijn Icks talks to Jennifer Keohane, an expert in Rhetoric from the University of Baltimore, about Murrow’s character attack and McCarthy’s response. Why has this become such an iconic case and what can we learn from it?

Webinar #2: The Psychology of Character Assassination

Sergei Samoilenko interviews political psychologist Eric Shiraev (George Mason University) on the topic of psychology in character assassination research. What can we learn from psychology? Are there inborn “character attackers?” Are there psychological features that make us vulnerable to character attacks?

Webinar #3:Evil Queens and Wicked Empresses

Martijn Icks and Eric Shiraev discuss how women throughout history have become targets of character assassination. From Cleopatra to Marie Antoinette, women in positions of power have been smeared with sexual digressions and other scandalous or immoral behaviour. What are the central and peripheral features of character attacks on women in various historical cultures? Are women more vulnerable to slander than men?

Webinar #4: Conspiracy theories and COVID-19

Sergei Samoilenko  interviews John Cook, a research assistant professor at the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University, about conspiracy theories during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a troubling development as conspiracy theories reduce public trust in institutions – this has dangerous consequences when it causes people to ignore expert advice on social distancing. So how do we neutralize the damaging influence of conspiracy theories? One antidote to conspiratorial thinking is critical thinking. Inoculating people against conspiracy theories by raising awareness of the traits of conspiratorial thinking is a potentially effective strategy.

Webinar #5: Political Humor, Caricature and Saturday Night Live

In this interview, Jennifer Keohane talks with political humor expert Christopher J. Gilbert about what made Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump such a comedic tour de force.Saturday Night Live has been lampooning politicians since its debut in 1975. In recent years, Tina Fey playing vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Larry David as presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders were SNL performances par excellence. What can those interested in character assassination learn from looking at Saturday Night Live?

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

In this webinar, historian Martijn Icks and political psychologist Eric Shiraev put the toppling of statues in historical perspective. 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.

Webinar #7: Character Assassination in Political Campaigns

In this video, Eric Shiraev talks with political consultant Jason Jay Smart about the role of character assassination in political campaigns. They compare differences among countries and talk about the long-term impact of Donald Trump’s political style.

Webinar #8: Presidential Character from Clinton and Cable to Trump and Twitter

In this webinar, Sergei Samoilenko discussed the media, US presidential politics, and character assassination with  Dr. Stephen Farnsworth, director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington.

Webinar #9: Psychological Profiling of Political Leaders

In this webinar, Sergei Samoilenko talks with Ekaterina Egorova, Ph.D., President of Political Profiler (USA) and President of the “Niccolo M” Strategic Communications, the leading political consulting company (Russia). They discuss how her firm develops a psychological profile of political leaders and how they use those profiles in decisions about election campaigns and foreign policy.

Webinar #10: Villains or Minions? Dilemmas in Character Assassination

In this video, Sergei Samoilenko talks with sociologist James M. Jasper about public characters. They discuss heroes, minions, and villains, and where change in society comes from.

2021

Webinar #1: An Interview with Eric Dezenhall: Clickbait Journalism and Public Character

CARP Co-founder Sergei Samoilenko chats with crisis communication guru Eric Dezenhall of Dezenhall Resources about character assassination, defamation, conflict management strategies, and how all of this can play out in the world of fiction.