International conference exploring authenticity to be held at Loughborough University

Authenticity has become a buzzword of our times and now experts will be exploring the topic in-depth during an international conference at Loughborough University.

Much of the travel industry is built around the provision of ‘authentic’ experiences, global brands fight to be seen as ‘authentic’ and social media platforms are awash with claims and counter-claims about the authenticity of this or that post.

But what do we mean by authenticity? And why have these debates grown so dramatically in the last two decades?

Experts from a range of disciplines will be discussing the answers to these and other related questions during the conference which will take place between 6th-7th May.

The two-day event will be hosted by the University’s Centre for Research in Communication and Culture (CRCC).

It will feature keynote speakers including Professor Gunn Enli, from the University of Oslo and Professor Sarah Banet-Weiser from the London School of Economics.

The conference will explore the ways in which the term authenticity is used, and abused, in relation to politics, marking and branding, fandom, celebrity, sport and literature.

It will also investigate some of the wider social, political, cultural and technological changes that have created feelings of distrust, detachment and alienation.

Dr Michael Skey, Senior Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies in Loughborough University’s Centre for Research in Communication and Culture said: “Our desire for authentic experiences and relations is increasingly influencing the way we vote, spend our money and interact with others. Yet scholars from different disciplines rarely come together to discuss the topic.

“This conference represents an ideal opportunity to not only showcase the CRCC’s work in this area but also to develop a better understanding of why authenticity matters to so many of us.”   

As part of the conference, a call for papers is now open.

Organisers are interested in receiving a broad range of papers exploring authenticity and abstract submissions on authenticity on the following themes (but not limited to):

  • Authenticity, politics and political communication
  • Consumption and the use of authenticity in branding and marketing
  • Authenticity, the internet and the rise of social media
  • Authenticity in subcultures, fan cultures and celebrity culture
  • Authenticity in tourism, heritage and memorialisation
  • Authenticity, literature and authorship
  • Authenticity in sports, lifestyle and leisure pursuits and practices

For more information please visit the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture website or contact Michael Skey via