Harrisburg ProgramFriday, October 22

51-02 Orality and Literacy in Legend, Rumor, and Conspiracy Theory

Friday, October 22, 8:30 am–10:00 am
Harrisburg Ballroom: Carlisle

This live event will not be recorded.


Chair: Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby (University of Kentucky)

8:30 am
Literacy, Conspiracy, Legendry: What History Can Tell Us about QAnon
Bill Ellis (Pennsylvania State University, emeritus)

9:00 am
The Girl Who Hid: Campus COVID-19 Rumors and Legends
Elizabeth Tucker (Binghamton University)

9:30 am
Rumor, Place, and Belief in Louisiana's Deep Delta
Carolyn E. Ware (Louisiana State University)

10:00 am
The Cave Conspiracy: Murder and Satanism in Somerset, KY
Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby (University of Kentucky)

This panel explores the connections between the oral tradition and print sources. With a focus on legend, conspiracy theory and rumor, the papers will showcase how the media and published sources have influenced the oral tradition. Rather than the “great gulf” that scholarship has often assumed between orality and literacy, we will explore the longstanding intersections between these two modes of communication to reveal how legends, rumors and conspiracy theories develop and function.