Future of Facts in Latin America

The Future of Facts in Latin America is an interdisciplinary project funded by the SSRC and led by PI Andrea Ballestero (USC) and Co-PIs Eden Medina (MIT), Kregg Hetherington (Concordia University), and Andrew Lakoff (USC). It encompasses the creation of a hemispheric and interdisciplinary working group to explore the nature of facts in the 21st century, in the context of the ongoing redefinition of facts and truth claims amid compounding crises of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, rising religious fundamentalism and new forms of populism, and the acceleration of information technologies. The project posits the necessity of developing new concepts that go beyond dominant truth/falsehood and fact/fiction dichotomies. Instead, it expands studies of disinformation with interdisciplinary approaches–especially those combining historical and ethnographic materials–that examine the emerging nature of facts in a global context.

The working group establishes a collaboration infrastructure for scholars with expertise in different countries in the Americas, historical moments (from the conquest to our current time), and areas of public concern (urban planning, environment, health and medicine, computational technologies and literature). The objectives of the working group are (1) to create a comparative framework for analyzing the transformation of facts and truth-claims, (2) to establish a long-term hemispheric platform for interdisciplinary research, and (3) to increase scholarly exchange between researchers based in Latin America and those in Canada and the US. 

Find further information about the Future of Facts project here.

In addition to SSRC funding, the project is supported by the Center on Science, Technology, and Public Life; the Center for Latinx and Latin American Studies; and the office of the Divisional Dean for Social Sciences at USC Dornsife.

Watch the most recent Future of Facts roundtable that took place on April 12, 2023, featuring Andrea Ballestero (USC), Eden Medina (MIT), Kregg Hetherington (Concordia University), Gabriela Soto Laveaga (Harvard), and Andrew Lakoff (USC).

Following the roundtable, the Future of Facts participants gathered on Catalina Island off the coast of LA. Amid the backdrop of the stunning scenery of the land and sea, the group workshopped upcoming publications for the FoF project and organized future events.