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Taking Action Together: “Decoding Propaganda and Hate Speech” with Jordan Kiper and Jonathan Wiesen

May 1 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

“Decoding Propaganda and Hate Speech”

Today’s media environments are awash in conspiracy theories, half-truths, and outright lies.
Determining what is truth and what is deliberate deception is more difficult than ever. To gain
some clarity on the media landscape and current challenges posed by misinformation and
inciting speech, our speakers will discuss two historical examples of propaganda and hate
speech in the twentieth century.

Jonathan Wiesen will explore how propaganda worked in Nazi-
controlled Europe and offer visual and linguistic examples of xenophobia and anti-Jewish
stereotyping. Jordan Kiper will discuss hate propaganda in the Balkans in the 1990s and explore
hate speech – and dangerous speech –associated with ongoing debates regarding the ideology
of collective violence and mass atrocity crimes.

Participants will learn to recognize the common tropes of hate mongering and propaganda to clock similar phenomena today.

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About the Speakers

A picture of Jordan Kiper. Jordan is standing on a patio in the sun, with his face turned in profile. He is a young white man with a full beard and fade haircut. He is smiling.

Jordan Kiper is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and faculty associate at the Institute for Human Rights at the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB). His research is highly interdisciplinary and draws from anthropology, cognitive science, human rights, and philosophy to examine the social conditions that induce intergroup conflict, including dangerous speech, authoritarianism, and religious systems.

To explore these, he has conducted experimental research and ethnographic fieldwork in post-conflict regions of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia. He has also collaborated with legal scholars to research the effects of digital authoritarianism on human rights defenders in the Authoritarian Belt of Eastern Europe.

Since 2019, he has worked on the Geography of Philosophy Project, a John Templeton funded study of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom across world cultures. More about Kiper’s research and teaching is available at jordankiper.com.


A front-facing picture of Jonathan Wiesen. He is a white man with olive-toned skin standing in nature. He is wearing a lilac button-down and smiling.

Jonathan Wiesen is Professor of History and Department Chair at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He did his undergraduate work in history at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Sussex, and he received his Ph.D. in History from Brown University in 1998. Before coming to UAB, he was visiting assistant professor at Colgate University and Distinguished professor and chair at Southern Illinois University.

He is the author of West German Industry and the Challenge of the Nazi Past, 1945-1955 (Chapel Hill, 2001), which won a book prize from the Hagley Museum and Library and the Business History Conference. He is also co-editor with Pamela Swett and Jonathan Zatlin of Selling Modernity: Advertising in Twentieth Century Germany (Durham, 2007) and author of Creating the Nazi Marketplace: Commerce and Consumption in the Third Reich (Cambridge, 2011) and Nazi Germany: Society Culture, and Politics (forthcoming, 2024). His work has appeared in a number of scholarly journals, including Central European History, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Journal of Contemporary History, and the German Studies Review, and he has received research fellowships from the German Academic Exchange, The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the Gerda Henkel Foundation, among others.

He is currently writing a book on U.S. anti-Back racism in the German imagination from 1918-1968 and is most recently the author of “American Lynching in the Nazi Imagination: Race and Extra-Legal Violence in 1930s Germany,” German History, which won the 2020 Hans Rosenberg article prize.

Event Details

Date: Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Location: Virtual (Zoom)

This Zoom event is free, but requires registration in advance. Click the button below to save your spot and receive the webinar link!

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Special Thanks to Our Partners:

Our programs are offered to you at no cost. Your generous donations play a vital role in supporting our ongoing educational initiatives and mission. If you would like to contribute, please visit our donate page or contact us at info@ahecinfo for partnership opportunities. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.


May 1
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


ZOOM Online


Alabama Holocaust Education Center
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