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CITAP to co-host conference on “The Capitol Coup One Year Later,” SILS Professor Francesca Tripodi named a keynote speaker

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Information, Technology and Public Life (CITAP) and George Washington University’s Institute for Data Democracy & Politics (IDDP) announced they will co-host a two-day conference titled “The Capital Coup One Year Later: How Research Can Assess and Counter Threats to Democracy” on Jan. 6 and 7. The conference will explore key questions surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on The U.S. Capitol, revisiting the event one year later.

Francesca Tripodi, an assistant professor at UNC’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS), will serve as one of the conference’s keynote speakers on Jan. 7 at UNC – Chapel Hill’s Freedom Forum Conference Center. Joining Tripodi on Jan. 7 is fellow keynote speaker Khadija Costley White, an associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.

The first day of the conference will be hosted on Jan. 6 at George Washington University with keynote speaker Emily Van Duyn, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Through a holistic approach grounded in history, society, culture and politics, CITAP faculty and affiliates conduct focused research on topics including political processes, democracy and equality, mis- and disinformation, among other topics, such as the direct impact of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on The Capitol.

“As the events of Jan. 6, 2021, continue to reverberate through our democracy, public scholars play an important role in interpreting and contextualizing the attack. Through their work, Drs. Van Duyn, White, and Tripodi help us better understand the meaning of Jan. 6 and imagine how researchers can uphold democratic norms and institutions against threats like these going forward,” Kathryn Peters, CITAP executive director, said. “CITAP is proud to partner with the Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics at GWU in hosting these important conversations.”

During her keynote speaking session, Tripodi will address how political communication and information researchers can respond to the Jan. 6, 2021 events.

“It’s easy to think about the attempted coup as a one-off event, not a systematic attempt to erode trust in the democratic process. What my research demonstrates is that politicians and pundits play a central role in seeding the internet with misinformation,” Tripodi says of the importance of continuing to learn from and discuss the events of Jan. 6, 2021. “By connecting with other scholars inside the Knight network, we hope to inspire future researchers to untangle the myriad ways elected officials are integrally woven within the right-wing media ecosystem.”

All keynote talks will be livestreamed for a public audience as well as open to the public for in-person attendance. To register to attend the conference, please visit