This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Wednesday 7 June 2023, 8pm to 9pm
  • Location: Online only
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Conversation exists in a world of social media. Is conversation an oasis in this world or does social media construct intimacy in industrial ways, giving a false or limited sense of intimacy? Do we at some point forget what it is to be intimate?

The balance of people who developed consciousness before the advent of social media compared to those who were born after is shifting. Young people have increasingly developed their sense of self in the context of being engaged in influencer spaces. Considering this development, what will friendship or marriage look like in the future? Seminars and classrooms? Will they have a different texture/dynamic in this world? 

What constitutes authenticity in these spaces?

Join Emily Hund, author of The Influencer Industry: The Quest for Authenticity on Social Media, together with Paula Marantz Cohen, author of Talking Cure: An Essay on the Civilizing Power of Conversation, as they discuss these and related questions.

This event will take place live on Zoom Webinar. You will receive a link to join a couple of days before the event and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function, but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.

Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too. 

About the speakers

Emily Hund studies social media influencers. Her book, The Influencer Industry: The Quest for Authenticity on Social Media, tracks the development of the influencer phenomenon from a haphazard group of people scrambling for work to today’s multifaceted industry with expanding global impact. Her writing and commentary draws on eight years of research, analyses of 2,000 press articles, participant observation at industry events and most crucially, dozens of in-depth interviews with influencers, brand executives, marketers, talent managers, trend forecasters and other participants in the industry. She has seen the influencer industry develop from both sides of the coin - prior to pursuing a research career, she worked as a magazine writer and social media editor. Currently she is a research affiliate with the Center on Digital Culture and Society at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication.

Paula Marantz Cohen, Distinguished Professor of English and Dean of the Pennoni Honors College at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, received her BA in English and French from Yale University and her PhD in English from Columbia University. She is the author of five non-fiction books on literature, film, art and culture, and five novels, including the bestselling Jane Austen in Boca and the Young Adult novel Beatrice Bunson’s Guide to Romeo and Juliet. She is the host of The Civil Discourse, an interview series on controversial topics appearing online and on PBS television affiliates, and she directed the documentary film, Two Universities and the Future of China. Her essays and op-eds have appeared frequently in the Wall Street Journal, the Times Literary Supplement, the Yale Review, The American Scholar and The Chronicle of Higher Education.


University of York