Franz Kafka, Fake News and Artificial Intelligence

LATE Lunchtime lecture

Franz Kafka, Fake News and Artificial Intelligence

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 Wednesday 10 July 2024

 1–2pm (BST)

 At the Weston Library and online

  Free event and open to all, booking required

Book now – in person

Book now – online

About the event

Kafka is one of the most exhilarating writers of the 20th century, and he is extraordinarily relevant for our lives today. His texts push the boundaries of truth, authenticity and legitimacy, forcing us to question why we might be inclined to believe one version of events over another. In this, Kafka anticipates the challenges of our contemporary world, especially in populist, ‘post-truth’ regimes, where truth is up for grabs and power belongs to whoever can spin the most compelling fictions and fantasies.

In this lecture, Leah Tomkins will develop a Kafkan take on two of the most pressing concerns in modern life: the phenomenon of ‘fake news’ and the advent of artificial intelligence, particularly in the context of the recognition and misrecognition of the self. Based on close textual analysis of the original Kafka manuscripts, she will suggest that, more than a century ago, Kafka prefigured these concerns and brought thrillingly to life both their dangers and their seductions. 


Leah Tomkins is an independent writer, scholar and consultant. Academic affiliations include Sassoon Visiting Fellow at the Bodleian Libraries, and Visiting Professor at the University of the West of England.

Booking information

This event is available to attend in person at the Weston Library or online via Zoom. The event is free and open to all but booking is required. When you have booked your place, the ticketing system will send you an automated confirmation.

Book now – in person

Book now – online

Details will be confirmed to registrants ahead of the event. If you have booked to attend online, you will receive a link to the Zoom webinar in the week before the event.

Friends of the Bodleian

This talk is supported by the Friends of the Bodleian. To enjoy closer access to the Bodleian, including exclusive events and priority access to online content, join the Friends today.

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This lecture will be held in person in the Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre at the Weston Library.

Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG

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 Wheelchair access

The Weston Library is wheelchair accessible.

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