Bunk and the History of Hoaxes with Kevin Young

Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 6:00pm

Long before fake news dominated headlines, Kevin Young was tracking down its roots. The author of 11 books and poetry collections, poetry editor for The New Yorker and director of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Young has spent the past six years tracing the history of news-worthy fraudulence all the way back to the 18th century. Young’s latest book Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News chronicles the racially prejudiced path that brought fake news to where it is to today. Longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award, Bunk dives into hoaxes big and small that permeate American history and the cultural attitudes that drive them. Young joins the MIT Communications Forum for a broad-ranging discussion on the current state of fake news and much more. A book signing will follow.

Kevin Young is poetry editor for The New Yorker, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, and the author of 11 books and poetry collections including The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness, which was a New York Times Notable Book, and Jelly Roll: A Blues, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. In addition to Bunk, Young’s non-fiction work also includes To Repel Ghosts, about Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Cosponsored with the Communications Forum at MIT.