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Langage and (Mis)information

Langage et (dés)information

VocUM 2024

VocUM 2024

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Published on Monday, July 08, 2024


This international conference dedicated to language aims to provide a platform for young researchers to display their findings and foster meaningful discussions across diverse disciplines. The term "information" stems from the Latin formare, whose original meaning roughly translates into the verb “to shape.” It implies in its essence the process of shaping an idea, a representation or a concept. This edition of the conference constitutes an opportunity to examine the different facets of information and disinformation, from transmission to reception, and at every stage in between.



VocUM is an international conference organized annually by students of Université de Montréal from different fields of study relating to language. It is the only multidisciplinary conference in Montreal dedicated to language. Its mission is to provide a platform for young researchers to display their findings and foster meaningful discussions across diverse disciplines. By engaging in the annual student conference, participants have the opportunity not only to refine their oral communication skills, but also to contribute to scholarly discourse by publishing articles in the journal ScriptUM. Thus, language has been targeted as a focal point to facilitate dialogue between otherwise isolated disciplines.

The conference, which was founded in 2014, is now marking its 11th edition. In addition to presentations by young researchers and two keynote lectures, there will be a poster session.

The name “VocUM” derives from the plural genitive of the Latin noun “vox”. Its different meanings (human voice, sound, pronunciation, accent, speech, word, saying, proverb, language, etc.) bring together the different academic disciplines concerned with the conference. Moreover, the suffix “UM” underlies the conference’s affiliation to the Université de Montréal (UdeM).


The term ‘information’ stems from the Latin formare, whose original meaning roughly translates into the verb “to shape.” It implies in its essence the process of shaping an idea, a representation or a concept. In Late Antiquity, this word gained a social and interpersonal connotation, evoking the process of transmitting knowledge or truths, or even the act of instructing and educating. Or de la transmission neuronale aux ondes électromagnétiques en passant par les discours politiques et religieux, l’information est partout et change de forme selon les domaines. From neural transmission to electromagnetic waves, through political and religious speeches, information is everywhere, and changes form depending on the field. The 11th edition of the VocUM conference constitutes an opportunity to examine the different facets of information and disinformation, from transmission to reception, and at every stage in between. The media (daily news, weather forecasts) have been developing their own language, and play host to a variety of disinformation phenomena. From whistle-blowers and climate skepticism, to the defamation of certain individuals or communities, these phenomena are eroding public trust in institutions, and making it all the more necessary to verify the information that circulates in the media.

While the term ‘information’ goes back a long way, its antonym is much more recent. Indeed, the word ‘disinformation’ was probably borrowed from the Russian дезинформация (dezinformatsiya) in the context of the Cold War as a way of defining the propagation of false news with the aim of misleading public opinion. Popularized in the English-speaking world in the 1980s and initially linked to strategies of political manipulation, disinformation was then extended to include any government communication (propaganda) intentionally containing fake and deceptive information. Thus, ‘disinformation’ underlines the deliberate propagation of lies and deception with the aim of manipulating perceptions and opinions. It is worth noticing how, in English, a distinction is made between simply erroneous ‘misinformation’ and intentionally misleading ‘disinformation.’

In this respect, reflections on information and disinformation touch on a wide range of research fields: in Literature and Translation Studies, the literary genre (autobiography, essay, poetry) and the reception context influence our understanding of information. Many writers blur the boundary between fact and fiction, as in the case of autofiction—which moves between autobiography and fiction—and documentary-inspired writing. The choice of translation strategies will depend, for example, on the nature of the text, the target audience, and the historical, cultural (cultural transfer issues) or political (national and identity-oriented narratives) situation of production and reception.

An important setting for the dissemination of information is the academic world, where scientific integrity is at the heart of many challenges (open access, plagiarism, use of artificial intelligence, pseudoscience). Issues of intellectual censorship (book bans, unequal distribution of funds) and restrictions on access to education (gender and class bias) are also obstacles to the right to information.

The intersection between language and (dis)information also touches on preconceived ideas about languages and their uses. Whether we are talking about linguistic perceptions, the often misunderstood relationship between a given standard language and its various vernacular forms, or the impact of this set of linguistic representations on language teaching and learning: the complex connection a speaker has with the reality of language practices sheds light on other aspects related to (dis)information.

In terms of accessibility, the digital age raises a number of issues, while also opening up new horizons. Think, for example, of the increasingly digitized corpora and archives of all kinds—at the cost, however, of direct access to information in its physical form. Besides the legal aspect of access to information, there is the growing trend in countries such as Sweden and Germany to introduce legislation requiring the use of a clear and accessible language to address the public, so that official political speeches or museums’ text panels can be understood by all.

But while the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) is on everyone’s lips, the latest technological advances in the field bring their own set of challenges. The meteoric rise of generative AI over the past few years is constantly shuffling the deck: seen as a source of information by some, and decried as a tool of disinformation by others, the question of AI could not be left unmentioned in view of this year’s theme.

Who is eligible?

Proposals for VocUM 2024 – Language and (dis)information can be submitted in the following disciplines, among others:

  • Language Acquisition
  • Journalism
  • Applied linguistics
  • Linguistics
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Literature
  • Comparative Literature
  • Musicology
  • Communication
  • Neurosciences
  • Didactics of Languages
  • Speech Therapy
  • Law
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Ethnology
  • Public Health
  • Classical Studies
  • Political Science
  • Ethnolinguistics
  • Sociolinguistics
  • History Sociology
  • Art History
  • Translation and Translation Studies

Submission guidelines

To accommodate a diverse range of participants, the VocUM 2024 conference will feature 15 to 20-minute paper presentations followed by a question period, as well as a dedicated time slot for poster presentations.

Students of all academic levels and young researchers are invited to submit their projects, indicating whether their submission should be considered for a paper presentation or a poster (at the discretion of the evaluation committee), or a poster presentation only.

Please submit your proposals by filling out this form.

before Sunday, July 31, 2024

Proposals should not exceed 300 words and must be submitted using the electronic form available on the VocUM website. The scientific committee accepts proposals in French, English, Spanish, Italian or German. However, the dissemination of knowledge in French is strongly encouraged.

For more information: http://vocum.ca, info@vocum.ca


  • Proposal submission deadline: July 31, 2024
  • Notification of acceptance: September 2024
  • Conference dates (in person at Université de Montréal) : November 14 and 15, 2024

Scientific committee

  • Gabriel Labrie, étudiant au doctorat en littérature, option études allemandes, Université de Montréal, président de VocUM
  • Adrien Savard-Arseneault, étudiant à la maîtrise en bibliothéconomie et sciences de l'information, Université de Montréal, trésorier de VocUM
  • Anna Bourges-Celariès, étudiante au doctorat en littérature comparée, Université de Montréal
  • Simone Casaldi, étudiant au doctorat en Linguistique - traductologie, Université de Montréal
  • Yanet Hernandez, étudiante au doctorat en littérature option humanités numériques, Université de Montréal


  • Critical works

Acke, Daniel. « Révisionnisme et négationnisme » in Témoigner. Entre histoire et mémoire, vol. 122, 2016, p. 53−63.

Aristote. Réfutations sophistiques, IVe siècle av. J.-C.

Bernays, Edward. Propaganda, New York, Horace Liveright, 1928.

Bourdieu, Pierre. « L’opinion publique n’existe pas » in Les Temps modernes, n°318, janvier 1973, p. 1292−1309.

Chomsky, Noam et Robert W. McChesney. Propagande, médias et démocratie [trad. Liria Arcal et Louis de Bellefeuille], Montréal, Écosociété, 2005.

Colon, David. Propagande. La manipulation de masse dans le monde contemporain, Paris, Flammarion, 2021.

Decout, Maxime. Pouvoirs de l’imposture, Paris, Minuit, 2018.

Decout, Maxime. En toute mauvaise foi. Sur un paradoxe littéraire, Paris, Minuit, 2015.

Halimi, Serge. Les nouveaux chiens de garde, Paris, Liber-Raisons d’agir, 1997.

Jacquard, Roland. La Guerre du mensonge : histoire secrète de la désinformation, Paris, Plon, 1986

McWhorther, John. What Language Is: And What It Isn’t and What It Could Be, New York, Gotham Books, 2011.

Melançon, Benoît. Le niveau baisse! et autres idées reçues sur la langue, Montréal, Del Busso, 2015.

Lejeune, Philippe. Le pacte autobiographique, Paris, Seuil, 1975.

Pratte, André. Les oiseaux de malheur : essai sur les médias d’aujourd’hui, Montréal, VLB éditeur, 2000.

Ponsonby, Arthur. Falsehood in War-time, Containing an Assortment of Lies Circulated Throughout the Nations During the Great War, London, Garland publishing company, 1928.

Quivy, Vincent. Incroyables mais faux! Histoires de complots de JFK au COVID-19, Paris, Seuil, 2020.

Reboul, Anne. « Le paradoxe du mensonge dans la théorie des actes de langage » dans Cahiers de linguistique française, n°13, Université de Genève, Suisse, 1992, p. 125−147.

Robert, Anne-Cécile. Dernières nouvelles du mensonge, Montréal, Lux Éditeur, 2021.

Scholar, Richard et Alexis Tadié. Fiction and the Frontiers of Knowledge in Europe 1500−1800, Burlington/London, Aldershot publishing/Routledge, 2016 [2011].

Schopenhauer, Arthur. Eristische Dialektik, die Kunst Recht zu behalten [L’art d’avoir toujours raison ou La dialectique éristique], 1864.

Tadié, Alexis. « Fiction et vérité à l’époque moderne », Philosophiques, vol. 40, n°1, printemps 2013, p. 71−85.

Shultz, Richard H. et Roy Godson. Dezinformatsia: Active Measures in Soviet Strategy, Washington, Pergamon-Brassey’s, 1984.

Yaguello, Marina. Catalogue des idées reçues sur la langue, Paris, Seuil 1988.

  • Literary works

Aristophane. Les nuées, Ve siècle av. J.-C.

Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale, Toronto, McClelland & Stewart, 1985.

Beigbeder, Frédéric. 99 Francs, Paris, Grasset & Fasquelle, 2000.

Bello, Antoine. Les falsificateurs, Paris, Gallimard, 2007.

Bernard, Olivier. Le Pharmachien [3 volumes], Montréal, Éditions les Malins, 2014.

Carrère, Emmanuel. L’adversaire, Paris, P.O.L., 2000.

Collodi, Carlo. Le avventure di Pinocchio. Storia di un burattino [Les Aventures de Pinocchio : histoire d’un pantin], Firenze, Paggi, 1883.

Dick, Philip K. The Man in the High Castle, New York, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1962.

Gravel, Élise. Alerte : culottes meurtrières! Fausses nouvelles, désinformation et théories du complot, Scholastic Canada, 2023.

Lindon, Mathieu. Le procès de Jean-Marie Le Pen, Paris, P.O.L., 1998.

Louatah, Sabri. 404, Paris, Flammarion, 2019.

Modiano, Patrick. La Place de l’Étoile, Paris, Gallimard, 1968.

Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four, London, Secker & Warburg, 1949.

Platon. Euthydème, IVe siècle av. J.-C.

Rossini, Gioachino. « La calunnia è un venticello [Air de la calomnie] », Il barbiere di Siviglia [Le Barbier de Séville] livret de Cesare Sterbini, 1816.

Volkoff, Vladimir. Le montage, Paris, Julliard, 1982.


  • Pavillon Lionel-Groulx - 3150, rue Jean-Brillant
    Montreal, Canada (H3T1N8)

Event attendance modalities

Full on-site event


  • Wednesday, July 31, 2024


  • information, désinformation, disinformation, langage, language


  • Gabriel Labrie
    courriel : info [at] vocum [dot] ca

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Gabriel Labrie
    courriel : info [at] vocum [dot] ca


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Langage and (Mis)information », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, July 08, 2024, https://doi.org/10.58079/11ywq

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