Medieval to Modern - The Lazy Logic of Conspiracy Theories

We invite all Yale, MIT, and Princeton alums to join us for the Los Angeles High Table series aimed at showcasing dynamic speakers in an intimate setting that facilitates connection with your fellow alumni. This in-person event features Princeton graduate alumnus (*18) and California State University, Fullerton Assistant Professor Elise Wang who will speak about her work on the medieval blood libel narrative and the structure of conspiracy theories. Come learn lazy logic’s long lineage and network with fellow alums.

Date: Sunday, March 26th
Time: 1:00pm PDT – 3:30pm PDT
Location: We are lucky to have this event at the Gardena office of LUV Systems, which includes a unique pathogen-killing, low-UVC light system. The exact address will be sent to all registrants.
Price: $5. We also request you contribute to our potluck. Suggestions below.
Event format: 30 min mingling, 60 min High Table Program featuring Dr. Elise Wang, 60 min networking and discussion post-talk with potluck refreshments.

Register on MIT website:

About the speaker:

Dr. Elise Wang *18Elise Wang is an Assistant Professor at California State University, Fullerton who researches medieval literature, the long history of conspiracy theories, and criminal justice.

Dr. Wang grew up in Chicago and received her A.B. from Harvard University in Comparative Religion and Women, Gender, and Sexuality in 2007. She won a Rhodes Scholarship to study immigration law at Oxford University, where she graduated with a M.St. in English in 2011.

Dr. Wang then came to Princeton, where she completed her PhD in 2018. Her dissertation exploring guilt and punishment in medieval literature spans disciplines -- she treat poets as serious legal thinkers and reads legal documents with an eye to their language and form. Her book on this topic will be published later this year. During her time at Princeton, Dr. Wang not only taught at the university, but also at the Garden State Correctional Facility, which brought the stakes of her research into focus. Following graduation Dr. Wang spent two years teaching at Duke University before arriving at California State University, Fullerton in 2020.

In the mid-2010s, Dr. Wang began to notice striking echos of historical conspiracy narratives in the public discourse; she soon began work on comparative studies. Her new book, "Evidence as Style" will trace the key principles and structure of conspiracy theories back to the blood libel narrative from medieval times. She shows that conspiracy narratives deploy a kind of "lazy logic" that latches onto a fully formed conclusion designed to provoke racial violence, but the evidence supporting that conclusion evolves flexibly.

Dr. Wang’s first love is teaching; her current course at Fullerton focuses on the Canterbury Tales and Chaucer’s language. Her broad outreach presence includes a 2019 TEDxDuke talk, a talk on a panel at the Dallas Holocaust Museum, and a recent appearance on Jordan Klepper’s Daily Show podcast

Potluck suggestions by first letter of your last name:

We ask that you please bring a dish to share for lunch. Suggestions by last name are below:

  • A-E - Salads / Appetizers
  • F-P - Main Dishes
  • Q-Z - Desserts / Drinks

Parking: There is free parking at the LUV Systems building and plenty of spots. The best spot to park is behind the building (to the east).

Registration: Use the registration button at the top of this page to sign up. Space is limited to 50 participants, so register early and be sure to attend! We especially welcome established alums in fields relevant to the talk and younger alums in all fields.


For questions concerning registration for the upcoming High Table event, contact Jon at la.hightable.reg at

For all other inquiries (speaking at or hosting a future High Table event, helping to organize future events, etc.) write to Seth at la.hightable at