Why are Americans today so fascinated by the X-Files? How did rumors emerge about the origins of the AIDS virus as a weapon of biowarfare? Why does the Kennedy assassination provoke heated debate nearly forty years after the fact, and what do we make of Hillary Clinton's accusation of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" against her husband? The origins of these ideas reveal important facets of American culture and politics. Placing conspiracy thinking at the center of American history, and challenging the knee-jerk dismissal of conspiratorial thought as deluded and sometimes dangerous, Conspiracy Nation provides a wide-ranging survey of conspiracy theories in contemporary America. In the 19th century, inflammatory rhetoric about slave revolts, the well-publicized specter of the black rapist, and the formation of the Ku Klux Klan all worked as conspiracy theories to legitimate an emerging sense of national consciousness based on an ideology of white supremacy. Today, panicked responses to increasing multiculturalism and globalization yield new notions of victimhood and new theories about conspiratorial plans for global domination. Offering up a provocative array of examples, ranging from alien abduction to the novels of DeLillo and Pynchon to Tupac Shakur's "paranoid style," Conspiracy Nation documents and unearths the workings of conspiracy in the contemporary moment. Their conclusions, sometimes startling and always compelling, have much to say about the nature of identity and anxiety, imagination and politics, and the state of the American psyche today. Contributors: Clare Birchall, Jack Bratich, Bridget Brown, Jodi Dean, Ingrid Walker Fields, Douglas Kellner, Peter Knight, Fran Mason, John A. McClure, Timothy Melley, Eithne Quinn, and Skip Willman.
How do spectators become emotionally involved in cinema? Starting from this question, the book suggests an original view about a critical period in United States film history. In a detailed analysis of individual films, an image emerges of a complex interplay between three affective modes – suspense, paranoia, and melancholy – which draw the spectators to reflect in unique ways about contradictions in their own feelings.
Conspiracy theories are a popular topic of conversation in everyday life but are often frowned upon in academic discussions. Looking at the recent spate of philosophical interest in conspiracy theories, The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories looks at whether the assumption that belief in conspiracy theories is typically irrational is well founded
Since the early days of the AIDS epidemic, many bizarre and dangerous hypotheses have been advanced to explain the origins of the disease. In this compelling book, Nicoli Nattrass explores the social and political factors prolonging the erroneous belief that the American government manufactured the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to be used as a biological weapon, as well as the myth's consequences for behavior, especially within African American and black South African communities. Contemporary AIDS denialism, the belief that HIV is harmless and that antiretroviral drugs are the true cause of AIDS, is a more insidious AIDS conspiracy theory. Advocates of this position make a "conspiratorial move" against HIV science by implying its methods cannot be trusted and that untested, alternative therapies are safer than antiretrovirals. These claims are genuinely life-threatening, as tragically demonstrated in South Africa when the delay of antiretroviral treatment resulted in nearly 333,000 AIDS deaths and 180,000 HIV infections—a tragedy of stunning proportions. Nattrass identifies four symbolically powerful figures ensuring the lifespan of AIDS denialism: the hero scientist (dissident scientists who lend credibility to the movement); the cultropreneur (alternative therapists who exploit the conspiratorial move as a marketing mechanism); the living icon (individuals who claim to be living proof of AIDS denialism's legitimacy); and the praise-singer (journalists who broadcast movement messages to the public). Nattrass also describes how pro-science activists have fought back by deploying empirical evidence and political credibility to resist AIDS conspiracy theories, which is part of the crucial project to defend evidence-based medicine.
Since its emergence in the 1960s, belief in alien abduction has saturated popular culture, with the ubiquitous image of the almond-eyed alien appearing on everything from bumper stickers to bars of soap. Drawing on interviews with alleged abductees from the New York area, Bridget Brown suggests a new way for people to think about the alien phenomenon, one that is concerned not with establishing whether aliens actually exist, but with understanding what belief in aliens in America may tell us about our changing understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. They Know Us Better Than We Know Ourselves looks at how the belief in abduction by extraterrestrials is constituted by and through popular discourse and the images provided by print, film, and television. Brown contends that the abduction phenomenon is symptomatic of a period during which people have come to feel increasingly divested of the ability to know what is real or true about themselves and the world in which they live. The alien abduction phenomenon helps us think about how people who feel left out create their own stories and fashion truths that square with their own experience of the world.
Through a series of specific questions that cut to the core of conspiracism as a global social and cultural phenomenon this book deconstructs the logic and rhetoric of conspiracy theories and analyses the broader social and psychological factors that contribute to their persistence in modern society.
An authoritative critical introduction to the way the event of JFK's assassination has been represented in a range of discourses.
In a series of interviews this book explores the formative experiences of a generation of critical theorists whose work originated in the midst of what has been called 'the postmodern turn,' including discussions of their views on the evolution of critical theory over the past 30 years and their assessment of contemporary politics.
Explores the life and career of Tupac Shakur, including his childhood, education, success as a rap musician, and death by shooting.
Offering a strikingly original treatment of feminist literature, Popular Feminist Fiction as American Allegory argues that feminist novels served as a means of narrating and negotiating the perceived decline of American progress after the 1960s. Elliott analyzes popular tropes ranging from the white middle class housewife trapped in endless domestic labor to the woman of color haunted by a traumatic past--exploring the way in which feminist narratives represented women as unable to access positive futures. In a powerful new reading of temporality in contemporary fiction, Elliott posits that feminism’s image of women trapped in time operated as a potent allegory for the apparent breakdown of futurity in postmodernity.
Sinkende Geburtenraten, unkontrollierte Masseneinwanderung und eine lange Tradition des verinnerlichten Misstrauens: Europa scheint unfähig zu sein, seine Interessen zu verteidigen. Douglas Murray, gefeierter Autor, sieht in seinem neuen Bestseller Europa gar an der Schwelle zum Freitod – zumindest scheinen sich seine politischen Führer für den Selbstmord entschieden zu haben. Doch warum haben die europäischen Regierungen einen Prozess angestoßen, wohl wissend, dass sie dessen Folgen weder absehen können noch im Griff haben? Warum laden sie Tausende von muslimischen Einwanderern ein, nach Europa zu kommen, wenn die Bevölkerung diese mit jedem Jahr stärker ablehnt? Sehen die Regierungen nicht, dass ihre Entscheidungen nicht nur die Bevölkerung ihrer Länder auseinandertreiben, sondern letztlich auch Europa zerreißen werden? Oder sind sie so sehr von ihrer Vision eines neuen europäischen Menschen, eines neuen Europas und der arroganten Überzeugung von deren Machbarkeit geblendet? Der Selbstmord Europas ist kein spontan entstandenes Pamphlet einer vagen Befindlichkeit. Akribisch hat Douglas Murray die Einwanderung aus Afrika und dem Nahen Osten nach Europa recherchiert und ihre Anfänge, ihre Entwicklung sowie die gesellschaftlichen Folgen über mehrere Jahrzehnte ebenso studiert wie ihre Einmündung in den alltäglich werdenden Terrorismus. Eine beeindruckende und erschütternde Analyse der Zeit, in der wir leben, sowie der Zustände, auf die wir zusteuern.
Assessing the diverse ways in which collective memories and popular histories collide, a compelling study sheds light on the need to mythologize the tragedies of the Civil War, including the popular story that John Wilkes Booth escaped his pursuers, an event that became a government cover-up.
Two key performances by Paul Robeson shed light on the Cold War era