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Conspiracy Nation

Author: Peter Knight
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814747361
Size: 12.24 MB
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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.

Paranoid Pedagogies

Author: Jennifer A. Sandlin
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319647652
Size: 27.30 MB
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This edited book explores the under-analyzed significance and function of paranoia as a psychological habitus of the contemporary educational and social moment. The editors and contributors argue that the desire for epistemological truth beyond uncertainty characteristic of paranoia continues to profoundly shape the aesthetic texture and imaginaries of educational thought and practice. Attending to the psychoanalytic, post-psychoanalytic, and critical significance of paranoia as a mode of engaging with the world, this book further inquires into the ways in which paranoia functions to shape the social order and the material desire of subjects operating within it. Furthermore, the book aims to understand how the paranoiac imaginary endemic to contemporary educational thought manifests itself throughout the social field and what issues it makes manifest for teachers, teacher educators, and academics working toward social transformation.

Conspiracy Theories In The Arab World

Author: Matthew Gray
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136967508
Size: 15.20 MB
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Conspiracy theories, while not unique to the Middle East, are a salient feature of the political discourses of the region. Strongly reflecting and impacting on state-society relations and indigenous impressions of the world beyond the region, they affect how political behaviour within and among the states of the region is situated, structured, and controlled. Discounting the common pathological explanation for conspiracism, the author argues that a complex mix of political factors account for most conspiracy theories in the contemporary Arab world. The author argues that the region’s modern history, genuine conspiracies, the complex and oftentimes strained relationship between state and society, the role of the state and the mass media as conspiracy theorists, and the impacts of new technologies have all helped to develop and sustain conspiracist narratives. Drawing on a range of examples and cases, including the impacts of globalization, economic reform, weak state legitimacy, the war in Iraq, the Arab-Israeli issue, the rise of political Islamism, and internet and satellite television, the book illuminates the complex sources of conspiracy theories. Providing a comprehensive overview of this controversial topic, this book will appeal not only to students and scholars interested in Middle East studies, political science, globalization and conspiracy theories, but to anyone seeking an understanding of the region’s complex economic, social, and cultural dynamics.

Transnational America

Author: Russell Duncan
Publisher: Museum Tusculanum Press
ISBN: 9788772899589
Size: 23.77 MB
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This is an interdisciplinary analysis of the interaction between today's globalisation and Americanisation. Transnationalism involves a loosening of boundaries, a deterritorialisation of the nation-state, and higher degrees of interconnectedness among cultures and peoples across the globe. As people make transnational voyages and live lives of flexible citizenship in two or more cultures, they adhere to a new type of nationalism that creates an exclusionist discourse and builds the Other as conservative defenders of cruder territorial loyalties. This transnational solidarity -- a new communitarianism beyond the loyalties to any one place or ethnic group -- threatens the old order with its conceptions that assimilation and integration will remake the foreigner into a particular national citizen. The authors address the complex issues of globalisation, American mythology, Christian proselytising, modern slavery, conspiracy theory, apocalyptic terrorism, Vietnam stories, international feminism, changing gender roles, resurgent regionalism and the changing definitions of place.

Conspiracy Theories

Author: J. Byford
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230349218
Size: 34.48 MB
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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.

The Aids Conspiracy

Author: Nicoli Nattrass
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231520255
Size: 55.87 MB
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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.

The Philosophy Of Conspiracy Theories

Author: M. Dentith
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137363169
Size: 72.49 MB
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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

They Know Us Better Than We Know Ourselves

Author: Bridget Brown
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814786359
Size: 48.98 MB
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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.

North American Critical Theory After Postmodernism

Author: P. Nickel
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137262869
Size: 40.73 MB
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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.

Popular Feminist Fiction As American Allegory

Author: Jane Elliott
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9780230605428
Size: 18.41 MB
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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.