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Department of American Culture pres.

Cultural Configurations of the “Alt-Right”

Over the past decade, the “alt-right” has moved from what one scholar called the “lunatic fringe” to the centers of power, and helped to infuse an unprecedented level of racism, misogyny, and bigotry into politics, culture, and discourse. Understanding the rise and consolidation of the “alt-right” requires interdisciplinary lenses, from fields such as cultural studies, media studies, feminist studies, and history, and attentiveness to the international rise of populism and ultranationalism.

Specifically, we are interested in exploring the various cultural dimensions of this phenomenon: what are the alt-right’s conceptual touchstones, what are its intellectual genealogies? How have new/social media shaped the alt-right and how has the alt-right marshaled those media, in turn? Is there an alt-right lexicon or language, can we identify recurring narratives? How does the alt-right mobilize ideas of race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and identity? What are the affective politics of the alt-right? What are the national, international, and transnational dimensions of this phenomenon as it gains traction around the world? We work from the assumption that these questions have a particular urgency: any counter-strategies to the erosion of democracy propagated by the alt-right require an understanding of its cultural formations.

Hatcher Library Gallery Rm 100
1pm: Introduction (Alex Stern & Johannes von Moltke)

1:30pm: Narratives of the Alt-Right
Danielle Christmas, UNC: From Heritage Politics to Hate: Neo-Confederate Novels & White Genocide
Jessie Daniels, CUNY: 4Chan to FoxNews to the White House: White Supremacy Since 2008
Louie Valencia, Texas State: From Metapolitics to Metahistory: Alt-History and the Crisis of Western Civilization
Johannes von Moltke (U-M), Moderator

3pm: Coffee Break

3:30pm: New Directions for Research
Alice Mishkin (U-M): Where White Nationalism and AntiSemitism meet Zionism
Maximilian Alvarez (U-M): Mix Red & Brown Together & You Get Brown: How Far-Right Ideas Infect the Left Today
Jasmine Ehrhardt (U-M) Stalking in the City: Media Production, Platform, and Women in the Alt-Right”
Alex Stern (U-M), Moderator

5pm: Reception

Angell Hall Auditorium C
6pm: ContraPoints - Screening and Q&A
Screening: “Jordan Peterson” (ContraPoints YouTube, 2018)
Q&A with Natalie Wynn, creator of Contrapoints
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