Cultural Formations 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.
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September 2019

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12:00pm - 6:00pm

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