Seeing Is Believing–Conspiracy Theories in Art

March 13th, 2020
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Post your comments here about the conspiratorial art of Mark Lombardi.

Gerry Bull, Space Research Corporation and Armscor of Pretoria, South Africa, c. 1972-80 (5th Version) – Mark Lombardi (1951-2000). Source: Museum of Modern Art, New York

Research paper topics

January 2nd, 2020
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Actually, I’d rather we just do evidence-based research!

 

Here is a list of topics students have chosen to work on as we explore the alternative universe of conspiracy theories:

1. Colton–organ harvesting conspiracy theories

2. Dennis–Project MK-Ultra and conspiracy theories

3. Jae–conspiracy theories about the population control of African Americans

4. Christina–white genocide conspiracy theories

5. Matt–Roswell UFO conspiracy theories

6. Ashleigh–flat earth conspiracy theories

7. Kassie–conspiracy theories in dystopian fiction

8. Jessie–conspiracy theories about Lincoln’s assassination

9. Daniel–the Illuminati conspiracy theories

10. Nic–Calment conspiracy theories

11. Corey–moon landing conspiracy theories

12. Devin–Protocols of the Elders of Zion

13. Eddie–JFK conspiracy theories

14. Erica–conspiracy theories about big pharma

15. Toby–horror fiction and conspiracy theories

 

Peter Knight’s Conspiracy Culture

February 22nd, 2020
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Post your comments here about Peter Knight’s book, Conspiracy Culture.

Conspiracy Theories in Turkey, Central Asia, and the Global South (part II)

February 18th, 2020
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Please post your comments here about the articles by Baer and Bastian.

Conspiracy Theories in Turkey, Central Asia, and the Global South (part I)

February 15th, 2020
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Please post your comments here about the essays by Heathershaw and Butt.

Conspiracy Theories, Totalitarian Regimes, and the Holocaust

February 9th, 2020
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Next we turn to the role of conspiracy theories in the two main totalitarian regimes of the 20th century–Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Please post your comments here about the readings by Bemporad, Lenoe, Herf, and Petropoulos.

Analyzing Conspiracy Theories (part II)

January 28th, 2020
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Post your comments here about the articles by Cullen, Goertzel, and van Prooijen.

 

 

Analyzing Conspiracy Theories

January 24th, 2020
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Post your comments here about the essays by Pasek; Wood and Douglas; and DeWitt, Atkinson, and Wegner. Also, please comment on the episode, “Beware the Jabberwock,” from This American Life.

The Jabberwock, of which you should be aware. (Image from This American Life.)

 

 

 

Conspiracy Theories and the American Revolution

January 2nd, 2020
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Our discussion now turns to Bernard Bailyn and Gordon Wood, and their interpretations of conspiracy theories in the American Revolution. In posting your comments on both here, take note of the questions that Bailyn raises in his short essay on the topic. How does Wood critique Hofstadter’s analysis and what insights does he have about the relationship of conspiratorial thought to professional historical methodology? Why do you think  Hofstadter’s essay has remained well known when it comes to discussing conspiracy theories in American history whereas Wood’s essay has never enjoyed such wider recognition beyond the historical profession?

How can this not be a sign of a conspiracy?!

Conspiracy Theories and the French Revolution

January 2nd, 2020
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Post your comments here on the readings by Hofman and Tackett concerning the role of conspiracy theories in the French Revolution and in making sense of the French Revolution. Be sure to relate these readings to the authors you’ve already read, particularly Wood’s essay on conspiratorial explanations in the 18th century. Also, what insights does Hofman have about the origins of the concept “public opinion” and what some people, like Barruel, interpreted it to really mean? Also, what would Wood think of Tackett’s methodology and emphasis in studying conspiracy theories in the French Revolution?

Saint-Just, a member of the revolutionary government who thought government was a conspiracy.