In an era of intensified information warfare, ranging from global disinformation campaigns to individual attention hacks, what are the compelling terms for political judgment? How are we to build the knowledge needed to recognize and address important forms of harm when critical information is either not to be trusted or kept hidden? Rather than approach conspiratorial narrative as an irrational response to an obviously decipherable reality, Conspiracy/Theory identifies important affinities between conspiracy theory and critical theory. It recognizes the motivation people have--in their capacities as experts, theorists, and ordinary citizens--to search for patterns in events, to uncover what is covert and attend to dimensions of life that might be hiding in plain sight. If it seems strange that so many find themselves living in incommensurable, disorienting realities, the multidisciplinary contributors to Conspiracy/Theory explore how and why that came to be. Across history and geography, contributors inquire into the affects and imaginaries of political mobilization, tracking counterrevolutionary projects while acknowledging collective futures that demand conspiratorial engagement.

Contributors. Nadia Abu El-Haj, Hussein Ali Agrama, Kathleen Belew, Elizabeth Anne Davis, Joseph Dumit, Faith Hillis, Lochlann Jain, Demetra Kasimis, Susan Lepselter, Darryl Li, Louisa Lombard, Joseph Masco, Robert Meister, Timothy Melley, Rosalind C. Morris, George Shulman, Lisa Wedeen

Publication Date: 
January 12, 2024

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