‘How do the American people know…?’: embodying post-9/11 conspiracy discourse
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Conspiratorial thought has been highly visible in post-September 11th America, manifest through the continued growth of a public ‘9/11 Truth Movement’ as well as at the state-level, through the Bush administration’s conspiracy rhetoric of Islamic terrorists intent on infiltrating the US homeland. In this paper, I demonstrate how conspiracy can be understood as a ‘knowledge-producing discourse’; dialectically engaged across multiple subject positions and through which geopolitical narratives are performatively produced and contested at interconnected scales of bodies, homes, city streets and national ‘homelands’. Through drawing on, and challenging, the conceptual and methodological approaches of a burgeoning feminist geopolitics, I ground my analysis in the embodied performances of ‘patriotic dissent’ by members of the 9/11 Truth Movement in New York City, as well as through my own situated and ethical engagement with positions of political difference.
KeywordsConspiracy theory 9/11 Discourse Feminist geopolitics Embodiment
My thanks to Deborah Dixon, Mike Woods, Dan Sage, Maria Jones and two anonymous referees for their helpful ideas and feedback throughout the development of this paper; the research for which was gratefully undertaken with funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Thanks also to the individuals involved in the 9/11 Truth campaign who shared their time and experiences with me.
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