Post-lecture Discussion: QAnon and the “Post-Truth” Public Sphere with Timothy Melley, professor of English and Geoffrion Family Director of the Humanities Center at Miami University

In a recent survey of 5,625 American adults, the Public Religion Research Institute found that “A nontrivial 15% of Americans agree with the sweeping QAnon allegation that ‘the government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation.’ ” What is the appeal of the QAnon claim? How does the growing belief in narratives like QAnon relate to the distrust of science and expertise addressed by Naomi Oreskes? Optional Reading: Adrienne LaFrance “The Prophecies of Q: American conspiracy theories are entering a dangerous new phase,” Atlantic Monthly, June, 2020. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/06/qanon-nothing-can-stop-what-is-coming/610567/ Timothy Melley is Professor of English and Geoffrion Family Director of the Humanities Center at Miami University. He is the author of The Covert Sphere: Secrecy, Fiction, and the National Security State (Cornell 2012), Empire of Conspiracy: The Culture of Paranoia in Postwar America (Cornell 2000), and more than 30 essays and stories. He is currently writing about the cultural politics of security.