Communication, Culture & Critique

Special Issue: Media and the Extreme Right

Edited by Laurie Ouellette and Sarah Banet-Weiser

Abstracts Due: 15 March, 2017

The past few years have seen the increased visibility of misogyny, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, nativism, and white nationalism on a global scale. Often mobilized by populist rhetoric and sentiment, this rightward political turn has been folded into policy, law, and infrastructure. The UK voted to leave the European Union in “Brexit” on an anti-immigration platform.  The United States elected Donald Trump as President, a candidate who ran on a platform of racism, misogyny and xenophobia, and in his first week signed an executive order banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.  France has seen rising support for the National Front party, led by Marine Le Pen, who advocates for stopping free movement at the French border and protectionist economic policies to put “France first,” and the ultra-conservative Alternative for Germany (AfD), and the Party for Freedom Party (PVV) in the Netherlands have also gained currency in recent years.

Contemporary media and communication platforms are crucial to the growth and operations of today’s extreme right movements. From the proliferation of “fake news,” to the suppression of government agencies and journalists, to the use of social media platforms such as Twitter by politicians to “brand” themselves as populists and reach mass constituents, to openly partisan media channels like Fox News, the current media conjecture plays a complicated and sometimes contradictory role in truth-making and political mobilization.   We cannot understand the spectacular visibility and political affectivity of the extreme right without addressing the place of media, from cable networks to interactive social media platforms. 

This special issue examines the role of old and new media in extreme right politics from a critical perspective, asking how rightwing movements have gained traction in an increasingly censorial, but also interactive and politically branded media culture in which resistance is often linked to media participation and fandom and citizenship are increasingly intertwined. We seek to place these questions within a global context, and welcome scholarship that looks beyond the United States to the particularities of extreme right media culture worldwide.

Topics for analysis include (but are not limited to):

The ways gender and sexuality are articulated, shaped, distorted, and transformed by extreme right media and the gendering of media platforms and channels

• Intersections of gender, race, class, nationalism and sexuality in the mediation and branding of extreme right politicians and movements

• The media’s role in defining and mobilizing populism, and the difference between the ‘popular’ and populist extreme right movements

• The role of increasingly fragmented and branded media forms and platforms in the production and circulation of extreme right politicians and political culture

• Blurring boundaries between media consumption and political belonging and participation

• The role of media (including digital media platforms) in new forms of resistance to the extreme right

• The role of affect in extreme right political discourse and media culture

We plan to include articles of 6,500-7,000 words (including references) for this special issue. Individuals or co-authors should submit abstracts (up to 500 words) by March 15th to both Laurie Ouellette ( and Sarah Banet-Weiser (  Full manuscripts will be due by July 1 2017. All contributions will be subjected to double blind peer review and the style guidelines of the journal.

About the Journal: