Wednesday 09th October 2019 from 4pm in Silverstone SB317

Mythologies of the Far Right

A discussion hosted by the Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies

A three-way panel discussion on radical right wing myths and strategies in India, South Africa and the US. All welcome.

The myth of Hindu victimisation: Contemporary politics of fascist nationalism in India

Dibyesh Anand, University of Westminster

The resurgent Hindu nationalism in India weaponises a myth of Hindu victimisation to demonise and marginalise Muslim and Christian religious minorities, Communists as well as secularists. This presentation identifies the various ways in which narratives of history, religion, society and nation are being manufactured, Far Right Hindu activists mobilised, bigotry mainstreamed, violence deployed with impunity, and public institutions and spaces captured in contemporary India and Indian diasporas in manners akin to inter-war European fascism.

White genocide and the marketing of minority victims in South Africa

Nicky Falkof, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

This paper discusses South African iterations of the myth of white genocide, expressed within an ongoing panic about farm murders, often-brutal killings that take place in isolated rural areas and that are imagined, against all evidence, to solely target white people and to happen in higher numbers than other murders in this violent country. The paper focuses on two self-proclaimed ‘civil rights groups’ that propagate its narrative, presenting white people in South Africa as a special category of victim in need of special protections. It shows how these groups use social media to weaponise and marketise long-standing white fears in order to support the ideological project of white supremacy.

Whiteness in crisis: A historical perspective on American far-right discourses of white victimization

Aaron Winter, University of East London

Since 2016, the US has experienced a resurgence and mainstreaming of the far-right, something falsely resigned to the dustbin of history (along with racism itself) in the wake of Obama’s election and claims of a ‘post-racial’ America. Part of what characterises the current manifestation of the far-right is white identitarianism, discourses about white (and male) victimization such as ‘White Lives Matter’, ‘White Genocide’ and the ‘Great Replacement’, as well as calls to both ‘Make America White Again’ and establish a white ethno-state. This presentation will examine such far-right white victimization discourses: relation to past articulations as they differ and draw from; 2. in terms of mainstream and liberal articulations; and 3. in relation to post-race narratives which, I argue, have provided a rationale for backlash claims of reverse racism and white loss.

Professor Dibyesh Anand is the Head of the School of Social Sciences at the University of Westminster. He is the author of monographs Geopolitical Exotica: Tibet in Western Imagination and Hindu Nationalism in India and the Politics of Fear, and has spoken about and published on varied topics including Tibet, China-India border dispute, Hindu nationalism and Islamophobia in India, and the colonial occupation in Kashmir. Twitter: @dibyeshanand

 Dr Nicky Falkof is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, and a visiting senior research fellow at the Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies. She is the author of The End of Whiteness: Satanism and Family Murder in Late Apartheid South Africa. She writes on race, gender and popular culture with a focus on South Africa and the global south, and has published in locations including Feminist Media StudiesThe International Journal of Cultural StudiesThe Journal of Popular Culture and The New York Times. Twitter: @barbrastrident

 Dr Aaron Winter is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of East London. His research is on the far-right, racism, terrorism and hate crime. He is co-editor of the books Discourses and Practices of Terrorism: Interrogating Terror and Historical Perspectives on Organised Crime and Terrorism, and co-author, with Aurelien Mondon, of Reactionary Democracy: How Racism and the Populist Far Right Became Mainstream. He has published in the journals Ethnic and Racial StudiesIdentities and Sociological Research Online, and been interviewed about his research by BBC, NBC, LBC, The TimesThe TelegraphNew StatesmanVice and Wired. Twitter: @aaronzwinter


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Professor Sally R Munt