The Aesthetic Politics of Far Right Movements

Emergent Conversation 17

Edited by Kyle Craig

Embed from Getty Images

A person holds a banner referring to the Qanon conspiracy theory during a alt-right rally on August 17, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. Anti-fascism demonstrators gathered to counter-protest a rally held by far-right, extremist groups. Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images.

This Emergent Conversation brings together global, interdisciplinary perspectives on the role aesthetic expressions and practices play in shaping, maintaining, reviving, and promulgating right-wing, authoritarian, and populist politics. Much of the scholarship on the recent rise of international right-wing movements has examined the economic, religious, and cultural state of affairs that lay the foundations of such movements. Less critical attention has been paid to how everyday people, authoritarian strongmen, and everyone in-between feel, experience, and do politics through aesthetic forms that imbue those politics with meaning and potentiality. Aesthetics are a fertile ground for cultivating right-wing agendas. This series casts a wide analytical net to capture a diverse range of definitions and locations of aesthetics and their unfolding in right-wing, authoritarian, and populist contexts. Essays in this collection examine aesthetics in relation to style or arts and cultural productions, practices, and expressions, showing how they are co-constitutive of national imaginaries, class subjectivities, truth and fiction, temporalities, and desires.

Because the study of aesthetics and right-wing political movements is developing rapidly, this conversation is truly emergent, and we encourage authors to submit to the discussion. At the present moment of rising global authoritarianism, anthropologies of far-right aesthetics and affect are critically important. New contributions will be considered and published on a rolling basis in the form of short essays (1000-2500 words) as well as multi-media explorations, such as photo essays, short ethnographic films, or podcast episodes. To contribute to this series, please submit abstracts of 250 words to Kyle Benedict Craig ( Authors will be notified of a decision within a week of submission.


Introduction:  The Aesthetic Politics of Far Right Movements

Kyle Craig


Part I



Christian Nationalism Goes Organic: Populist Politics and the Aesthetics of the Built Environment in Hungary

Kriszti Fehérváry



Legal Aesthetics Among American Sovereign Citizens

Joseph Moore



“They’re Spinning in Their Graves!”: Art Ordering History in the Tea Party Movement

William H. Westermeyer


Part II

Pakistani Politicians as Hindu Gods: The Visual Excesses of a Religious National Imaginary

Ghazal Asif Farrukhi and Natasha Raheja 


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