POSTPONED: Political science lecture chronicles the impact of conspiracy theories on American politics

January 22, 2019
By Kou Okada '22

University of Miami professor of political science Joseph E. Uscinski will present a talk entitled, “Conspiracy Theories Are For Losers” on Thursday, January 31 from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Laurence McKinley Gould Library Athenaeum. This event is free and open to the public.

In his talk, Uscinski will discuss the impact of conspiracy theories on American politics, showing that conspiracy theories follow a strategic logic: they are tools used by the powerless to attack and defend against the powerful. He will then discuss how conspiracy theories were used by strategic politicians in 2016 to build coalitions of underserved partisan constituencies, and why conspiracy theories continue to be a major part of American politics.

Uscinski’s research has appeared in the Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, and Critical Review, among other scholarly outlets. His first book, “The People’s News: Media, Politics, and the Demands of Capitalism” (New York University Press, 2014), addresses how audience demands drive news content. His second book, “American Conspiracy Theories” (Oxford University Press, 2014), coauthored with Joseph Parent, examines why people believe in conspiracy theories.

Uscinski received his BA from Plymouth State University, his MA from the University of New Hampshire, and his PhD from the University of Arizona. Currently, he is an associate professor at the University of Miami, where he specializes in American politics, elections, media, and conspiracy theories.

This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Department of Political Science. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4117. The Laurence McKinley Gould Library is located off College Street on the Carleton campus and is also accessible via Highway 19 in Northfield.