The Cycle of Public Panic Over Childhood That Got Us to QAnon 

For 150 Years, Americans Have Misplaced Concerns for Their Kids—Helping Conspiracy Theories to Flourish

The story of QAnon’s violent extremism is often told as one of partisan polarization. We tend to focus on the most outlandish parts of the far-right conspiracy theory—which falsely claims former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was at the center of an international Deep State pedophile ring tied up in murder and occult ritual, and that would eventually be exposed and punished by Donald Trump. But in doing so, we miss how it is also fed by something so universally accepted that we don’t acknowledge how modern it is: our values …

The Theatrical Concept Powerful Enough to Break a Trumpian Spell  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Theatrical Concept Powerful Enough to Break a Trumpian Spell 

The Great German Playwright Bertholt Brecht Knew How to Jolt an Audience Out of Narrative Complacency

“All the gang of those who rule us
Hope our quarrels never stop
Helping them to split and fool us
So they can remain on top.”
— Bertholt Brecht, Solidarity …

Conspiracy and Complicity Got Our Democracy Here | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Conspiracy and Complicity Got Our Democracy Here

What Role Have We All Played in the Spread of Disinformation and the Rise of Authoritarianism?

Two phenomena have characterized the outgoing Trump administration and spilled over to other countries around the world. The first is the astonishing power of conspiracy theories. The second is the …

How to Teach an American Inauguration | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How to Teach an American Inauguration

Since 2008, My College Students Have Been Exploring—in Real Time—What the Transfer of Power Ceremony Reveals About the Nation

“Wouldn’t it be cool to go to D.C. for the inauguration?” I remember telling a fellow adjunct instructor in late 2008. Barack Obama had just been elected, and most of …

Why ‘Treason’ Usually Isn’t Treason | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why ‘Treason’ Usually Isn’t Treason

The Constitution Defines Treason Narrowly. That Hasn’t Stopped the Overblown Rhetoric

The last four years have been a strange time to be a scholar of American treason law. The members of this tiny (and I mean really tiny) group used to …