Rhetorics of Conspiracy and Control


In this project I am examining the ways in which communities both online and off develop insular cultures which influence their members’ ways of understanding and interacting with information. This phenomenon is evident in the recent controversies surrounding fake news in the political arena, but also surfaces in countless other instances that are marked by groups of people determining what counts as facts and credibility based on the rhetorical markers of the culture with which they identify. For my dissertation, I am thinking of focusing on a particular fake news item, UFO conspiracy culture, and weight loss/pseudo-health rhetorics as separate sites of analysis that illustrate this concept. Because it is now not only impossible, but counterproductive, to attempt to disassociate online and offline activities and because so much of what we might term cultural or political engagement happens in digital spaces, the formatting and interface of these forums plays a role in the development of the cultures that form and exist in them. I would like to take these factors into account in my study as well.

Meeting Name

Graduate Research Network at Computers and Writing Conference (2017: Jun. 1-4, Findlay, OH)


English and Technical Communication

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type




Publication Date

01 Jun 2017

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