Published: Sept. 20, 2018

Scholars on European far-right movements to visit campus

By: Madeline Kelly Media Communications Madeline.Kelly@cabs.msu.eduContact(s): Johanna Schuster-Craig Jewish Studies

The German Studies Program and the Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, or CERES, will host two renowned scholars in October to discuss their new research on far-right movements in Germany and Austria.

The two-part series will begin with speaker Karin Liebhart at 3 p.m. on Oct. 11 in room 303 of the International Center.  

Liebhart, a political scientist from the University of Vienna on a Fulbright fellowship at the University of Minnesota, will discuss the social media use of the far-right in Germany and Austria. She will examine the textual and visual messages of the Identitarian movement in Austria, Germany and other European countries through the channels of social media, specifically Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, as a primary means of political communication. 

The second speaker in the series, Cynthia Miller-Idriss, will present at 3 p.m. on Oct. 29 at the same location. 

Miller-Idriss, sociologist of youth culture and professor of education at American University, will discuss her new book, “The Extreme Gone Mainstream,” which explores how clothing brands laced with symbols favored by extremists enter mainstream youth culture. Miller-Idriss will analyze how extremist ideologies have entered mainstream German culture through commercialized products and clothing laced with extremist, anti-Semitic, racist and nationalist coded symbols and references.

“In terms of understanding how the far-right moves through public space, German and European Studies have decades of experience researching this topic,” said Johanna Schuster-Craig, assistant professor of German and coordinator of the program. “We – as scholars of Germany and Austria – also have an investment in understanding how fascism was possible. In addition to learning from that history, from the insights of political science and from innovations in the field of cultural and visual studies, we want to understand how extremist and authoritarian movements mobilize.

“To do that, we need to understand how contemporary technologies and global networks facilitate the transmission of both rhetoric and symbols. I’m thrilled that we have the opportunity to invite these two speakers to MSU’s campus.”

In addition to German Studies and CERES, the discussions are sponsored by the Department of Political Science, the College of Arts and Letters and the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asianand African Languages. The Michael and Elaine Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel is sponsoring Miller-Idriss' discussion.

For more information, visit German Studies.