Agora Speaker Series:“Constructing the Terrorist Threat: Islamophobia, the Media, and the War on Terror”

October 27, 2017 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

In their path breaking work, Barbara and Karen Fields (2012) argue that races, like witches, are the product of an imagined process that is acted upon and then re-imagined. Witchcraft and what they call “racecraft” operate similarly in that they are processes of reasoning that make the imagined appear real and even natural. Drawing on this notion of ‘racecraft,’ Prof. Deepa Kumar argues that a racialized terrorist threat has emerged in the US through the logic of what she calls ‘terrorcraft.’ Tracing domestic and international developments over the course of four decades, she analyzes the invention of terrorcraft, an ideological framework that takes on the character of “common-sense,” in the political and cultural arenas. This framework is then sustained through real life events and through the repetition of individual, state-initiated, and media-produced rituals. The result is that even though the likelihood of dying from a terrorist attack is miniscule, the majority of US citizens believe that terrorism is a critically important threat to their safety and security.  

Deepa Kumar, School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University

Location and Address

332 Cathedral of Learning

Directions and Parking Information

Garage and street parking available

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