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Nicole Bedera is a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on how organizations impact the experience of sexual violence with a focus on college sexual assault. Her dissertation is an organizational ethnography of one university’s management of sexual misconduct complaints and the way Title IX can be used to protect perpetrators and reinforce gender inequality. She has also conducted research on queer women’s experiences of sexual assault and men’s attitudes toward sexual violence prevention. Recent publications include: Finding the Strength to Speak Out, Waiting to be Heard: #MeToo on College Campuses and “Call for Help Immediately”: A Discourse Analysis of Resident Assistants’ Responses to Sexual Assault Disclosures”.
Sophie Bjork-James has over ten years of experience researching both the US-based Religious Right and the white nationalist movements. She is the author of The Divine Institution: White Evangelicalism’s Politics of the Family (2021) and the co-editor of Beyond Populism: Angry Politics and the Twilight of Neoliberalism (2020). Her work has appeared in American Anthropologist, Oxford Bibliographies, the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Feminist Anthropology, and Transforming Anthropology. Her work has been featured on the NBC Nightly News, NPR’s All Things Considered, BBC Radio 4’s Today, and in the New York Times. She has published op-eds in the LA Times, Religious Dispatches, and the Conversation.
Emily K. Carian is an Assistant Professor at California State University, San Bernardino. She earned her PhD in Sociology from Stanford University. Her research asks what motivates individuals to engage in backlash, or those attitudes and behaviors that work against gender inequality. Her research has used online forum data to examine collective identity and consensus in the men’s rights movement. Her dissertation used in-depth interviews to compare men’s pathways into feminism and men’s rights activism and paid special attention to the interconnections between interviewees’ gender, racial, and sexual identities. She is currently developing her dissertation into a book. Further recent publications include The Inversive Sexism Scale: Endorsements of the Belief that Woman are Privileged and Other Contemporary Sexist Attitudes which was awarded the 2018 Graduate Student Paper Award by the American Sociological Association and “Playing the Trump Card: Masculinity Threat and the United States 2016 Presidential Election.”
Emily is mentoring Maria Scaptura, a PhD candidate at Virginia Tech.
Julia R. DeCook is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago. She earned her PhD in Media and Information Studies from Michigan State University, where she explored how three online male supremacist groups persevered despite attempts to stop their spread, examining their responses and subsequent collective action (particularly archivization) after being banned, censored, or quarantined. Her research asks what the role of platforms and infrastructure are in sustaining these movements, and how the ability to maneuver around platform constraints plays a role in mobilization and recruitment. She is currently examining how the Incel community continues to evolve their epistemology as well as the role of “celebrities” within these male supremacist online spaces. Additionally, she examines the rise of a group of Asian and Asian American male supremacists, and how their harassment campaigns and coopting of leftist/progressive rhetoric shields them from notice in the larger digital sphere. Recent publications from Julia include Trust Me, I’m Trolling: Irony and the Alt Right’s Political Aesthetic and How deep does the rabbit hole go? The “wonderland” of r/TheRedPill and its Ties to White Supremacy.
Julia is mentoring Katherine Furl, a PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jessica Cabrera is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of California, Irvine, and a graduate of the UC Irvine Law, Society, and Culture Emphasis. Her work explains how feminist Title IX anti-harassment laws in the U.S. came to be influenced by men’s rights groups, and offers strategies for how feminists and progressives can prevent civil rights laws from becoming co-opted by right wing groups. Jessica’s dissertation research is supported by the UC Irvine Center for Organizational Research, the UC Irvine Center for Citizen Peacebuilding, and the UC Irvine Initiative to End Family Violence. She is a Fellow with the Institute for Research on Male Supremacism, and earned a Visiting Student Researcher position at the UC Berkeley Center for the Study of Law and Society starting in August 2021. This year, she was accepted to speak on her work at the United Nations Commission for the Status of Women with Sociologists for Women in Society. Some of her work has been published in The Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality, and the Law, as well as The Annual Review of Law and Social Science. Follow her on twitter @winbackTitleIX
Alexis de Coning is a South African immigrant to the United States, and a doctoral candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her dissertation considers the history and development of the men’s rights movement, and focuses on the movement’s transition from print to digital media from 1990 – 2010. She uses print and digital archives, interviews, and ethnography to explore the ways in which earlier manifestations of the movement impact its use of networked technologies today. Her broader research interests include public sphere and democratic theory, online communities, and food politics.
Ryan Coulling (he/him) is a recent PhD graduate from Carleton University. Broadly, his research is grounded in aspects of social justice. He is especially interested in the violence and harassment by people of privilege directed towards marginalized people. This research interest culminates in the investigation of white, heterosexual, male, right-wing extremists, their emotional and affective reactions, the hate and fear they circulate, and the violent crimes they commit. His doctoral research examined antifeminist masculinities on the manosphere.
Ryan is mentoring Luc Cousineau, a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo.
Alex DiBranco is executive director of the Institute for Research on Male Supremacism. Her writings on male supremacism and incel terrorism have appeared in the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism Journal and The Public Eye quarterly, a publication of the think tank Political Research Associates. She has provided trainings and advice on male supremacist ideology for social justice organizations such as Western States Center, National Domestic Workers Alliance, and SURJ. DiBranco has been interviewed about her work by outlets including NPR, The New Republic, the Chicago Tribune, Think Progress, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. She has a chapter in the book News of the Right published by Oxford University Press, drawn from her in-progress dissertation analyzing how the U.S. Right built sustainable infrastructure and political power from the 1970s through 1990s. DiBranco is a Sociology Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, affiliated with the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies, and a 2019-2020 Dangerous Speech Project Global Research Initiative Fellow. Follow her on twitter @alexdibranco.
Pierce Dignam is a fifth-year PhD candidate at Florida State University’s Department of Sociology. He studies the intersection of social movements, gender, collective identity, and politics in the digital age. His recent work focuses on the social movement dynamics of semi-anonymous Alt-Right spaces on Reddit, an analysis of the working-class appeals made by Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign, and an investigation into Trump’s supporters political allegiance based on cultural understandings of masculinity and anti-establishment politics. His work has appeared in publications such as Race, Gender and Class, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, and Men and Masculinities.
Molly Dragiewicz is Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University in Australia. Dragiewicz is an internationally award-winning criminologist who studies violence and gender. Her book Equality with a vengeance: Men’s rights groups, battered women, and antifeminist backlash (2011) examined antifeminists’ failed effort to use an equal protection lawsuit to de-fund domestic violence shelters in Minnesota. She is currently working on research about technology-facilitated coercive control, domestic violence, and antifeminism. Dragiewicz is highly involved in interdisciplinary, collaborative research with community organisations working to end violence against women. She is a frequently invited speaker and trainer for judicial officers, lawyers, first-responders, domestic violence advocates, and universities. She serves on the Board of Queensland’s Domestic and Family Violence Death Review. Dragiewicz won the 2019 Saltzman Award for Contributions to Practice from the American Society of Criminology Division on Women and Crime; 2018 Domestic Violence Prevention Leadership Award from the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast.
Chelsea Ebin is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. Her dissertation examined how conservative Catholics and Protestants formed an enduring coalition and mobilized throughout the latter half of the twenty-first century. She is now working to expand this work to incorporate a fuller analysis of how race and gender played into the construction of a conservative Christian identity that was premised on victimhood and to look more closely at how the Religious Right utilized prefigurative politics. Ebin has also written about religious freedom and competing rights claims, and the danger these claims pose to the rights of historically marginalized groups. Most recently, she has begun investigating how conservative white women’s political ideologies are informed by discourses of white and male supremacy. Ebin received her Ph.D. in Politics from the New School for Social Research in 2018. Recent publications by Chelsea include “The Great American Rights Bake Off: Freedom of Religion v. Freedom from Discrimination,” co-authored with J. Ricky Price and “Paul Weyrich: 1968 and the Roots of a (Catholic) Radical” (forthcoming).
Greta Jasser is a PhD student at the Leuphana University Lüneburg. Her thesis analyses US far-right online networks across webpages, social media and alt-tech platforms. She is particularly interested in far-right and misogynist ideologies, networks and movement innovations. Her work has been featured in Mainstreaming the Global Radical Right: CARR Yearbook (2019/2020) and Okulare Demokratie.
Annie Kelly is a Ph.D. student researching the impact of digital cultures on anti-feminism and the far right. Her work examines digital influence and gendered performance as political processes in new media. Her writing has appeared in Soundings journal and The New York Times.
Megan Kelly (she/her/hers) is a PhD student at the Center for Gender Studies at the University of Basel. Her dissertation analyzes ‘red pill’ and ‘black pill’ narratives as radicalization narratives into male supremacism. She is particularly interested in identity formation, misogynist ideologies, and relations between different male supremacist identities.
Robert Lawson is an Associate Professor in Sociolinguistics at Birmingham City University. He has held posts at the University of Pittsburgh (Fulbright Scottish Studies Scholar, 2012-13) and the University of Jyväskylä (Junior Visiting Professor, 2019-2020). He has publications in several major international journals, including Discourse, Context and Media, English World-Wide, Gender and Language, Social Media + Society, and Journal of Sociolinguistics. He is the editor of Sociolinguistics in Scotland (Palgrave, 2014), the co-editor of Sociolinguistics: Application and Impact (Routledge, 2016), and is working on a research monograph about the intersection of language and masculinities across different contemporary contexts (Oxford University Press, forthcoming). His current research interests include language and masculinities in online spaces, language in the public eye, and developing public engagement with sociolinguistic research.
Matthew N. Lyons analyzes male supremacism as a major thread connecting different branches of the right, while exploring diverse right-wing male supremacist responses to issues such as family, sexuality, reproduction, women’s political participation, and the role of the state. He writes regularly for Three Way Fight, a radical antifascist blog, and his work has appeared in the Guardian, New Politics, Socialism and Democracy, and other publications. Lyons is the author of Insurgent Supremacists: The U.S. Far Right’s Challenge to State and Empire and contributed the title essay to the book Ctrl-Alt-Delete: An Antifascist Report on the Alternative Right. He is co-author with Chip Berlet of Right-Wing Populism in America. Lyons is co-trustee of the Lorraine Hansberry Literary Trust.
Ashley A. Mattheis is a PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Department of Communication and a Doctoral Fellow with the Center for Analysis of the Radical Right. Mattheis’ work explores the use of online platforms to promote and mainstream extremist ideologies and divisive practices. Her research includes the use of anti-feminism as a tool for radicalization, linkages between what has been termed the “Manosphere” and the Far/Alt-Right, and analyses of the visual rhetoric of meme series connecting Incel imagery to racialized radical right violence. Mattheis’ dissertation explores the ways that women use motherhood as a mechanism of recruiting other women into extremist ideologies. Her publications include “Gendered Hate Online,” in the forthcoming International Encyclopedia of Gender, Media, and Communication. Follow her on Twitter at @aamattheis
Ashley is mentoring Pratiksha Menon, a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan.
Shannan Palma (she/ her/ hers) is the Founding Faculty Director of the graduate program in Writing and Digital Communication and an Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Agnes Scott College. Her research focuses on how and why people get invested in stories, symbols, and ideas that are not in their own best interests. She is currently midway through a trilogy of articles tracing the social construction of incel identity back through “Beauty and the Beast” tales and contemporary media portrayals of nerd and geek masculinities. Fairy-Tale Logic applies insights from folklore and myth scholarship and participatory culture to expose how the logics of misogyny and white supremacy are replicated across generations. An alum of The OpEd Project, Palma also cohosts Once Upon a Patriarchy, an anti-oppression podcast exploring the long-term impact of Disney’s animated films on adults’ conceptions of gender, race, sexuality, and belonging. She earned her PhD in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a PhD Certificate in Film and Media Studies from Emory University. Follow her on Twitter at @shannanpalma.
Meredith L. Pruden is a Presidential Fellow with the Transcultural Conflict and Violence Initiative (TCV) at Georgia State University and a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication. Her focus lies in critical feminist media studies with specific attention to digital and visual cultures. Much of Meredith’s recent work uses mixed methods (qualitative and computational) and focuses on extremist masculinist groups and their entanglement with other far-right ideologies. Her dissertation, titled “Maintaining Frame” in the Incelosphere: Mapping the Discourses, Representations and Geographies of Incels Online, explores involuntary celibate spaces across the web. She also serves as a doctoral research assistant on a Facebook grant exploring the internationalization of far-right publics. With a professional background as a journalist, Meredith’s long-term goal is to be a public intellectual working at the intersection of academia and the popular press. To date, she has had academic research published in Communication, Culture and Critique on conservative populism and journalistic practice, in VISTA: Visual Culture Journal on memes as decolonial political struggle, and in the edited volume Misogyny and Media in the Age of Trump on mediated misogyny and conservative populism. Meredith currently has work under review at Feminist Media Studies, Journalism Practice and two edited volumes and has presented her research at numerous conferences.
Simon Purdue is a fifth-year Ph.D. Candidate at Northeastern University in Boston, where he is doing research on gender, racism, and violence. His dissertation, entitled ‘Intersectional Hate: The Politics of Race and Gender on the Global Extreme-Right, 1969-2009’, explores the ways in which gender was constructed and weaponized within violent extreme-right organizations in the UK, USA, and South Africa. Simon’s broader research interests include radical social movements, paramilitary violence, gender, and the radicalization process, and policing and police violence. Simon has developed and taught his own undergraduate course entitled ‘The Global Far Right Since 1945: Politics, Culture and Violence’, and has been invited to lecture on a broad range of topics related to his research. In 2020 Simon won the American Historical Association’s Albert J. Beveridge Grant for Research in the History of the Western Hemisphere and has also received funding from the Brudnick Center for Research on Conflict and Violence. He has written for Open Democracy, Fair Observer, and the Radical History Review, and has been interviewed for articles and podcasts including Jacobin’s ‘A People’s History’. Simon is a doctoral fellow with the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right. He is also a network editor at H-Nationalism, and in 2017-18 served as an editorial assistant at Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Follow him on Twitter at @simon_p92.
Josh Roose is a Senior Research Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Melbourne. Josh is particularly interested in the intersection of masculinity and violent extremism. He is currently working on two funded projects, the first (Victorian State Government 2019-2020) on the use of masculinity in recruitment narratives by extremist groups in Australia and the second (Australian Research Council 2020-2022), on the far-right, intellectuals, masculinity and citizenship. He is currently developing the concept of ideological masculinity as a framework for bringing male supremacism into the spectrum of activities considered as violent extremism. Josh has held visiting positions at the Graduate Centre, City University of New York, New York University, Harvard Law School and most recently, the ICLRS at BYU. His new book is titled The New Demagogues: Religion, Masculinity and the New Populism (Routledge forthcoming 2020).
Josh is mentoring Mary-Meadhbh Park, a graduate student at University College Dublin.
Ann-Kathrin Rothermel is a research associate and PhD candidate at the University of Potsdam in Germany. She is also a research affiliate at the Berlin School of Transnational and Regional Studies. Her research investigates gendered processes of radicalization and de-radicalization. She has researched antifeminism and male supremacism online since 2014 when she wrote her Master’s thesis on the global and local dimensions of antifeminist communities online. Her work on antifeminist movement dynamics, radicalization trajectories, and narratives of the manosphere from a transnational and critical feminist perspective have been published in International Affairs Journal, Social Politics Journal, and the German Research Journal for Social Movement Studies. In her PhD project, she combines her work on male supremacism and antifeminism with work in her core discipline of International Relations, where she focuses on how the United Nations’ efforts to counter terrorism are inherently gendered.
Anna Schwenck is a cultural sociologist who works on the intertwining of authoritarianism, neoliberal capitalism, and supremacist masculinity in and beyond the Euro-American world. She completed her PhD at Humboldt University Berlin on the questions of how young people loyal to the government in today’s Russia relate to the regime’s ‘flexible authoritarianism’ and why they ground their quests for change in neoliberal solutions to social problems. At the time, she got intrigued by the role of popular culture in enabling and restraining the normalization of authoritarian beliefs, neotraditional worldviews, and neoliberal ideology.
In her current role as scientific coordinator of the trans-European and interdisciplinary project Popular Music and the Rise of Populism in Europe, situated at Oldenburg University, Germany, Ms. Schwenck currently investigates popular music culture’s capacity to diffuse masculinist, neoliberal and authoritarian worldviews and endue such abstract concepts with emotional meaningfullness. She is especially interested in the ways in which so-called ordinary citizens become susceptible to anti-democratic sentiment through forming convictions based on their emotions – which often anchor in widely accepted societal stereotypes about the alleged boundaries of moral behavior. Such boundaries are often perceived to be especially violated by certain “outgroups”, an assumption which is mostly less absed on critical and systematic observation than on trust in the dominant convictions within an “ingroup”.
Especially with regard to her research project on the ongoing protests of so-called Corona (or Pandemic) skeptics in German-speaking countries, Ms. Schwenck examines how positive experiences of commonality – through popular music, dancing, but also the collective, peaceful fight against a common enemy – may form new coalitions between diverse actors, possibly enhancing the normalization of neo-authoritarian beliefs among mainstream publics in liberal democracies. The primary focus on negative emotions such as anger or resentment in research on the normalization of authoritarian populism and conservative traditionalism risks to neglect the importance of those encounters and events which leave impressions of solace, hope, togetherness, and the possibility of a brighter future. Her research fruitfully combines empirical research methods traditionally applied in political and cultural sociology with questions posed by cultural studies and critical theory.
Erin A. Spampinato holds a PhD in English literature from the Graduate Center, CUNY, and specializes in the aesthetic and cultural history of gender and sexual violence. Her publications on the topic include “A Brief History of the Literary Incel,” forthcoming in the Routledge Companion to Masculinity in American Literature and Culture and “Rereading Rape in the Critical Canon: Adjudicative Criticism and the Capacious Conception,” forthcoming for differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies. She also has an article on the culture of argument on Twitter forthcoming in the October 2020 issue of PMLA. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Carolyn G. Heilbrun Prize for an outstanding feminist dissertation in the humanities and the Annette Kolody Award for best graduate student paper on a feminist topic at MLA 2019. Her current book project tracks the deployment of rape plots through the history of the novel. Other research explores the culture of sexual negotiation, projection, and violence in encounters between British and American travelers and residents of Oceania in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Spampinato’s non-academic writing has appeared in The Guardian and Electric Literature, among other venues. She currently serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Follow her on twitter at @spampinato_erin.
Hanah Stiverson is a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan. Her dissertation, titled, Radicalizing the Mainstream: The Icons and Ideologies of Cryptomasculinism and the Far Right, focuses on the networks and socio-political linkages between the far right and what is considered the mainstream. She is also interested in the relationship between social media platforms and the growth and spread of particular male supremacist ideologies. Hanah is a co-author of an upcoming book under contract with Routledge that looks at the spread of zoombombing and the racism and misogyny that informs virtual attacks.
Matthew Valasik is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Louisiana State University. He earned his PhD in Criminology, Law & Society from the University of California, Irvine. Broadly, his research focuses on examining the socio-spatial dynamics of gang behavior (i.e., territoriality, group cohesion, and violence) building on the observation that street gangs are a localized phenomenon emerging, adapting, and socially interacting in a particular geography. This also includes comparing and contrasting the attributes of street gangs with other deviant groups (i.e., ISIS, racist skinheads, alt-right, white power groups). He is the co-author of Alt-Right Gangs: A Hazy Shade of White, recently published by University of California Press, examining the rise of Alt-Right groups through the lens of street gang research. This book will be one of the first to conceptualize Alt-Right gangs and situate their existence across a broad range of academic literatures and current events. Additionally, other research of Matthew’s on alt-right gangs has been published in the Journal of Youth Studies, Deviant Behavior, Oxford Bibliographies in Criminology, and Understanding Gangs in the Era of Internet and Social Media an edited volume by Springer. In addition to scholarly publications, his research has received coverage in mainstream media outlets such as The Conversation, The Washington Post’s The Monkey Cage, The Guardian, and The Crime Report. Follow him on Twitter @MattValasik.