On this episode of the New Books Network, Dr. Lee Pierce
(she/they)--Asst. Prof. of Rhetoric and Communication at the State University of New York at Geneseo--interviews Heather Suzanne Woods
(she/hers), Asst. Prof. of Communication at Kansas State and Leslie A. Hahner
(she/hers), Assoc. Prof. in Communication at Baylor University, on their fascinating new book Make America Meme Again: The Rhetoric of the Alt-Right
(Peter Lang, 2019). Make America Meme Again
explores memes as a communication phenomenon with cultural effects with a specific focus on how memes circulated toward the end of the Trump campaign to secure support for a white, misogynistic, nationalist agenda. To quote the book, “the most significant tactics of the Alt-right is its use of memes to both lure mainstream devotees and direct larger public discussions. Memes are the nodal points in the ecosystem of this far right collective. The rise of Alt-right digital media, then, is of serious concern in that discourses emerging from this stance play a prominent role in public culture” (3). Make America Meme Again
should be of interest to anyone concerned with how internet culture and tactics of persuasion are being deployed by the extreme Right moving into the 2020 election.