ERS Seed Fund: Disruptive Narratives in the Political Landscape of the United States and Germany


Interdisciplinary Project on the Analysis of Disruptive Narratives

ACCELS has received funding for a project called "Disruptive Narratives in the Political Landscape of the United States and Germany: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Post-Truth Era" in the context of an ERS Seed Fund for one year (starting on July 1, 2022). The political landscape in the United States and Germany is being flooded with disruptive stories that involve lies, rhetorical inversion, outright fabulation, so-called 'alternative facts', fake news, and conspiracy theories – such as the many claims about the coronavirus, QAnon, or the ideas about reptilian aliens that control the world. The project brings together specialists from narratology/English studies (Jan Alber and Jessica Jumpertz), linguistics (Thomas Niehr), data analytics (Stefan Maier), and political theory (Hans-Jörg Sigwart) to investigate the functioning, the functions, the spread, the popularity, the effects, and the consequences of disruptive stories in the United States and Germany. This interdisciplinary collaboration enables us to compare the two countries regarding (1) the dimensions or features of the narratives that are being circulated (Alber/Jumpertz); (2) the question of how these stories are presented and spread (Maier and Niehr); and (3) their ideological ramifications and political consequences (Sigwart).