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Cardiff Interdisciplinary Research on Antifascism and the Far right

We carry out research and public activities on antifascism and the far right across a range of different disciplines.

Cardiff Interdisciplinary Research on Antifascism and the Far right (CIRAF) is an incipient interdisciplinary research network that brings together the expertise of members who work on theoretical and empirical, historical and topical aspects of the far right and its doings in physical and digital spaces. We also study, and where possible aim to generate meaningful evidence and understandings for, those who challenge the far right in diverse ways.

The network currently spans six schools in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, ranging from doctoral students to professors, and nurtures projects and collaborations across and beyond Cardiff University. Our members conduct their research at the frontiers of such diverse subjects as history, linguistics, literary studies, media studies, human geography, political science, urban studies and philosophy.

CIRAF was founded in late 2021 as an internal network within Cardiff University. From 2023 the network will be engaging in a range of public activities, including online seminars, a hybrid interdisciplinary symposium, and social media engagement, to expand our network and establish the network’s longer-term public presence online and offline. In doing so, our participants are building foundations for future interdisciplinary research activities in this timely and important research area.

Aims

  • to understand the nature and impacts of the far right and diverse ways of challenging the far right
  • to provide a platform for interdisciplinary research on antifascism and the far right
  • to build capacity within Cardiff University across a range of disciplines and create opportunities for collaborations and knowledge exchange
  • to engage in public activities within and outside of Cardiff University

Events

Symposium: Relational Imaginaries of Antifascism and the Far-right

23 June 2023

By bringing together research on antifascism and the far-right, this symposium explores the social imaginaries of these groups, their values and belief systems, and the role of the ‘opponent’ within them. We engage theoretically, critically, historically, methodologically and empirically with imaginaries and their multiple expressions, for example in texts, images and everyday practices. Including urban imaginaries, ecological imaginaries, utopian and dystopian imaginaries, (anti)colonial imaginaries, (anti)feminist imaginaries, and the ways imaginaries influence political action and vice versa, we discuss the interdisciplinarity of approaches that cut across the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Repertoires of antifascist action

25 April 2023

Ana Santamarina Guerrero (University of Glasgow) and Ali Jones (Coventry University) present two studies of antifascism in action that highlight the different repertoires and rationalities of antifascist activism in specific places and times. How do antifascist strategies and tactics develop in relation to their social and political context? When and why do they change, and what are the implications? And what can stories from certain places and times teach us about antifascism elsewhere and elsewhen, both now and in the future?

Ecofascism

14 March 2023

Aidan Tynan (Cardiff University) discusses “Ecofascist aesthetics”, using ecofascism as a way of understanding how fascism intersects with climate politics, to explore how we should respond to and critique far right politics that provide aesthetic visions, which often resemble those of mainstream liberal environmentalism. Matthew Varco (University of Manchester) explores the interweaving of nature and race in the context of an ‘aryan experimental community’ founded outside Berlin in 1909 by the antisemite Theodor Fritsch in “Heimland: Race, renewal and organic utopia in völkisch settlement”.

Anti-feminist rhetoric and the far right

9 May 2022

Kate Barber (Cardiff University) examines anti-feminist rhetoric, particularly regarding the reframing of rape and sexual assault, in Alt-Right News Narratives and Manosphere News Narratives.

Writing and the far right

9 March 2022

Jason Roberts (Cardiff University) discusses how right-wing media recontextualise material from oppositional sources as a means of advancing their own agenda. Günter Gassner (Cardiff University) explores writing as a movement that is organised around a shared commitment to an anti-oppressive, non-hierarchical world in “Spiral movement: Writing with fascism and urban violence”.

Methods and the far right

1 December 2021

Kat Williams (Cardiff University) explores “Interviewing the ‘unlovable’: On the challenges of conducting feminist research with the far right”. Ant Ince (Cardiff University) speaks about “Deception and semi-covert methods in fieldwork: Ethical challenges and tentative opportunities for far right research practice”.

Academic Staff

Picture of Günter Gassner

Dr Günter Gassner

Senior Lecturer in Politics and Design

Telephone
+44 29208 74640
Email
GassnerG@cardiff.ac.uk
Picture of Kate Barber

Dr Kate Barber

Research Associate

Email
BarberK@cardiff.ac.uk
No picture for Anthony Ince

Dr Anthony Ince

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, School Community Co-ordinator

Telephone
+44 29208 76014
Email
InceA@cardiff.ac.uk