Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Journal of Information Technology & Politics

For a Special Issue on

The future of conspiracy scholarship: New epistemologies and imaginaries

Manuscript deadline
31 December 2023

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Zelly Martin, University of Texas at Austin
[email protected]

Dr. Inga Kristina Trauthig, University of Texas at Austin
[email protected]

Dr. Alice Marwick, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
[email protected]

Dr. Samuel Woolley, University of Texas at Austin
[email protected]

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The future of conspiracy scholarship: New epistemologies and imaginaries

Dear Colleagues, 

We invite full paper submissions for a special issue of Journal of Information Technology & Politics (JITP) on new epistemologies and imaginaries in conspiracy theory scholarship. This special issue aims to push the boundaries of conspiracy studies beyond extant work, which primarily focuses on the alt-right, health, and Western understandings of conspiracy (Halafoff et al., 2022; Mahl et al., 2022, 2022; Marwick et al., 2022). We answer calls to expand understandings of conspiracy beyond Western epistemology (Mahl et al., 2022) to contribute to a fuller conceptualization of “conspiracy-believing” (Parmigiani, 2021). We examine the troubling content and implications of conspiracies in a manifold manner while acknowledging their potentially harmful impact. We invite those interested in conspiracy as it applies to epistemology, knowledge production, technological artifacts, gender/race/class, and reception, inter alia. Importantly, papers must engage with technology and political communication scholarship in some form.   

Special Issue Editors: Zelly C. Martin, Inga K. Trauthig, Alice E. Marwick, Samuel C. Woolley 


Conspiracy theories are increasingly present in mainstream American political discourse, from those around Covid-19 to the idea that political forces conspired to “steal” the election from former President Trump. While researchers from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds (psychology, communication, history, political science and so forth) have taken up conspiracy theories as an object of study, many contemporary scholars have focused on right-wing conspiracies, such as Stop the Steal (DeCook & Forestal, 2022), QAnon (Bloom & Moskalenko, 2021), and the Great Replacement Theory (Ekman, 2022). Most recently, researchers have interrogated the blurry boundaries between left- and right-leaning conspiracy adherents on topics like anti-vaccination and spirituality (Chia et al., 2021; Griera et al., 2022). A key element of current scholarship on conspiracies is the extent to which social media facilitates their spread (Enders et al., 2021; Theocharis et al., 2021) and/or allows conspiratorial knowledge-production to thrive (Marwick & Partin, 2022) 

Although the stereotype of “the conspiracy theorist” is a “white, working-class, middle-aged man” (Drochon, 2018, p. 344) people from all identity groups believe and produce conspiracies (Bost, 2018). For American communities of color, though, conspiracy theories may be a natural reaction to the invalidation of their embodied experiences (Bogart et al., 2021; Dozono, 2021). The same could be said of other marginalized groups in America, such as queer folks and women (Ngai, 2001). In what ways is “conspiracy-believing” a response to feeling displaced in the public sphere, and perhaps even an attempt to reconfigure a sense of community and recognition (Parmigiani, 2021)? What might researchers learn by rethinking conspiracism? What particular threats do conspiracy theories pose when they are crafted and/or believed by those from marginalized communities? How has the internet contributed to the fringe becoming mainstream? How does this impact and/or relate to contemporary political developments? 

We invite papers that engage with the following questions: 

    • What avenues of conspiracy are understudied when we prioritize the “loudest” conspiracy theories?  


    • What can we learn from interdisciplinary research on conspiracy?  


    • How do conspiracy theory beliefs stem from embodied experience?  


    • What are the boundaries of knowledge-production that we encounter when we demarcate conspiracy from disinformation and from embodied experience? 


    • Which democratic dangers stem from conspiracies? 


 Papers may focus on topics such as, but not limited to: 

    • Conspiracy theories and their relation to emerging social media and technology, e.g., TikTok, generative AI, etc., particularly as they relate to political and electoral implications, 


    • Conspiracy theory content as it is imbricated with geopolitical phenomena, particularly in the Majority World (Global South), 


    • Conspiracy theories as related to the ongoing war in Ukraine,  


    • Conspiracy theories as alternative forms of knowledge production and creation, for instance as rooted in cultural or embodied truths.


Submission Instructions


This special issue will include full length original research papers. Interested authors will submit full length original research papers for review by external reviewers and special issue editors. NOTE: Selected papers will undergo full peer review with JITP; therefore, selected papers are not guaranteed publication in the journal’s special issue. 


    • Article Submission Deadline: 31 December 2023 


    • Notification of initial acceptance: 1 February 2024 


    • Review rounds: Spring/Summer 2024 


    • Publication of the special theme: Late 2024 


Interested authors should submit full papers (9,000 words all inclusive) to Journal of Information Technology & Politics and select "The future of conspiracy scholarship: New epistemologies and imaginaries" in the submission process on ScholarOne by 31 December 2023. Questions can be sent to Zelly Martin at [email protected]. 

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article