Knight is Senior Lecturer in American Studies at the
University of Manchester.
joined Manchester in 2000, having previously taught at Staffordshire
University. Before that he was a British Academy Postdoctoral
Fellow at Nottingham University (1996-99), and a Fulbright
Visiting Fellow at New York University (1997-98). More recently
(2004-05) he held a Leverhulme Study Abroad Fellowship at
Peter Knight's initial area of research
was the changing style and function of conspiracy theories
in American literature and popular culture, especially since
the 1960s. His project has been to revise the classic interpretations
of the "paranoid style" that were developed in
the 1950s and 60s, by showing that conspiracy thinking can
longer be dismissed as the delusional mindset of extremists.
Using a cultural studies methodology to challenge the classic
psychohistorical approach, he has sought to demonstrate
that more recent forms of American conspiracy culture serve
as important ways of making sense of ideas about causality,
agency and responsibility in the era of globalization.
His monograph, Conspiracy
Culture: From the Kennedy Assassination to "The X-Files"
(Routledge, 2000) examines a wide range of cultural narratives
and practices, discussing the proliferation of conspiracy
narratives about the New World Order, the Kennedy assassination,
alien abduction, body panic, patriarchy, and white supremacy.
He is also contributing a book titled The
Kennedy Assassination for the new Edinburgh University
Press series "Representing American Events." His
edited collection Conspiracy
Nation: The Politics of Postwar American Paranoia
(New York University Press, 2002) brought together an international
group of scholars who are also engaged in the project of
rethinking the standard analysis of conspiracy theories
in American culture. He also edited Conspiracy
Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia (ABC-CLIO,
2004; 2 vols), which expands this new approach to conspiracy
culture to the entire range of American history.
paranoia and blame, BBC, December 2006
9/11 Conspiracy Plot Thickens, quoted, September 2006
the Invisible: Notes on the Reason of Conspiracy Theories,
quoted, January 2006
Heyday, quoted, June 2004
News, quoted, 2004
So Vast, quoted, 2004
Review, 'Conspiracy Culture', 2001
Machine Book Review, 'Conspiracy Culture', 2001
Anunnaki, the Vampire and the Structure of Dissent,