Mediations of Religion and Politics as “Affective Infrastructures”: A Cross-Disciplinary Reflection on Contemporary Politics

Stewart M. Hoover


This article explores the emergent politics of the 21st century through an analysis of the interactions of media and religion in these relations. It argues that to fully understand the dynamics underlying the new forms of populism emerging across the globe, it is necessary to account for them as movements of religious nationalism encompassing race, gender, and nostalgia, made possible by modern media imaginaries. The article argues that disciplined and substantive work on religion remains a lacuna within media and cultural studies, and that its explorations provide an example of how such work could address this critical gap. It concludes by suggesting a specific theoretical approach rooted in its consideration of relations of religion and media: that we think of media texts that circulate in these discourses of religious nationalism as “affective infrastructures” that do important work in making unstable and contradictory imaginaries possible and weaponizing them to political purpose.



politics, nationalism, religion, race, gender, cultural studies

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