Society for Linguistic Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
This paper situates an analysis of Trump’s performances of "post-truth" along several parallel trajectories in--metaphorically--a non-Euclidean geometry of significations (i.e., a space where parallels converge). As such, I will show that Trump’s agonism is performed in ways that resist calculation similar to gender performativity as explicated by Butler (1990). In my analysis, I explore Trump’s political performativity by repurposing Goodwin and Cekaite’s (2018) explorations of mundane creativity from analysis of the practices of control and care in domestic contexts as they explore the concept to the regimes of political performativity that shape the Trump White House and its opposition, both across transnational contexts. Here I build on arguments in and around the mobility and resemiotized nature of meaning across converging and diverging discourses adapting the concept of semiotic repertoires from Kunsters, Spotti, Swanwick and Tapio (2017). Several other non-Euclidean converging parallel trajectories explore additional discourses: Trump’s performance for religious and white supremacist constituencies, as well as his appeals to antisemitic and non-antisemitic racist factions. Here I show a different dimension that contributes to the performance of "post-truth" (i.e., that there are emerging effects such that Trump’s power is “not so much in a person as in a certain concerted distribution of bodies, surfaces, lights, gazes…” [Foucault, 1977, p. 202]).
I conclude by demonstrating that this study can be framed by a dynamic heterotopia/dystopia where "post-truth" is “simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted” (Foucault, 1967/1984, p. 3), which I call state space landscapes, adapted from Larsen-Freeman and Cameron (2008).