Timothy Melley

Timothy Melley is associate professor of English at Miami University. The author of Empire of Conspiracy: The Culture of Paranoia in Postwar America (Cornell), he is currently completing a book on trauma and amnesia in U.S culture since 1960.

Essays by this author

Conspiracy and the Populist Imagination


Timothy Melley reviews Mark Fenster on conspiracies in fact and fiction and finds evidence against the assumption that only nonexistent conspiracies produce conspiracy theories.

Paranoid Modernity and the Diagnostics of Cultural Theory


A review of John Farrell’s magnificent Paranoia and Modernity: Cervantes to Rousseau, in light of contemporary literary criticism: Where Brian McHale declares an end to postmodernism, and where many discount paranoia as a passing literary interest, reviewer Tim Melley sees postmodern paranoia everywhere. As long as corporations are regarded by law as ‘individuals’ and conspiracy is the preferred way of understanding political and social systems, it seems that we’ll remain in the longue duree of the postmodern moment.