The California Ideology Project

Kyle Proehl
Comparative Literature
UC Davis

Shaun Terry
History of Consciousness
UC Santa Cruz

“The California Ideology Project” is a group of scholars working on the problem of whether California, rather than being a refuge against the rise of American fascism, may rather present––in the regressive cultural production typified by Silicon Valley and Hollywood––something like its vanguard. Our immediate aims are to organize a conference to deepen this problematic, with the longer-term goal of publishing the conference results in service of developing an interdisciplinary conceptual armature for use against authoritarian social forms. The California Ideology Project works on reanimating the critical insights of the Frankfurt School’s mid-twentieth century California-based sociological studies as a way of positioning the state’s history and culture within the larger ideological forces of neoliberal economics, paranoid politics, spiritualism, and technological utopianism. Core members conduct biweekly Zoom meetings to discuss readings, viewings and other cultural material. Our conference expands the scope of study by bringing in an incisive scholar to deliver a keynote address and by inviting contributors from within and beyond academia to contribute to the discussion.