Emily Faux: “When Nukes Go “POP”: Nuclear Weapons in Contemporary Popular Culture”

In Students by General Account

I am interested in the ways in which contemporary popular culture reflects, challenges, or produces knowledge about nuclear weapons politics. Overall, my thesis illustrates how popular culture has a lot to tell us about the production and reception of ideas about nuclear politics, with profound political consequences. Doing so reveals political discourses that are so widely reproduced that their political (and often problematic) nature may no longer be easily recognisable. Underlying my project is an activist’s voice – a voice highlighting the injustice and danger of nuclear weapons and calling for a world free of weapons of mass destruction. My thesis is call for fresh-thinking and creative approaches; only by stepping outside the mainstream can we expect to find new and revolutionary ideas. When popular culture is taken seriously as a site of power in world politics, the boundaries of what ‘counts’ as politics are rewritten. The expansion of these bounds creates room for alternative ideas, identities, and possibilities. Ultimately, this can redefine what knowledge, and whose knowledge, is prioritised in the nuclear realm.