By Project MUSE

Released today, “MUSE in Focus: Roots of the Attack on Democracy,” is a curated selection of scholarship from Project MUSE publishers exploring the political and societal forces that built up to the recent violence in Washington, DC. It is the sixth in a series of compilations designed to highlight relevant scholarly content and provide context on current issues. Many publishers have chosen to make their contributions temporarily free to read, to increase the reach of this essential research.

The violence that took place on January 6th at the United States Capitol shocked the country and observers around the world, but its root causes are deeply embedded in American history and society. While the full scope of that day’s insurrection attempt has yet to be fully realized, there already exists a wealth of scholarship through which we can trace the long history of white nationalism and the gradual mainstreaming of anti-democratic thought that ultimately led to this moment.

“Roots of the Attack on Democracy,” the latest in our MUSE in Focus series, explores the history of American right-wing extremism and the modern forces that culminated these attitudes in our current moment. Understanding the nature of these challenges provides the best chance to overcome them.

 “Given the recent events that took place in Washington and on the Capitol, we felt it incumbent on ourselves as an academic and scholarly platform, to share and make available peer-reviewed content that provides history and context to the current climate,” said Kelley Squazzo, Director of Publisher Relations at Project MUSE

MUSE in Focus is an ongoing series of curated resources, comprising content from participating publishers across Project MUSE’s broad corpus, designed to contribute interdisciplinary, scholarly context to current events and issues.  

Over the past two years, Project MUSE has joined with their participating publishers to highlight and put a lens on key societal issues including: “MUSE in Focus: Charting the Digital Humanities”, “MUSE in Focus: Commemorating the 19th Amendment”, "MUSE in Focus: Confronting Structural Racism", "MUSE in Focus: Contextualizing Pandemic" and "MUSE in Focus: Addressing Gun Violence." Each is a series of curated selections of trusted scholarly content from MUSE’s publishers, designed to contribute historical, cultural, and social context to current events and issues on global, national, and local scales.