Andrew McKenzie-McHarg


One of the areas Andrew has investigated in his previous research is the transfer of fears of an Illuminati conspiracy across the Atlantic at the end of the eighteenth century; a transfer, which required some feats of adaptation in order to re-work the Illuminati ideology from one associated with modern ideals not entirely at odds with America’s own founding values into one associated with anarchy and anomy. But the transfer of fears of conspiracy did not just proceed from east to west. One focus of Andrew’s future research will be directed at how earlier fears of conspiracies instigated by slaves and Native Americans entered into the European apprehensions about subversion.


Andrew McKenzie-McHarg is a postdoctoral research fellow on the Leverhulme-funded project Conspiracy and Democracy: History, Political Theory and Internet Research.

His interests have extended from anti-Jesuit rhetoric in the Early Modern Period to radical streams of thought in late Enlightenment Germany. After graduating from the Free University in Berlin, he was associated with the Research Centre in Gotha. He has been a recipient of Schneider-Stipend and a scholarship from the Deutsche Klassik Stiftung which have allowed him to conduct research at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel and at the Herzogin Anna Amalie Bibliothek in Weimar.


- “How to Sabotage a Secret Society. The Demise of Carl Friedrich Bahrdt’s German Union in 1789,” The Historical Journal [accepted / forthcoming]

- [with Rolf Fredheim], “Cock-Ups and Slap-downs: A Quantitative Analysis of Conspiracy Rhetoric in the British Parliament 1916-2015” [revised version under review]

- [with James Lancaster], “Priestcraft. Early Modern Variations on the Theme of Sacerdotal Imposture” [under review]

- “Putting a Positive Spin on Priestcraft. Notions of Deceit and Accommodation in Late Enlightenment Germany Theology” [under review]

- “‘A general murther, an universal slaughter.’ Strategies of Anti-Jesuit Defamation in Reporting Assassination in the Early Modern Period.” In: Larissa Tracy (ed.), Murder Most Foul: Medieval and Early Modern Homicide. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer [forthcoming]

- “Experts vs. Eyewitnesses. Or: How Did Conspiracy Theories Come to Rely on Images?” In: Joseph Uscinski (ed.), Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them, Oxford [forthcoming]

- “Martyrdom and its Discontents: The Martyr as a Motif of Migration in Early Modern Europe.” In: Jared Poley, Jason Coy, Alexander Schunka (ed.), Migrations in the German Lands, 1500-2000. Oxford / New York 2016. 35-50.

- “Was gibt eine Lebensbeschreibung preis? Autobiographie und Indiskretion im späten 18. Jahrhundert” [What does an Autobiography Divulge? Autobiographies and Indiscretion in the late 18th century] In: Guido Naschert (ed.), Friedrich Christian Laukhard (1757–1822). Schriftsteller, Radikalaufklärer und gelehrter Soldat, Paderborn / Wien / München / Zurich 2016. 245-281.

- “‘Unknown Sciences’ and Unknown Superiors. The Problem of Non-Knowledge in Eighteenth-Century Secret Societies.” In: Cornel Zwierlein (ed.), The Dark Side of Knowledge: Histories of Ignorance, 1400-1800. Intersections. Leiden 2016. 333-357.

- “Strategien der Rettung. Johann August Eberhards Neue Apologie des Sokrates” [Strategies of Vindication. Johann August Eberhard’s Neue Apologie des Sokrates]. In: Michael Multhammer (ed.): Verteidigung als Angriff. Apologie und Vindicatio als Möglichkeiten der Positionierung im gelehrten Diskurs, Berlin 2015. 229-262.

- “Das Geheimnis der Freimaurer” [The Secret of the Freemasons]. In: Sebastian Klinge und Laurens Schlichts (ed): Das Geheimnis und das Wissen, Berlin 2015. 31-64.

- “Der Untergrund als tödliche Falle: von einer Realität des religiösen Konflikts zu einer Metapher der politischen Subversion” [The Underground as a deadly trap – from a reality in religious conflict to a metaphor of political subversion]. In: Martin Mulsow (ed.): Kriminelle – Freidenker - Alchemisten. Räume des Untergrunds in der Frühen Neuzeit, Cologne 2014. 619-668.

- “The Transfer of anti-Illuminati Conspiracy Theories to America in the late 18th Century.” In: Michael Butter und Maurus Reinkowski (ed.): Conspiracy Theories in the Middle East and the United States, Berlin 2013. 231-250.

- “Überlegungen zur Radikalaufklärung am Beispiel von Carl Friedrich Bahrdt” [Thoughts on Radical Enlightenment, prompted by Carl Friedrich Bahrdt]. In: Martin Mulsow and Guido Naschert (ed.): Jahrbuch der Aufklärung 2012, Hamburg 2012. 207-240.


Conspiracy and Democracy, Researcher


January 2013 - December 2017


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