Spencer Sunshine, PhD, is a researcher, writer, activist, speaker, and political consultant regarding Far Right movements.
In 1990, he co-founded an anti-racist youth group in the metro Atlanta, Georgia to combat the influence of the Nazi skinhead movement, which was hegemonic in the local punk scene. Since 2005, he has written extensively about the U.S. Far Right. This includes the Alt Right and other postwar fascists (especially unorthodox fascism), the Patriot movement and militias, left-right crossover movements, and antisemitism on both the Left and Right. Sunshine was present at the armed takeover of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in January 2016. In August 2017 he was part of the counter-demonstration against the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and was in the crowd during the car attack which killed Heather Heyer and injured about 30 others.
Sunshine has a doctorate in Sociology. His articles have been published in Truthout, Colorlines, The Forward, JTA, and Public Eye; his academic work has appeared in places like the Journal of Peasant Studies. Sunshine has been translated into Russian, Polish, Serbian, Turkish, Spanish, Greek, and Portuguese, and he is a frequent contributor to publications in Germany. Sunshine has also been quoted as an expert on the far right in internatinal publications including The Nation, The Forward, Teen Vogue, and L’Humanite, and has appeared on podcasts and videos from MoveOn, Splinter, and Politically Reactive. A sought-after speaker, in addition to talks around the United States and Canada, in 2016 Sunshine conducted a speaking tour across Germany. From 2013 to 2019, as a Fellow at the think tank Political Research Associates, he was one of only a tiny handful of people in the U.S. documenting the creation and rise to popularity of the new White Nationalism which became known as the Alt Right.
His published works include being the lead author of the book-length report Up in Arms: A Guide to Oregon’s Patriot Movement, produced for the Rural Organizing Project. SURJ published his 2018 guide 40 Ways to Fight Nazis: Forty Community-Based Actions You Can Take to Resist White Nationalist Organizing.
Sunshine is currently working on three books. This first is on the history of James Mason and Siege; the second is a history of the U.S. Nazi movement from the 1920s to the present; and the third is a reception study of Third Position fascism in the U.S.
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