This chapter discusses how historical, cultural and literary studies have analysed conspiracy theories. It summarises the key contributions in each field and assesses their strengths and weaknesses. The chapter traces the shift from conspiracist interpretations as the norm in the nineteenth century, to their becoming characterised as a flawed approach by the middle of the twentieth century. It shows how cultural studies scholars around the turn of the millennium challenged the psychopathologising interpretation of the ‘paranoid style’ of American politics, instead viewing conspiracy theories as increasingly justified, creative and potentially radical challenges to the status quo. European historians engaged even less with manifestations of conspiracy across the ages than their American counterparts from the 1960s to the turn of the century, but there were some notable exceptions. Literary criticism has thus begun to develop accounts of the typical narrative features of both discursive and dramatising conspiracy theories.