Symposium explores the rise of Donald Trump, March 9

Donald Trump speaking at Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. in 2011. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.
Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington in 2011. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/ Wikimedia Commons)

“American Democracy and the Rise of Donald Trump” will be the focus as faculty experts in history, political science, sociology, law, economics and psychology gather for a public symposium from 1-4 p.m. Thursday, March 9, in Room 100 of Brown Hall on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis.

“The political rise of Donald Trump, and his ascendancy into the presidency, represents one of the most surprising and contentious events in American history,” symposium organizers suggest. “We will consider these dynamics from a number of distinct but related interdisciplinary perspectives, involving leading Washington University scholars from a variety of different departments.”

Free and open to the public, the event is sponsored by the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement. Other campus co-sponsors include: the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy; the Department of History; the Department of Political Science; the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences; and the Department of Sociology, all in Arts & Sciences.

The symposium opens with comments from Adrienne Davis, vice provost and William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law, and includes the following presentations.

  • The Historian’s Dilemma: How do you make sense of a President without Precedent? Presented by Peter Kastor, professor and chair of history, professor of American culture studies
  • The Politics of Fear and Anger, presented by Alan Lambert, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences, and graduate students (Fade Eadeh, Stephanie Peak, and Emily Hanson)
  • Racial Extremism and Political Polarization in 2016 and Beyond, presented by David Cunningham, professor of sociology
  • “It’s largely a rigged system”: Voter Confidence and the Winner Effect in 2016, presented by Betsy Sinclair, associate professor of political science (with Steven S. Smith, the Kate M. Gregg Distinguished Professor of Social Science in Arts & Sciences, and political science graduate student Patrick Tucker)
  • Economic Conditions in the American Middle Class:  Will Trump Deliver? Presented by Steven Fazzari, the Bert A. and Jeanette L. Lynch Distinguished Professor of Economics, chair of the Department of Sociology and associate director of the Weidenbaum Center

More information, including more detailed descriptions of presentation topics, is available at the Gephardt Center website. Advance online reservations are encouraged. Parking is available in the Danforth University Center garage.

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