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2009 Spring Conference

Questions of Legacy: Making Sense of the 2008 Presidential Campaign

April 17, 2009
The Curb Center at Vanderbilt (125 Buttrick Hall)

Please join us as scholars from a variety of disciplines come together to share their analyses of how issues of race, gender, and class were discussed during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Given the frequent charges of racism, sexism, and xenophobia leveled at and by almost all of the leading candidates and their campaign staffs, what did the 2008 campaign teach us about the way such matters are coded and/or otherwise talked about now (vs. in the 1960s or 1980s, for example)? What opportunities, if any, were there for new discourses concerning class, race, and gender? How can we identify, measure, and evaluate these discourses? In short, how far have we come . . . or not?


10 a.m.
Opening Remarks

10:30-11:30 a.m.
Presidentialism, Public Spheres, and Intellectuals to Fill Them
Houston A. Baker, English, Vanderbilt University

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
The 2008 Election and the Uneasy Triumph of the New Class
James A. Aune, Communication, Texas A&M University

1:30-2:30 p.m.
Adopting and Adapting Feminism: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and the 2008 Presidential
Tasha Dubriwny, Women’s Studies and Communication, Texas A&M University

2:30-3:30 p.m.
From King to Obama
Keith Gilyard, English, Pennsylvania State University

3:45-5:00 p.m.
Moderated by Martin Medhurst, Communication, Baylor University

5:00-6:00 p.m.
Reception (Buttrick Atrium)