Mount Holyoke Series Examines Aspects of 2004 Presidential Election

For immediate release
September 10, 2004

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. Â- A semester-long series of public conversations and events at Mount Holyoke College will focus attention on the relationship between this fall's U.S. presidential election and the precarious state of world affairs. The weekly series concludes two days after Election Day, on November 4.

Titled The Road [Not] Taken: The Real Choices of the 2004 Presidential Election, the series will focus on questions not being asked elsewhere, especially in the mainstream media, according to Karen Remmler, codirector of the College's Weissman Center for Leadership and the Liberal Arts, which is sponsoring the series. "We want Mount Holyoke students to have a better understanding of the complexity of both domestic and global issues involved in this election," Remmler said. "We want to help students make more informed choices, and the broader community to join us in public conversations and debate."

Journalists, scholars, and cultural figures have been invited to take part in the series, which kicked-off with a voter registration drive on Sunday, September 12, from 1 to 5 pm on Skinner Green. Representatives from College Democrats, College Republicans, True Colors, and People Opposing War set up information booths at the drive. Doria Roberts, an Atlanta-based singer/songwriter/political activist, performed on the green at 7:30 pm.

On Thursday, September 16, Theodore Lowi and Sean Wilentz will pick up where they left off in their post-2000 election discussion at MHC. Lowi, senior professor of American institutions at Cornell, and Wilentz, Dayton-Stockton Professor of History at Princeton, will engage in a dialogue titled, "Winner Takes All? The Effect of the 2000 Election on the 2004 Race to the Finish," which will take place in Gamble Auditorium at 7:30 pm. Mary Renda, associate professor of history and women's studies, will serve as moderator. Lowi and Wilentz will tackle the following questions: What are the myths that obscure the real issues of the 2004 elections? Will the present political momentum affect voter turnout in this election? Was the outcome of the 2000 presidential election a "profound shock to our system," and how do we view it now, four years later?

On Wednesday, September 22, Labor Party national organizer Mark Dudzic will discuss the various agendas found in U.S. party politics. Questions he will address include: What is the social vision that underlies the political commitments of the Labor Party in this election? How can the American people look toward the party and the movements it supports for democratic change? What should students know that might not be addressed by the mainstream media during the course of the presidential campaigns? His talk on "Competing Social Visions of the 2004 Presidential Election" will take place in the Stimson Room in the Mount Holyoke College Library at 7:30 pm. Preston H. Smith II, associate professor of politics and associate director of the Weissman Center for community-based learning, will moderate.

The next event in the series is a panel discussion that will explore the meaning and impact of the images of war in Iraq that have circulated in the mainstream and alternative media. Professor of politics Joan Cocks will moderate "Visual Exposures: Media Images and the War in Iraq" on Monday, September 27 in the New York Room of Mary Woolley Hall at 7:30 pm. Panelists include Dorit Naamen, Ford associate at the Five College Women's Studies Research Center and professor of film studies at Queen's University in Canada; Margaret R. Hunt, professor of history and women's and gender study at Amherst College; Sut Jhally, professor of communication at the University of Massachusetts; and Karen Remmler, codirector of the Weissman Center. "Two of our panelists, Naaman and Sully, are documentary filmmakers and their insights on critical documentary films, such as Fahrenheit 9/11, Control Room, and Hijacking Catastrophe will inform a broader discussion of the role of mainstream media in conveying news and analysis of current events," Remmler said.

Other scheduled events are:

  • Thursday, October 7, 7:30 pm
    " Human Rights in the U.S. and Abroad: Who Decides Which Rights Are Guaranteed?" Speakers: Elaine Scarry, Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard, and John Shattuck, chief executive officer at the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and former assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor
    Gamble Auditorium, Art Building
  • Thursday, October 14, 7:30 pm
    " The Significance of the Latino Vote to the 2004 Presidential Election" Speakers: Rodolfo do la Garza, professor of political science and vice president for research at Tomás Rivera Policy Institute of Columbia University; Lisa Garcia Bedolla, assistant professor of political science at University of California at Irvine; and Andres Torres, professor and director of the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy at University of Massachusetts Boston
    Gamble Auditorium, Art Building
  • Thursday, October 21, 7:30 pm
    " Views from Abroad: The International Implications of the 2004 Election Outcome" Speakers: Claude de Renty du Granrut, deputy mayor of Senlis, France; His Excellency Péter Balázs, Hungarian representative at the European Convention, where he helped draft the European Union's first constitution; Janine Zacharia, Washington correspondent for the Jerusalem Post; and Federick O. Wanyama, from the department of history and political science at Maseno University in Kenya
    Gamble Auditorium, Art Building
  • Wednesday, October 27, 7:30 pm
    " Voting Matters: Who Votes and Why?" Speakers: Victoria Blom '06, Heather Fraser '06, and Amanda Smith '06
    Room 305, Kendade Hall
  • Thursday, November 4, 7:30 pm
    " The Postelection Snapshot" Speaker: Frances Fox Piven, distinguished professor of political science and sociology at the Graduate School and University Center of CUNY
    Gamble Auditorium, Art Building
For more information on the series, go to

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