The United States of America will elect its 45th president on November 8, 2016. In the lead up to this significant moment in history, the Faculty of Arts will present a four-part masterclass.


Event details

Alexander Gardner. 'Abraham Lincoln' February 1865
Alexander Gardner. 'Abraham Lincoln' 1865

The United States of America will elect its 45th president on November 8, 2016. In the lead up to this significant moment in history, the Faculty of Arts will present a four-part masterclass held over the duration of the presidential campaign. Focussing on pivotal moments in presidential election history, the series will take us from the Civil War to Donald Trump.

Each session includes a presentation from one of the University of Melbourne’s pre-eminent professors followed by a break with light refreshments, concluding with an interactive conversation and Q&A session.

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Date and location

Date: 28/07/2016 - 10/11/2016, 6.15 - 8.15pm

Location:

Faculty of Arts logo

Macmahon Ball Theatre
Old Arts (Building 149)
The University of Melbourne
Parkville 3010

Cost

Individual session:

$40 University Staff, Students and Alumni, and Humanities 21 members / $45 Non Alumni

Series Pass:

$150 University Staff, Students and Alumni and Humanities 21 members / $170 Non Alumni

Book now

Event sessions

Thursday, 28 July: 1860 - America breaks apart: Abraham Lincoln and Secession

The election which precipitated the American Civil War is our first focus. How and why did the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 cause the secession of the southern states? Was this conflict avoidable or did the electoral calendar make it inevitable? Why did the Republicans win and with what consequence both then and since?

Speaker

Professor Trevor Burnard, Head of School of Historical and Philosophical Studies

In conversation and Q&A  

Professor Trevor Burnard and Lindsay Tanner, former Federal Finance Minister.

Thursday, 11 August: 1930s - Roosevelt, Republicans, the New Deal and the Coming of War  

In 1940, the Republicans nominated a populist candidate that the party elite shunned. Wendell Willkie, only two years earlier a Democrat, won the nomination on the 6th ballot. Life magazine described the Willkie 'boom' as 'a nationwide shout of contempt for the old-style politicians'. There are many fascinating parallels between then and now. In this session we compare 1940 to 2016, looking at the role of parties as against popular candidates, the role of media, and the underlying, historic shifts in the racial and class constituencies of the two parties.

Speaker

Professor David Goodman, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies

In conversation and Q&A

Jim Middleton, Vice-Chancellor's Fellow, journalist and former ABC US Correspondent

Thursday, 20 October: 1964 - Barry Goldwater and the Conservative Challenge to the Republican Party  

Henry Kissinger was among the dazed and shocked Republicans attending the 1964 nominating convention that made the arch-conservative Barry Goldwater the party's presidential nominee. To Kissinger and others, the Goldwaterites were extremists who were ripping the party apart. The parallels with today's presidential campaign are manifest. This masterclass asks what we can learn about America's present and the future by looking at the convulsions in the Republican Party in 1964 and their enduring legacy. Goldwater's nomination resulted in a massive electoral defeat in the short term, but, in the longer term, Goldwater's insurgency refashioned American conservatism, with profound consequences for the Republican Party and for the nation.

Speaker

Associate Professor Barbara Keys, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies

In conversation and Q&A

Associate Professor Barbara Keys and Maxine McKew, Vice-Chancellor Fellow, The University of Melbourne and former politician and journalist.

Thursday, 10 November: 21st century - The end of American politics? - Obama, Clinton and Trump  

This masterclass will explore the pervasive pessimism about America's prospects in the current moment. Did the 2016 election confirm that the US Federal system is broken and bankrupt or will we see a rebirth of politics after the Clinton-Trump nadir? Is Trump the most problematic candidate ever nominated? What does his campaign - and the Clinton response - tell us about American politics? What does the result mean?

Speaker

Associate Professor Timothy Lynch, Director of the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences

In conversation and Q&A

Associate Professor Timothy Lynch and Professor Simon Jackman, Chief Executive Officer, United States Studies Centre

More information

For more information please contact

Caterina Sciacca, Community Education Manager, Faculty of Arts

Email: caterina.sciacca@unimelb.edu.au
Phone: +61 3 8344 3996