Perspectives: Newsletter of the College of Arts & Sciences

Election Insights: Upcoming Lectures

Ready to talk politics? Join A&S faculty experts for the following pre-election lecture series:

Faith & Finance: Visions of America & the 2012 Presidential Election

Five-Part Series: 9/13, 9/27, 10/11, 10/25, 11/8
7 pm in 130 Kane Hall
Speakers: UW professors David Domke, Communication, and Mark Smith, Political Science

David Domke and Mark Smith
Professors David Domke (left) and Mark Smith

Faith and finance, also known as religion and economics, have been the twin pillars of American politics and public life for generations. For example, the 2012 presidential candidates will debate the quality of the economic recovery and which candidate can more effectively restore U.S. economic health. The personal wealth of the candidates and their ability to relate to the economic concerns of ordinary Americans will also take a starring role in the campaign. At the same time, religious faith is contested ground in the country at large and in politics. Mitt Romney could become the first Mormon to win the presidency, and a significant minority continues to believe Barack Obama is a Muslim. Questions of faith and religious liberty—such as requiring health insurers at religious institutions to cover birth control—have already been prominent campaign themes, and faith-aligned divisions will influence people's voting choices.

This lecture series will examine the roles of both faith and finance in the 2012 election. Professors Domke and Smith will both present each evening and engage in dialogue and debate with one another and the audience. This series is part of the Sal U Lecture Series, co-presented by the UW Alumni Association and Seattle Arts & Lectures. Click here for more information.

Pivotal Tuesday lecture series artwork

Pivotal Tuesdays: Four Presidential Elections That Made History

Four-Part Series: 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30
7 - 9 pm in 130 Kane Hall
Speaker: UW Professor Margaret O'Mara, History


In the final month of Election 2012, the UW History Lecture Series will look back at four game-changing presidential contests of the last century—looking at the candidates, the parties, the voters, and the America of their historical moment.  What were the critical issues shaping each election?  What lessons can pivotal elections of the past teach us about the present and future?

Margaret O'Mara
Margaret O'Mara

The series begins with a lecture on the wild and woolly four-way contest in 1912 between Republican incumbent William Howard Taft, Democrat Woodrow Wilson, “Bull Moose” Teddy Roosevelt, and Socialist Eugene Debs.  The next installment takes on the election of 1932, exploring Herbert Hoover’s loss and Franklin Roosevelt’s win during the depths of the Great Depression and subsequent transformation in the relationship between citizens and their government.  The third evening fast-forwards to 1968, a year of political crisis at home and abroad, and rapid cultural shifts that reshaped both the Democratic and the Republican parties.  The series ends with the election of 1992, when the competition between incumbent George H.W. Bush, “New Democrat” Bill Clinton, and the iconoclast Ross Perot reflected the new political imperatives and economic realities of a post-Cold War, globalized world.

For more information or to register for the History Lecture Series, visit or call (206) 543-5790.

Return to Table of Contents, September 2012 issue