AGORA Speaker Series: “I, The People: American Conservatism, Political Theory, and the Populism’s Discontents”

February 3, 2017 -
3:00pm to 5:00pm

While it is now de rigeur to speak of populism as the ethos of the moment following the election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States, the “populist moment” in American politics and especially in American conservatism dates back more than fifty years. By way of rhetorical and political theory, this talk advances the following thesis: American conservatism poached the populist mantle from American progressives by redefining the figure of the “American people.” Where earlier populisms posited the “people” as the contingent ally of collective governance, modern conservative populism figures “the people” as an individuated collective constituted over and against the very idea of authority.  The talk makes this point through a few examples, including examining political pamphlets and the work of the so-called “Tea Party Painter” Jon McNaughton.

Location and Address

208A Cathedral of Learning

Directions and Parking Information

Street and garage parking

 

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Presenter