American Studies lecture to examine conflicts over voting and democracy in the U.S.

By: Nikolai Potolsky ‘19, 
Mon, 11/19/2018

The American Studies Program is pleased to announce that Julilly Kohler-Hausmann will deliver the 2018 Rabinor Lecture on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 4:45pm in 142 Goldwin Smith Hall. The talk, "'Mandate My Ass!': Vanishing Voters, Voter Fraud, and the Struggles over American Democracy in the late 20th Century," is free and open to all. This discussion centers on the politics of abstention, felon disenfranchisement, and voter fraud in the aftermath of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, exploring the contested commitment to democracy in the United States. 

Kohler-Hausmann is an Associate Professor of History, specializing in United States political and social history after World War II and specifically the intersections of gender, race and class inequalities in public policy. Professor Kohler-Hausmann’s first book, Getting Tough: Welfare and Imprisonment in 1970s America, explores the efforts to enact “tough” welfare, drug, and anti-crime laws during the 1970s. In 2017, Kohler-Hausmann received a Fellowship at Harvard’s Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History. 

Although many insist that the 1965 Voting Rights Act marked the ultimate realization of America’s founding ideals, the battles over who deserves voice in U.S. democracy continue to rage. Focusing on political debates over felon disenfranchisement, declining turnout, and voter fraud, this talk explores the contested commitment to democracy in the United States in the late twentieth century, highlighting the continuities with the nation’s earlier traditions of exclusion, racial subordination, and civic stratification.

The Rabinor seminar was endowed in 2000 by Arnold ‘65 & Irene Rabinor in hopes that “the endowment will insure that the subject of pluralism, its promise and experience, is a permanent part of the curriculum, providing students an opportunity to enhance their understanding of an often controversial topic in a sustained, thoughtful, and perhaps transformative way.” This fall, Professor Kohler-Hausmann is teaching the seminar on “Contesting Votes: Democracy and Citizenship Throughout U.S. History” which traces transformations in citizenship and the franchise throughout U.S. History.

More information on the event can be found here.