Main Sessions

A US Army (USA) Soldier assigned to the Coalition Joint Task Force

The Fall of Democracy in Afghanistan: First-Hand Perspectives

February 23 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Speaker: Shaqaiq Birashk and Kerry McBride

The withdrawal of the United States from Kabul, Afghanistan, in August 20021 brought an end to a 20-year effort by the U.S. to establish a democratic Afghan republic.

Symposium on Democracy

Tolerating the Enemy Within: The Normalization of Mob Violence

February 23 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Speaker: Fred L. Johnson III, Ph.D.

Over the course of American history, different groups have been essentially abandoned in times of social and civil difficulty, as legislators, law enforcement, and others symbolizing the guardrails of democracy have either looked the other way or, worse, contributed to the problem. This keynote will consider examples of this throughout history, including the normalization of…

Symposium on Democracy

Global Threats to Democracy

February 23 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Speaker: Nicole Bibbins Sedaca

The closing session of this year’s Symposium on Democracy is entitled “Global Threats to Democracy” and will involve all attendees in an interactive exploration of the situation in the Ukraine. The 4 p.m. program in the Ballroom will begin with a virtual presentation by Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, Executive Vice President of Freedom House, the leading…

Student Breakout Sessions

Morning Sessions

Failed Democracies: Latin America at a Tipping Point

February 23 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am

This session will be led by Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of the Latin American Studies and Spanish programs H.J. Manzari, Ph.D. It will include a panel of four students: Clara Sherwood, Isabelle Kratz, Nickolas Bartel, and Ashley Navarro. Today a surprising number of Latin Americans would agree that democracy has failed in its…

Fixing Injustices Through Intersectionality

February 23 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am

This session will be led by Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of Public Policy Program Mary Ryan, Ph.D. Intersectionality has become a buzzword in U.S. politics but many people still do not know what it means and why it is important. In this breakout session, student leaders from a new student club called…

Conflict & Resolution Studies Panel

February 23 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am

This session will be moderated by Associate Professor of Communication Arts Melissa Cook, Ph.D. This panel will facilitate a discussion of student papers written during Professor of English Richard Easton’s Introductory course in Conflict & Resolution Studies. Student participants are: Michael J. Schafer, “The Conflicts with Social Media and First Amendment Rights” Linh Hoang Tu…

Only so Free: Religious Rhetoric and the American Democracy in Crisis

February 23 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am

This session will be moderated by Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion Cynthia Hogan, Ph.D. This student-led, roundtable-style session builds on questions being asked in REL 102: Religion in America regarding “freedom of religion” vs. “freedom from religion.” Students will be invited to participate in a conversation that explores how American myths are either invoked or…

Afternoon Sessions

The History of Democratic Failures: How Political Extremes Succeed When Democracy Fails

February 23 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

This session will discuss how amid the chaos of a declining democracy, radical political groups both left and right use the resulting environment to attain power in government, as well as how this phenomenon is visible through historical literature. Discussion will begin with the abolitionist movement and backlash against it in the U.S. leading up…

Revolutionary Disagreements

February 23 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

This session will be led by Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics Zackary Klingensmith, Ph.D. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 was a time of critical decision-making for the fledgling new government of the United States. The founders were required to compromise on many important issues to prevent the failure of the American experiment. While these compromises…

Conflict & Resolution Studies Panel

February 23 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

This session will be moderated by Assistant Professor of Communication Arts Nicholas Maradin, Ph.D. This panel will facilitate a discussion of student papers written during Professor of English Richard Easton’s Introductory course in Conflict & Resolution Studies. Student participants are: Lillien G. Shaer, “Immigration in America: The Historical and Political” William J. Kitsch, “The Global…

Rising Concerns of Tennis Star Peng Shuai and the Olympics

February 23 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

This session will be led by W&J’s Head Women’s & Men’s Tennis Coach Megan Foster, and will include students Tyee McMaster, Maya Krishnasamy, Joey Ioli, and Emma Humphrey. Discussion will focus on how female tennis star Peng Shaui’s situation has brought attention to not only her own safety but safety among the rights of individuals…

Evening Sessions

Next year's program will be announced sometime mid-year. Stay tuned!