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Death of Politics?

Nov. 21, 2012 – If you were looking to recent political campaigns for meaningful discussions about the serious issues confronting the country, you likely came away disappointed. The University of Utah is hosting a conference—free and open to the public—to stimulate the vital deliberations that did not happen.

On Nov. 30, a panel of distinguished political theorists from universities across the country will convene at the U to engage in depth on the issues that garnered sound bites at best during the election. The proceedings of the conference will be published in early 2013 in a special election supplement to Theory & Event, one of the country’s leading political theory journals.

“This conference goes far beyond one more pundit’s analysis of a candidate or party’s shortcomings,” says Steven Johnston, Neal A. Maxwell Endowed Chair of Politics at the U and organizer of the event. “The conference gives attendees the opportunity not only to see academic work in progress, but to contribute and shape it. This is how real democracy is enacted.”

Presenters include:

  • Michaele Ferguson, University of Colorado: “’Women are not an interest group’: The Issue of Women’s Issues in the 2012 Presidential Campaign”
  • Paisley Currah, Brooklyn College: “Homonationalism, Federalism and Gender Pluralism”
  • Robyn Marasco, Hunter College: “On Romnesia”
  • Paulina Ochoa Espejo, Yale University:  “Borders and Dreamers”
  • David Gutterman, Willamette University: “Obama Fought the Battle of Jericho – and His Story Came Tumbling Down”
  • Ella Myers and Mark Button, University of Utah, panel discussants

The conference will be held on campus in the Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building, room 143, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public.


Political science studies the world of politics and government. Political scientists study the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship, the uses and abuses of power, relations between nations, and many other important topics. Political science is a broad area of study that provides excellent preparation for a variety of career paths in business, government, and the non-profit sector. Undergraduate students who major in political science are also well prepared to pursue graduate studies in law, public policy, public administration, and more advanced studies in the discipline of political science. Learn more about studying political science at the U at


The University of Utah, located in Salt Lake City in the foothills of the Wasatch Range, is the flagship institution of higher learning in Utah. Founded in 1850, it serves more than 32,000 students from across the United States and the world. With more than 100 major subjects at the undergraduate level and more than 90 major fields of study at the graduate level, including law and medicine, the university prepares students to live and compete in the global workplace. Learn more about all the U has to offer online at