Each fall, Mass Humanities brings a stellar group of scholars, journalists, and public officials together for a series of public conversations examining fundamental aspects of our democratic culture. Past symposia have focused on the Presidency, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Supreme Court, the role of the media in our democracy, religion and politics, military and civic culture in America, the Internet and democracy, and economic inequality and democracy.
SAVE THE DATE
E Pluribus Paralysis: Can We Make Our Democracy Work?
Saturday, November 9, 2013, 12:30 PM Boston College
Now in its tenth year, our annual fall symposium enjoys a loyal following of 300-400 intellectually curious and politically engaged adults. As in the past, our 10th symposium is organized as a series of three interrelated conversations each exploring a different aspect of our theme and featuring some of the country's most prominent scholars, practitioners and political observers.
For the first time this year, all three sessions will be orchestrated by the same moderator – the award-winning broadcast journalist Jane Clayson.
Since our inaugural symposium on presidential power (Presidents in Perspective, 2004), each symposium has examined a fundamental aspect of our democracy or the interplay between our democracy and other important cultural institutions, such as the media (No News Is Bad News, 2007), religion (One Nation Under God?, 2008) or the military (Soldiers & Citizens, 2009).
This year, amid widespread dismay over the disabilities of our political system, we plan to focus on thoughtful and constructive ideas for “making our democracy work.”
We will look this year at (1) the influence of money in politics and what can or should be done about it; (2) elections reforms*; and (3) the enduring legacy of social, racial and gender divisions in our political system.
*Elections reforms encompass a wide range of issues including access to the ballot box, citizen education (and mis-education), suppression of voter turnout, non-competitive races, redistricting/gerrymandering, lack of consistency and national oversight of local elections, winner-take-all vs. proportional representation, and more.