Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Lecture | Prof. Rogers Smith | Protect or Repair: America’s New Racial Politics

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Stephen Robert ’62 Hall

The Political Science Department presents A Distinguished Lecture Series on Challenges for Democracy

About the Event

After decades when mainstream conservative and liberal policy advocates chiefly debated whether public policies and institutions should be “color-blind” or “race-conscious,” dramatic changes have come in recent years. A more militant conservatism, with Donald Trump as its figurehead, insists that white men, especially conservative Christians, are the most discriminated-against group in America, and need protection against radical “woke” policies. A more militant racial justice movement, most visibly Black Lives Matter, contends that American institutions display system racism requiring sweeping reparations. Rogers M. Smith will discuss the origins, organizations, and ideas and policies of these new, polarized rival racial policy alliances, drawing on his forthcoming book with Desmond King.

Rogers M. Smith is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught from 2001 to 2022. From 1980 to 2001 he taught at Yale University, ultimately as the Alfred Cowles Professor of Government. He is the author or co-author of many articles and eight books, including That Is Not Who We Are! (2020), Still a House Divided: Race and Politics in Obama’s America (with Desmond King) (2015), and Civic Ideals (1997). Civic Ideals received six best book prizes and was a finalist for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in History. Smith was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004, the American Academy of Political and Social Science in 2011, and the American Philosophical Society in 2016. He served as Associate Dean for Social Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania from 2014-2018, and as President of the American Political Science Association in 2018-2019.

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Generously sponsored by Herbert H. Goldberger Lectureships Fund