In the aftermath of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, the College is presenting a series of discussions with leading experts on the current state and future prospects for American democracy.
These sessions, to be held virtually, will be open to our campus community as well to alumni, parents and family members, and members of the Brunswick community.
Each event will be moderated by a member of the Bowdoin community, with a few minutes of opening comments from our guest and then responses to questions from the moderator and audience.
Sponsored by the Office of the President and the Donald M. Zuckert ’56 Fund
The Role of Business in Democracy
Featuring Mellody Hobson, moderated by Jennifer Scanlon, John S. Osterweis Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies; senior vice president and dean for academic affairs
Mellody Hobson is co-CEO and president, Ariel Investments and incoming chair of the board of directors, Starbucks Corporation. She is a prominent voice in the financial community on investment strategies, the need for greater financial literacy among the general public, and how corporate America needs to reflect the increasingly multicultural nation it serves in order to thrive. She currently serves on the board of J.P. Morgan Chase and was a long-time board member for The Estée Lauder Companies. She was on Forbes’s 100 Most Powerful Women list in 2020 and in 2015 TIME named her as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Register »
The State of Our Democracy
Featuring Timothy Snyder, moderated by Page Herrlinger, associate professor of history
Timothy Snyder is the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He specializes in the history of fascism in twentieth-century Europe. He is the author of On Tyranny, described by The Washington Post as “a slim book that fits alongside your pocket Constitution and feels only slightly less vital,” and published an essay in The New York Times titled "The American Abyss" about the sources and meanings of the January 6 insurrection. View the recording »
Speech, the Internet, and Democracy
Featuring Suzanne Nossel, moderated by Katie Benner '99, US Department of Justice correspondent, The New York Times
Suzanne Nossel is the chief executive officer at PEN America. She is a leading voice on issues of free expression and maintaining democratic debate that is open, freewheeling but at the same time respectful of the rich diversity of backgrounds and opinions in a changing country. She is the author of Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All, called “brave, wise, succinct” and “a must-read...for anyone who talks” by Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale. View the recording »
Democracy, Voting Rights, and Elections
Featuring Myrna Pérez, moderated by George Isaacson '70, adjunct lecturer in government
Myrna Pérez is the director of the Brennan Center's Voting Rights and Election Program and a nationally recognized expert on voting rights and election administration. Her work has been featured in media outlets across the country, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and MSNBC, and she has testified before Congress and on a variety of voting rights-related issues. She is a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School and has also served as an adjunct professor of clinical law at NYU School of Law. View the recording »
The White Power Movement
Featuring Kathleen Belew, moderated by Matt Klingle, associate professor of history and environmental studies
Kathleen Belew is an assistant professor of US history, University of Chicago. She specializes in the recent history of the United States, examining the long aftermath of warfare and the place of violence in American life and culture. Her 2018 book, Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America, explores how white power activists wrought a cohesive social movement through a common story about warfare and its weapons, uniforms, and technologies, and her research has featured prominently in documentaries like Homegrown Hate: The War Among Us. View the recording (Bowdoin password required for access) »
The State of Our Democracy and Political System
Featuring US Senator Susan Collins, moderated by Clayton Rose, president
Susan Collins is Maine’s senior United States senator, the first popularly elected US senator from Maine to earn a fifth term, and the first Republican woman senator in American history to be elected to a fifth term. Born and raised in Caribou, Maine, and first elected to the Senate in 1996, Senator Collins is known for her efforts to work across party lines, and her unbroken voting record—the longest in the history of the US Senate. For the past seven consecutive years, she has ranked as the most bipartisan senator. She currently serves on the Appropriations; Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; Select Intelligence; and Special Aging Committees.