Upcoming Conference on the History of Voting

Painting of a county election from 1846: a cynical depiction of American democracy

Voting: A History


The George Washington Forum on American Ideas, Politics, and Institutions, which has its home at Ohio University and is a JMC partner program, will hold a conference on the history of voting.

 April 13—14, 2018 • 9:00AM—5:15PM
Faculty Commons, Alden Library (3rd floor)

JMC board member James Ceaser (Virginia), Alex Keyssar (Harvard), Yascha Mounk (Harvard), and Hedwig Richter (Greifswald, Hamburg) will deliver plenary lectures.

Learn more about the event here >>

James W. Ceaser serves on the board of the Jack Miller Center and is Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1976. He has written several books on American politics and political thought, including Presidential Selection, Liberal Democracy and Political Science, Reconstructing America, and Nature and History in American Political Development. Professor Ceaser has held visiting professorships at the University of Florence, the University of Basel, Oxford University, the University of Bordeaux, and the University of Rennes. Professor Ceaser is a frequent contributor to the popular press, and he often comments on American Politics for the Voice of America.

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Alexander Keyssar is the Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy. A historian by training, he has specialized in the explanation of issues that have contemporary policy implications. His book, The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States (2000), was named the best book in U.S. history by both the American Historical Association and the Historical Society; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. A significantly revised and updated edition of The Right to Vote was published in 2009. His 1986 book, Out of Work: The First Century of Unemployment in Massachusetts, was awarded three scholarly prizes. Keyssar is coauthor of The Way of the Ship: America’s Maritime History Reenvisioned, 1600-2000 (2008), and of Inventing America, a text integrating the history of technology and science into the mainstream of American history. In 2004/5, Keyssar chaired the Social Science Research Council’s National Research Commission on Voting and Elections, and writes frequently for the popular press about American politics and history. Keyssar’s current research interests include election reform, the history of democracies, and the history of poverty.

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Yascha MounkYascha Mounk is a Lecturer on Political Theory at Harvard University’s Government Department, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Transatlantic Academy of the German Marshall Fund, and a Nonresident Fellow at New America’s Political Reform Program.

Yascha’s primary research interests lie in political theory and comparative politics. His first academic book, The Age of Responsibility: Luck, Choice and the Welfare State, will be published by Harvard University Press in Spring 2017. It is based on his dissertation, which he completed in spring 2015 at Harvard University’s Government Department.

Yascha is now working on the crisis of liberal democracy. His papers on the rise of populism and the growing openness of citizens of democratic countries to authoritarian alternatives have been published by the Journal of Democracy and Foreign Affairs, among others. In his second academic book, which is under contract with Harvard University Press, and will also be translated into German and Korean, he argues that liberalism and democracy are coming apart, creating forms of both “illiberal democracy” and “undemocratic liberalism.”

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Hedwig RichterHedwig Richter is Junior Professor at Greifswald University for Modern History. In 2016 she completed her second book (Habilitation) on 19th in century elections in USA and Prussia. Between 2009 and 2011, Richter was Postdoctoral Fellow at the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology. In 2008, she received her PhD at the University of Cologne, for which she was awarded the Offermann-Hergarten Prize. Hedwig Richter was Postdoctoral Fellow at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. She was also Fellow at the German Historical Institute, Washington D.C. Hedwig Richter studied history, German literature and philosophy at Heidelberg University, Queen’s University (Belfast) and the Free University of Berlin. Her research focuses on history of the United States, German history, democracy, elections, gender, migration, and the history of religion. Hedwig Richter writes for publications including the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the ZEIT and the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Learn more about Hedwig Richter >>


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