A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
February 9, 2006 Volume 36 / Number 5


Up Front

Presidential Speakers Talk Provocative Politics

How did “liberal” become a dirty word in American politics? How did “compassionate conservative” become a viable campaign theme? When did the “independent voter” become the most sought-after prize in modern campaigns? And why haven't “third-party candidates” enjoyed similar acclaim? Next month’s speakers in the President’s Lecture Series will address these questions and more about the language of party politics and its effects on citizenship in their public lecture Monday, March 6, 7:30­9:30 pm in Harlen Adams Theatre. The speakers, University of Texas College of Communication Dean Roderick Hart and Professor Sharon Jarvis, will give a public lecture on “Marketing Citizenship,” which will address their work at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation in Austin, Texas.

The institute’s mission is to attempt to create and sustain a countermarketing campaign encouraging civic engagement and participation in an era in which cynicism is being professionally marketed by cultural forces. Institute projects include developing a social studies curriculum for high schools to encourage civic participation in local political campaigns and debunking myths about young voters. Their Chico lecture will touch on the influence of religion on political campaigns, youth voting trends, and our own dynamic political landscape in California.

Both speakers have gained national acclaim for their provocative books on political language. Hart’s Campaign Talk: Why Elections Are Good For Us and Political Keywords: Using Language That Uses Us address the important role of elections in stimulating political discourse and take a fresh look at the language of American politics. Similarly, Jarvis’s Talk of the Party: Political Labels, Symbolic Capital, and American Life looks at how the language of partisanship has been used for the past 50 years and how it has created or limited political opportunities.

For more information about the speakers and their campus events, contact Stephanie Hamel, x4478, shamel@csuchico.edu