UdS American Studies Graduate Forum

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UdS American Studies Graduate Forum 2016

The Religious Right: Republicans, Preachers, and Presidents

21-22 October 2016

Since its nomination of Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater as their presidential candidate in 1964, the Republican Party has been increasingly dominated by its conservative wing. With its turn to the South, the party of Abraham Lincoln and Abolition not only abandoned parts of its progressive social heritage, but also executed a turn to the religious right. This was further consolidated by the school-book protest movement initiated by the Kanawha County Textbook Controversy and anti-abolition movements of the late 60’s and 70’s, the ultimate decline of G.O.P. moderates after Watergate and the lackluster leadership of Gerald Ford that energized the political ascent of Ronald Reagan. Later, the presidency of George W. Bush and the rise of the Tea Party further consolidated the role of the religious right within American party politics. In 2016, however, ultra-conservative Texas Senator Ted Cruz (a son of a preacher) was chased out of the race for the G.OP.s nomination by Donald Trump, a populist with a track record of liberal views on abortion and gay rights who loves to swear on air, famously blundered an attempt to quote 2 Corinthians and sports a conspicuous lack of familiarity with religious institutions and values.

The UDS AMERICAN STUDIES GRADUATE FORUM 2016 approaches the 2016 Presidential Campaign–already a historical watershed in U.S. politics–as an occasion to interrogate the formations and transformations of the role of religion, religious media, religious discourse, and the public performance of religiosity in U.S. political culture and history, as well as in U.S. literature, public and media spaces, and other aspects of American society and culture. The 2-day GRADUATE FORUM especially welcomes proposals from the fields of Literary and Cultural Studies, Political Sciences, History and Media Studies.

ASGF 2016 Program