Democracy and the Informed Citizen Symposium
Sept. 27–Oct. 16, 2018: An up-close look at how our democracy works (or doesn't) and the power of We, the People.

Join Knox County Public Library and Humanities Tennessee for an informative series that will include trivia, presentations, a panel discussion, and a film screening. All events are free and open to the public. Registration encouraged (not required).

Schedule (Sept. 27 - Oct. 16)

Thursday, September 27

  • Electoral Anomalies 
    12:00 | East Tennessee History Center
    Learn the intriguing story behind the 2nd congressional district:  Density as destiny, surprising firsts, and exceptions to every rule. Pre-ordered lunch available. 
    Jack Neely, Knoxville History Project

  • Why Aren’t You Voting? An Interactive Conversation 
    6:00 | Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Streeg
    An honest, open and civil conversation about the state of civic participation in Tennessee. During this 90-minute facilitated conversation, participants will review short materials and discuss the reasons behind low voter participation across the state and how to address them.  Free pizza.
    Dr. Daryl Carter, Associate Professor of History, ETSU. Co-sponsored by Humanities Tennessee and Think Tennessee

Friday, September  28

10–5 | East Tennessee History Center 

  • 10:00 – Does Every Vote Count? Voter Rights & the Disenfranchised 
    Julie Gautreau, Public Defender, and Tammy Kaousias, Attorney at law
  • 11:15 – Hacked. How Safe Are Our Elections?  
    Cliff Rodgers, Knox County Administrator of Elections 
  • 1:00 – Democracy & the Free Press Panel Discussion 
    Facilitated by Jesse Mayshark, founder of Compass. Panelists include Margie Nichols, Bill Lyons, Tyler Whetstone
  • 2:15 – Money & Politics: The Complicated Truth of Peddled Influence 
    Dr. Tony Nownes, Political Science, UTK 
  • 3:30 – Globalization, ‘Globalism’ and the rise of nationalism in Europe and North America
    Dr. Ian Down, Political Science, UTK

Sunday, September  30

  • Gabriel Over the White House (1933) 
    Film Screening & Discussion

    2:00 | Lawson McGhee Library
    In this 1933 classic, a U.S. President becomes a dictator to save America, and Depression-weary Americans cheer.
    Discussion led by Dr. Bruce Wheeler, Professor Emeritus of History, UTK

Wednesday, October 10 

  • When Democracy Worked: Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
    12:00 | East Tennessee History Center
    The story of how the impossible happened. Pre-ordered lunch available. 
    John Stewart, Leglislative Director for Senator Hubert Humphrey 

Tuesday, October 16

  • Choose Civility: How to Talk Politics & Still Be Friends
    6:00–7:30 | Lawson McGhee Library, mezzanine 
    Joe Miles, Associate Professor of Psychology, UTK

Democracy Symposium Presenters

We're excited to be joined by this esteemed panel of presenters.

  • Daryl Carter, Ph.D.
  • Ian Down
  • Julie Gautreau
  • Tammy Kaousias
  • Jesse Fox Mayshark
  • Joe Miles, Ph.D.
  • Anthony J. Nownes, Ph.D.
  • Cliff Rodgers
  • Bruce Wheeler, Ph.D.
  • Tyler Whetstone