Mason Teaches the History of the Election of 2016

History and Art History Professors Dedicate Class Time to Understanding the Presidential Election

Mason Teaches the History of the Election of 2016

In the weeks leading up to voting day on November 8, 2016, faculty in the Department of History and Art History continued to draw connections between the election of 2016 and a slew of regional and historical topics.

Students, faculty, and members of the public were invited to attend the following classes that addressed issues in the election: 

Prof. Stearns, "The 2016 Elections in a Global Context,” HIST 125: World History, Nov. 2, 9:00-10:15 AM, Lecture Hall 2

Prof. Roeder, "Photography on the Campaign Trail: Photo Ops and Visual Messaging,” ARTH 350: History of Photography, Nov. 2, 1:30-2:45, Art & Design Bldg. 2026

Prof. Zagarri, “Elections and Electioneering in Early America," HNRS 240: George Mason in History & Memory, Nov. 2, 1:30-2:45, West Bldg. 1007

Prof. Wees, “The Possible Impact of the US Presidential Elections on US-Taiwan Relations,” HIST 387: The History of Taiwan, Nov. 2, 4:30-7:10, Enterprise 276

Prof. Roeder, “Nationalism and Political Symbols in Western Art,” ARTH 102: Symbols and Stories in Art, Nov. 7, 3:00-4:15, Art & Design Bldg. 2003

Several History and Art History classes had already examined the election from a variety of cultural, historical, and methodological perspectives:

  • Prof. Platt, HIST 125: World History, “Brexit, Globalization, and the Election of 2016” 
  • Prof. Knoerl, HIST 100: Western Civilization, "Candidates for Sale: Material Culture of the 2016 US Presidential Election” 
  • Prof. Johnston, HIST 690: Managing Archives and Manuscripts, “Archiving the Web and Documenting Modern Elections" with guests Abbie Grotke, Web Archivist, and Cheryl Adams, Reference Specialist, both from the Library of Congress
  • Prof. Cowan, HIST 387: Gender, Sexuality, and Religion in the Americas, "Machismo” 
  • Prof. Yilmaz, MEIS 500: Critical Issues and Debates in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, “The Election of 2016, the Middle East, and Islam” 
  • Ms. Bizri, HIST 125: World History, “Revolutions” 
  • Ms. Bush and Ms. Hoffman, two sections of HIST 390: The Digital Past, “The Role of Digital and Social Media in the 2016 Election” 
  • Prof. Park, HIST 308: 19th Century Europe, “Nationalism and Identity” 
  • Prof. Groves, HIST 301: Classical Greece, "Democracy” 

The 2016 election raised many important questions that Mason’s History and Art History faculty are well suited to answer in both their research and their classrooms. But the election is not unique in this regard; history provides a useful lens through which to examine any contemporary phenomenon. Students in history courses, and especially history majors, learn how to explore and discuss the antecedents and implications of a variety of urgent political and social problems.