Michael Eric Dyson headlines Obama Effect 2.0 conference at UMBC

The world will know who the next U.S. president will be after November 8, but leading up to the election it is unclear what the future of President Obama’s legacy will be under the next administration. Scholars and professionals from around the country are gathering at UMBC October 27-29 for the “Obama Effect 2.0″ conference to examine the current president’s impact on a range of core issues before the next president is elected and that legacy takes on new form and meaning.

The event builds on the first “Obama Effect” conference, held in 2008 at the University of Minnesota, which looked at how the election would impact the process of American presidential politics, issues of civil rights, and global/international relations. The result was the book The Obama Effect: Multidisciplinary Renderings of the 2008 Campaign (SUNY 2010). This collection of essays examined how issues discussed during the 2008 presidential campaign would influence the Obama administration in the years ahead.

Kimberly Moffitt, associate professor of American studies, is the lead organizer of the Obama Effect 2.0 conference, along with colleagues Heather Harris, professor of business communication at Stevenson University, and Catherine Squires, professor of communication studies and director of the Race, Indigeneity, Gender and Sexuality Studies Initiative (RIGS) at the University of Minnesota.

“This conference is not only significant to our understanding of the potential legacy of the first self-identified African-American president of the United States, but it is also timely as we approach one of the most contentious and polarizing presidential elections of our country’s history, largely because of issues related to identity, a sense of belonging, and even race—all such matters of intersectionality grappled with by President Barack Obama during his two terms in office,” shares Moffitt.

Professor, author, and radio host Michael Eric Dyson will present the keynote address on Thursday, October 27 at 5 p.m. at the Albin O. Kuhn Library 7th floor. He will speak about his book The Black Presidency, which explores the role of race in shaping President Obama’s identity and groundbreaking presidency. Dyson will talk about his analysis of the president’s remarks, major speeches, and responses to recent incidents to examine issues of identity, race, and culture through President Obama’s own voice.

Following the keynote address, a series of paper presentations, panel discussions, and roundtables will take place on October 28 and 29. They will examine different aspects of the Obama presidency, including media representations, race and the American police state, party politics, and American and global public opinion, among a range of other issues.

Several UMBC faculty will participate in the conference, including Thomas Schaller, professor and chair of political science; Cedric Herring, professor and director of language, literacy, and culture; Nicole King, associate professor and chair of American studies; and David Hoffman ’13, Ph.D., language, literacy, and culture, and assistant director, student life for civic agency.

For more information, visit the Obama Effect 2.0 website and to view media coverage, see below.

The Obama Effect (WEAA’s The Marc Steiner Show) 

Image: Michael Eric Dyson. Photo courtesy APB Speakers.