Tea Party Conference

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GatheringUC Berkeley's Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements presents:

Fractures, Alliances and Mobilizations in the Age of Obama:
Emerging Analyses of the 'Tea Party Movement'


Friday, October 22, 2010
8:30am - 5:00pm
Toll Room, Alumni House
University of California, Berkeley




This conference will bring together leading scholars, along with several journalists and political commentators, to discuss and debate the emergence and implications of the "Tea Party Movement" in the wake of Obama's election.  Much has been made of the Tea Party Movement in the media however there is little, if any, scholarship on it. This conference, which features historians, political scientists, sociologists, and race and gender scholars, is intended to begin to fill this gap.  

Key questions that the conference will address include: Is the "Tea Party Movement" (TPM) a new social movement, an emerging political party, a media-driven construction, or something else?  What are the origins, ideology, and constituencies of the TPM and how were they formed? What is the relationship between the TPM and the Right, especially the GOP and the Christian Right, in the U.S., and what role will the TPM play in shaping the 2010 and future elections?  How do race, class and gender factor into the TPM's message and membership?  How are TPM activists tapping into and/or managing the populist, libertarian, and radical currents on the Right, as well as fear, anger and resentment among segments of the American public?  What significance does the TPM hold for the future of American politics?

This conference is free, wheelchair accessible and open to the public.   For more information, please contact crws@berkeley.edu | 510.642.0813.

Co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, the Institute of Governmental Studies, the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science, the Sociology Department, the Gender and Women's Studies Department, the Haas Diversity Research Center, the Townsend Center for Humanities, the Center for Race and Gender, the Center for the Study of Social Change, the American Cultures Center, and the Berkeley Undergraduate Political Science Association.

Videos of the conference panels are at the links below.

Conference Agenda:

8:30 - 9:00 am             Registration

9:00 - 9:15 am            Welcome and Introduction of Key Note Speaker

Lawrence Rosenthal, Executive Director, Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, University of California, Berkeley

9:15 - 10:30 am           Keynote Address "The Tea Parties Now"

Rick Perlstein, Journalist and Author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America and Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of American Consensus

10:30 - 10:45 am           Coffee Break

10:45am - 12:30 pm      Panel 1: New Forms of Activism on the Right: The Tea Party--Emergence of a Movement?


Christopher Parker, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Washington

Ruth Rosen, Professor Emerita of History, University of California, Davis; Visiting Professor of History, UC Berkeley

Clarence Lo, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Missouri-Columbia

David Weigel, Political Reporter, Slate, and MSNBC contributor

Debra Saunders, Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle


Jack Citrin, Director, Institute of Governmental Studies & Heller Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

12:15 - 1:30 pm           Lunch Break (lunch on your own)

1:30 - 3:00 pm             Panel 2: The Tea Party and the Right: Fractures and Alliances within the Republican Party and other groups on the Right


Martin Cohen, Assistant Professor of Political Science, James Madison University

Alan I. Abramowitz, Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science, Emory University

Peter Montgomery, Senior Fellow, People for the American Way

Bill Whalen, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University


Eric Schickler, American Politics Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley

3:00 - 3:15 pm            Coffee Break

3:15 - 4:45 pm            Panel 3: Tapping into Fear, Anger and Resentment: The Tea Party and the Climate of Threat


Lisa Disch, Professor of Political Science and Professor of Women's Studies, University of Michigan

Charles Postel, Associate Professor of History, San Francisco State University

Chip Berlet, Senior Analyst, Political Research Associates

Devin Burghart, Vice President, Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights


Paola Bacchetta, Associate Professor of Gender & Women's Studies, University of California, Berkeley

4:45 - 5:00 pm            Closing Remarks (begins at 1:30:00)

Christine Trost, Program Director, Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements, and Assistant Director, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley

Center for Right-Wing Studies
2420 Bowditch Street #5670
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-5670
TEL: 510.642.0813
FAX: 510.642.8674
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