The advent of Donald J. Trump to the U.S. presidency demands the attention of historians, regardless of partisan affiliation or conviction. Trump's ascendancy has amplified, and potentially normalized, a civic discourse grounded in racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia, and derived from political scripts with long histories. His presidency seems destined to alter public policy dramatically on a range of issues, including immigration and refugees, policing and incarceration, reproductive rights, health care, climate change, corporate regulation, public funding of scientific research, arts, and the humanities, and much more. Since Donald J. Trump is the second president in sixteen years to be elected while losing the popular vote, the November 2016 result raises additional historical questions about the mechanics and democratic character of U.S. elections. While no single session can capture the full range of historical issues and entanglements raised by Trump's rise, the historians featured in this panel will frame a number of key questions for broader discussion and reflection.
Robert Self, Brown University is to chair the session. The panelists are Benjamin L. Alpers, University of Oklahoma (Authoritarianism in America); Ibram X. Kendi, University of Florida (Race and Racism); Joanne Meyerowitz, Yale University (LGBTQ Rights); Maria Cristina Garcia, Cornell University (Immigration and Refugees); Jennifer Nelson, University of Redlands (Reproductive Rights).