Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Political Machines: Innovations in Campaigns and Elections

The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History announces the following conference, to be held at the Museum in Washington, DC, on November 2-3, 2012.
The Lemelson Center marks this election year with Political Machines: Innovations in Campaigns and Elections, a symposium that examines the role of invention and technology in electoral politics. Through this lens, we temporarily shift the focus away from today’s candidates and issues to examine the critical role that political “machinery”--campaign advertisements, voting machines, automated opinion polls, and others--play in our democracy. When these technologies work well, they often go unnoticed; when they fail (Remember hanging chads and “Dewey Beats Truman”?), the consequences can be momentous.

Political Machines brings together scholars, government policymakers, campaign strategists, and members of the news media to focus on the historic and contemporary role of technology in the electoral process. Our sessions employ formats typically seen on the campaign trail, including a keynote address; stump speeches; and interactive “town hall” Q&A sessions with our speakers. And an audience response system will give you a vote on various questions posed during the symposium!
Speakers include Zephyr Teachout, Fordham Law School, and Sarah Igoe, Department of History, Vanderbilt University.

The program and more information are here.