Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Research Colloquium: Talk by Christopher Danielson: "Race and the Rise of Conservatism since the 1980s"

Apr 22, 2024 | 06:00 PM

Room: 201

Abstract:  Since the end of legal segregation and the mainstreaming of the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, the United States, in particular the South, has undergone a major political realignment.  This "Great White Switch" of white southerners towards the Republican Party continued well into the 1980s.  Beginning with the 1988 election, the GOP used racial 'wedge issues' to broaden their appeal by tapping the racial anxieties and animosities of white voters nationally.  Yet at the same time an acceptance of the gains of the 1960s, in particular a consensus on access to voting rights, emerged.  But in recent years, with the Tea Party backlash against the first Black president and the rise of Trump, this consensus has been largely shattered and racial issues have become more explicit in US politics.  At the same time, grassroots religious conservatism since the 1980s around issues of gender, sexuality, and secularism have illustrated that race, while a dominant issue in US politics, is not the only issue affecting political mobilization.

Bio:  Prof. Chris Danielson is a specialist in the civil rights movement and modern American politics.  A native of Houston, Texas, he received his BA and MA from the University of Houston, and his PhD from the University of Mississippi.  He is the author of two books, After Freedom Summer: How Race Realigned Mississippi Politics, 1965-1986 and The Color of Politics: Racism in the American Political Arena Today, as well as several articles and book chapters.  He is a professor of history at Montana Technological University on Butte, Montana, and is currently a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Pecs in Hungary.