Events

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What events would you like to see in the 2023-24 academic year?

The Chicago Center on Democracy seeks to serve our community by organizing events and activities that are of interest to you all. If you have any ideas for topics, speakers, or other activities, please reach out to Kevin Kromash at kkromash@uchicago.edu.

Democracy Events at UChicago

We have compiled a list of events at the University of Chicago relating to democracy. Some of these are organized by the Chicago Center on Democracy and some by other entities on campus.

Upcoming Events

Life in Authoritarian Societies
Time
: April 16th, 2024, 4:30 – 5:45 PM CST
Location: SSRB Tea Room #201 (1126 E 59th St.)
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Join a group discussion featuring UChicago scholars as they share their unique lived experiences in non-democratic countries. This informal panel will showcase scholars hailing from diverse backgrounds, including Russia, Iran, China, and Malawi, offering invaluable insights into their lived experiences and perspectives. The panel will also invite participants to ask questions and share their own lived experiences of life in authoritarian societies. Snacks and refreshments will be provided to those who RSVP.

Argentina, 1985 Film Screening and Discussion
Time
: Thursday, April 18th, 2024, 5:00 PM CST
Location: Cobb Hall, Room 310
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, Center for Latin American Studies
Description: Join the Chicago Center on Democracy and the Center for Latin American Studies for a captivating movie screening featuring Dir. Santiago Mitre’s acclaimed film, “Argentina, 1985” (2022). The screening will be followed by a discussion led by UChicago Harris Professor Alicia Menendez. The film follows the true tale of courage and justice as a determined public prosecutor, alongside a youthful lawyer and their inexperienced legal ensemble fearlessly undertake the task of prosecuting the leaders of Argentina’s violent military dictatorship. This captivating film promises to transport you to the tumultuous era of 1980s Argentina, offering insight into the complexities of Latin American history and the enduring struggle for democracy. Please RSVP for popcorn and refreshments!

Lyubov Sobol – Can We Influence The Future Of Russia?
Time: Thursday, April 18th, 2024, 5:00 PM CST
Location: International House, Assembly Hall
Organizers: CEERES, the International House Global Voices Program, the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights, the Chicago Forum for Free Inquiry and Expression, and the Chicago Center on Democracy.
Description: Currently, Russia is conducting an aggressive war in Ukraine, and within the country, full-scale repressions are underway against the democratic opposition. A few weeks ago, Alexey Navalny, Putin’s most famous critic, was killed in prison. It seems that the Soviet Union has not only returned but has become stronger, as for 30 years the West has helped the Russian economy to enter the global market and opened the door to Europe. Is this really the case? And is there light at the end of the tunnel? How much longer can Putin’s regime last, and what can help Russia become a democratic country? Lawyer and well-known anti-war Russian politician, close associate of Alexey Navalny, Lyubov Sobol, will share her thoughts on these topics. Conversation moderated by Konstantin Sonin (Harris School of Public Policy). Lyubov Sobol is a Russian political and public figure. She consistently advocates for the democratization of Russia and opposes Putin’s policies. She conducted journalistic investigations into corruption in Russia while serving as a lawyer for Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. Currently, she leads anti-propaganda projects on YouTube, attracting hundreds of thousands of viewers. In 2023, Sobol was a Senior Fellow with the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). Please RSVP!

“I’m Speaking”: A Bus Tour of Women’s Suffrage Sites in Chicago
Time: Sunday, April 21st, 2024, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM CDT
Location: Pick up and drop off at Reynold’s Club
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Join the Chicago Center on Democracy, Chicago Studies and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality as we embark on a bus tour around Chicago’s most prominent women’s suffrage sites, where women gathered, organized, and fought for social change. The bus tour will cover the history of the women’s suffrage movement in Chicago by exploring landmarks related to eminent historical figures who fought for women’s voting rights, including Ida B. Wells, Fannie Barrier Williams, Elizabeth Lindsay Davis, Jane Addams, and Celia Parker Woolley, as well as more recent feminist sites, such as the “I’m Speaking” mural by Dorian Sylvain featuring Kamala Harris’ famous words. The tour will be led by Fiona Maxwell, a PhD Candidate in the History Department who is writing her dissertation on “Democratic Ensembles: Spoken Art and Politics at Chicago Settlement Houses, 1890-1920.” Fiona received her BA in History and Theatre from Northwestern University. She has contributed to public history projects with the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, the Center for Women’s History and Leadership, and the Newberry Library. She provides coaching in public speaking and improv, and she has performed in storytelling venues throughout the Chicago area. This event is co-sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy, Chicago Studies and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. Please RSVP; Tour includes free lunch at Greektown.

Kevin J. McMahon On “A Supreme Court Unlike Any Other: The Deepening Divide Between The Justices And The People”
Time
: April 30th, 2024, 12:30 – 2:00 PM CST
Location: Stuart Hall Room 101
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Kevin J. McMahon (the John R. Reitemeyer Professor of Political Science at Trinity College) will discuss A Supreme Court Unlike Any Other: The Deepening Divide Between the Justices and the People. He will be joined in conversation by Alison L. LaCroix (the Robert Newton Reid Professor of Law at UChicago). In A Supreme Court Unlike Any Other, McMahon provides “A data-rich examination of the US Supreme Court’s unprecedented detachment from the democratic processes that buttress its legitimacy.” The book delineates the current standing of the Supreme Court in comparison to its historical standing, showing the court’s tenuous relationship with the democratic processes that help establish its authority.McMahon makes the point that previous Supreme Courts were more in line with “the promise of democracy” than today’s is. Come learn more about McMahon’s arguments, and the developments that have led to McMahon’s modern take on today’s Supreme Court. Our amazing speakers will be introduced by David Lebow, associated director of Law, Letters, and Society. Please RSVP, lunch will be provided for registrants.

Aziz Rana on “The Constitutional Bind: How Americans Came to Idolize A Document That Fails Them”
Time: Thursday, May 9th, 2024, 5:30 PM CST
Location: Social Sciences Research Building, 122
Organizers: Law, Letters, and Society, The Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory and The Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Provost’s Distinguished Fellow at Boston College Law School, Aziz Rana, discusses his book, “The Constitutional Bind: How Americans Came to Idolize a Document That Fails Them” with William Baude (Harry Kalven, Jr. Professor of Law andFaculty Director, Constitutional Law Institute). About the book. An eye-opening account of how Americans came to revere the Constitution and what this reverence has meant domestically and around the world. This event is the official welcome event for the Law, Letters, and Society class of 2026.


Previous Events
 
Why is Democracy Important?
Time
: April 8th, 2024, 4:30 – 6:00 PM CST
Location: SSRB Tea Room #201 (1126 E 59th St.)
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: The Chicago Center on Democracy presents an engaging panel discussion probing the fundamental question: Why is democracy important? The panel will delve into the comparative analysis between democracy and other forms of government such as the authoritarian model epitomized by China. The professors will also explore the advantages and disadvantages inherent in each system. How do we balance the intrinsic merits of freedom and equality against potential economic gains from a less democratic framework (assuming such benefits exist)? Join esteemed panelists Iza Ding (Political Science, Northwestern University), Marco Garrido (Sociology, UChicago), and Zhaotian Luo (Political Science, UChicago) as they navigate these inquiries. The discussion will be skillfully moderated by Susan Stokes, Director of the Chicago Center on Democracy and Professor in the College. This is a hybrid event, please use this link to register for the Zoom if attending virtually.
 
12th LAM Forum: “2030: The Latin American Crossroads” 
Time: Friday, April 5th, 9:00 am – 6:30 pm
Location: The University of Chicago, Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation (1155 E 60th St., Chicago, IL, 60637)
Organizers: Latin American Matters, Chicago Center on Democracy, Pearson Institute, Center for Latin American Studies, Center for Effective Government, Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, Graduate Council, Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation
Description: The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and Latin American Matters (LAM), one of Harris Public Policy’s leading student organizations, are pleased to invite you to the 12th Annual Latin American Policy Forum, “2030: The Latin American Crossroads”. This year, the Forum focuses on the future. It will cover three main topics, representing some of the biggest challenges the region is facing, but also trends and empirical evidence that provide optimism, and a roadmap for effective business and policy choices.

Democracy Graduate Programs Info-Session
Time: Monday, April 1st, 2024, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM CST
Location: Pick Hall, Room 503
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Attend and connect with a panel of Chicago Center on Democracy Graduate Student Affiliate members who will share information about their respective graduate programs, and their democracy-focused research.Panel features: Hera Shakil (PhD student, Comparative Human Development),Pedro Huet (Harris School of Public Policy), Guido Martin Roa Ramirez(Masters student, International Relations), and Lautaro Cella (Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science). RSVP, dinner provided!

Music and Social Movements in the Arab and South Asian Contexts
Time: Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM CST
Location: Rosenwald Hall, Room 011
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Ever wondered about the powerful bond between music and social change? Join us for an engaging discussion with Pranathi Diwakar, a Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences at UChicago, and Ronnie Malley, a PhD Student in Music at UChicago and a talented multi-instrumentalist. Together, we’ll delve into the fascinating realm where music intersects with Arab and South Asian social movements. Explore the dynamic relationship between music and democracy, particularly in the context of Arab and South Asian democratic challenges. Discover how music has been a driving force behind social activism and political change in the regions. The discussion will also include a special demonstration of the oud, a historically significant instrument in Arab music, by Ronnie Malley himself. Please RSVP!

Napoleon (2023) Movie Night
Time
: Friday, March 22nd, 2024, 6:00 PM CST
Location: Cobb Lecture Hall, Room 115
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Join the Chicago Center on Democracy Student Advisory board for a captivating movie night featuring Ridley Scott’s cinematic masterpiece, “Napoleon” (2023). Embark on a journey through history as we witness the rise of one of the most iconic figures in world history. Set against the backdrop of sweeping landscapes and grand battles, Ridley Scott’s vision brings Napoleon’s legendary story to life like never before. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply a lover of compelling storytelling, this event promises an unforgettable cinematic experience! Please RSVP for movie snacks and refreshments!

Time: Monday, March 4th, 2024, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm CST
Location: SSRB Tea Room, Room 122 (1126 E. 59th St.)
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: The Chicago Center on Democracy invites you to take a break from finals and celebrate the season with a democracy themed trivia night! Join us for an exciting trivia game experience with prizes, pizza, and friends! The winner will receive a $25 gift card for Plein Air Cafe! This event will be held at the SSRB Tea Room (Room #201) on Monday, March 4th from 6:00 – 7:30 PM! Please RSVP for pizza and refreshments!
 
Time: February 26th, 2024, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm CST
Location: Social Sciences Research Building, Room 122 (1126 E. 59th St.)
Organizers: Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture, Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: On Monday, February 26th, at 5:00 pm CST, author Nathan Perl-Rosenthal will discuss his upcoming book, The Age of Revolutions: And the Generations Who Made It. Perl-Rosenthal, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Southern California, provides a sweeping history of the revolutionary years (1760-1825) across continents, exploring the intertwining forces of progress and reaction. This event is organized by the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture and the Chicago Center on Democracy. Moderated by Steve Pincus, the Thomas E. Donnelly Professor of British History at the University of Chicago, this conversation will delve into the historic revolutions that shaped Europe and the Americas, illuminating their profound impact on the modern world. Don’t miss this insightful preview of Perl-Rosenthal’s groundbreaking work!
 
Time: February 26th, 2024, 5:00 pm CST
Location: Franke Institute for the Humanities Regenstein Library, Room S-102
Organizers: CEERES, Chicago Center on Democracy and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture.
Description: This talk will focus on Terrell Jermaine Starr’s views on ongoing coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He’ll discuss his coverage of the invasion as an independent African American journalist, why Ukraine has become such an important topic in the 2024 presidential election, and how he talks about it with American audiences. If you cannot attend in person, you can watch this lecture via Zoom. Register here. Terrell Jermaine Starr is an independent journalist widely known for his coverage of the current Russian invasion of Ukraine. He’s the founder of the newly-formed Black Diplomats Media Network that includes Black Diplomats newsletter on Substack, Black Diplomats Official YouTube channel and Black Diplomats podcast that will resume broadcasting mid-February and is available on Apple iTunes and all major podcast platforms. Terrell’s work centers the Black perspective in foreign policy news and doesn’t shy away from inserting his personal views into his reporting when he talks about Ukraine, Gaza or any other part of the world. He is also looking for financial supporters to back his media group, so if you want to back his vision, please reach out to him via the contact information on the screen. Terrell is a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and divides his time between New York City and Ukraine.

Dinner with Professor Callie Maidhof
Time
: Tuesday, February 20th, 2024, 6:00 pm CST
Location: Cobb Hall, Room 107
Organizers: Join Global Studies Professor Callie Maidhof and the Chicago Center on Democracy’s Student Advisory Board for a delicious dinner catered by Cedars! Our gathering will feature an informal discussion on the theme of free speech on campus, delving into the significance of the Chicago Principles and exploring their influence on students’ engagement with free speech in both academic and campus contexts. We warmly welcome your personal insights and perspectives on this matter, anticipating an enriching exchange over dinner!

Graduate Student Research Workshop: “Reimagining Citizen-Government Interactions” by Nishita Karun
Time
: February 13th, 2024, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm CST
Location: Pick Hall room 505
Organizers: The Chicago Center on Democracy would like to invite graduate students to our second Research Workshop of the year, featuring CCD Graduate Student Affiliate Nishita Karun, who will be sharing her research proposal titled “Reimagining Citizen-Government Interactions: An RCT Proposal for Digital Grievance Redressals in Odisha, India.” The workshop will be held on Tuesday, February 13th 2024 at 5:00 PM at the CCD lounge in Pick Hall Room 505. Please review Nishita’s project proposal ahead of the workshop so that you can show up with an understanding of how to offer feedback. Please RSVP for snacks and refreshments.

Time: February 7th, 2024, 12:00pm – 1:00 pm CST
Location: Rosenwald Hall Room 015 (1101 E 58th St.)
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: We’ve all been following the news about the Colorado Supreme Court and Maine’s top election’s decision to bar Trump from the state’s ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. This section prohibits individuals who have sworn an oath to support the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection” against it from holding office. However, how well do we really understand the nuances of this decision and its broader implications? Join the Chicago Center on Democracy’s for the second installment of our lunch Q&A series. UChicago Law School professors Aziz Huq and Tom Ginsburg will be answering students’ questions about Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, the insurrection clause, and its impact on excluding former President Trump from the presidential ballot. They will also discuss how this ruling may influence others connected to the events of January 6th in the future.
 
Watch the recording: Law is A Command of the People: Legal Legitimacy and the Form of the State
Time
: February 6th, 2024, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm CST
Location: Kent Laboratory, Room 120 (1020 E 58th St 1020 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637)
Organizers: Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy; Classics of Social and Political Thought
Description: “Law is legitimate when it is authorized by the citizen body; law from any other source amounts to slavery.” So was the argument of Cicero, and an extraordinary succession of writers central to the history of political thought. And yet, claims like this have often been made in contexts where the actual distribution of power is anything but democratic. We invite you to an engaging lecture and discussion on this crucial theme by Professor Cliff Ando, distinguished Professor of History and Classics at the University of Chicago. The lecture draws inspiration from the inherent tension in these claims and prompts an exploration of legal theory juxtaposed with political treatises spanning from antiquity to the nineteenth century. This event is part of a quarterly series of lectures organized by the Democracy Curriculum, co-organized with Classics of Social and Political Thought.

Discussing Regional Definitions of Democracy
Time
: January 31st, 2024, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm CST
Location: Social Sciences Research Building, Room 122 (1126 E. 59th St.)
Organizers: Across the world, various countries are in the process of democratization or actively debating the importance of democratic values. But what do these concepts mean to governments in different regions and how are they negotiated in political discourses? How do their citizens advocate for these concepts in the public sphere and what unique cultural and historical challenges continue to exist for these democratic movements? Join Assistant Professor Eduardo Montero and Distinguished Professor Konstantin Sonin from the Harris School of Public Policy as they discuss the progress and challenges faced by democratic movements in Latin America and the former Soviet states from a comparative perspective. This event will feature a discussion by both professors, followed by a Q&A session from participants.

Workshop: How to Have Productive Democratic Discourse
Time: January 30th, 2024, 4:30pm – 6:00 pm CST
Location: Social Science Research Building Tea Room, 1126 E 59th St., Room 201
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy and the Parrhesia Program on Public Discourse
Description: Please join the Chicago Center on Democracy and the Parrhesia Program on Public Discourse on January 30th, 2024 at 4:30pm, for a skill-building workshop on how to have productive democratic discourse. We will begin the workshop with a presentation by Leila Brammer (Director of Outreach and Instructional Development, Parrhesia Program) on freedom of expression in conversations about difficult subjects, how those conversations can go wrong and how we can reclaim a type of discourse that is more democratic and productive. We will then put these skills into practice by discussing a topic that often generates diverse views: namely, the question of how social media companies should moderate or censor speech that may be legally protected but is hateful or disingenuous in nature.

Committee of Six: Screening and Discussion
Time
: January 29th, 2024, 6:30 pm CST
Location: Logan Center for the Arts, Penthouse Room 901
Organizers: The Open Practice Committee in the Department of Visual Arts, Chicago Center on Democracy, and Cinema Media Studies
Description: The Open Practice Committee invites you to join us for a live screening of the 2022 film Committee of Six directed by artist and filmmaker Fred Schmidt-Arenales. A post-screening discussion will take place between Schmidt-Arenales and the University of Chicago’s Carl Darling Buck Professor of Art History, Darby English. Committee of Six is an enactment of archival meeting minutes held at the University of Chicago. The meetings took place in 1955 between community leaders and University officials for the purpose of creating an “Urban Renewal Program” for the neighborhood of Hyde Park, situated in the south side of Chicago. The film documents the process of a group of performers, academics, residents, and activists interpreting the archival documents, inviting comparison between the language of the past and the contemporary reality of gentrification and racist real estate practices in Chicago.

Graduate Student Research Workshop: “Protest & Pixels” by Savannah Sima
Time
: January 24th, 2024, 6:00 pm CST
Location: Logan Center for the Arts, Penthouse Room 901
Organizers: The Chicago Center on Democracy would like to invite you to our first Research Workshop of the year, featuring your fellow CCD Graduate Student Affiliate Savannah Sima, who will be sharing her research proposal titled “Protest & Pixels: Collective Dissident Action in the Digital Age.“ The workshop will be held on Wednesday, January 24th 2024 at 5:00 PM at the CCD lounge in Pick Hall Room 505. Please contact Laura Sandino, laurasandino@uchicago.edu to review Savannah’s abstract and research themes ahead of the workshop so that you can show up with an understanding of how to offer feedback. 

Improv Workshop: Exploring The Connections Between Improv And Democratic Movements
Time: Monday, January 8th, 2024, 5:00 – 6:30 pm CST
Location: Social Sciences Tea Room, 1126 E. 59th Street, Room 201 Chicago, IL 60637
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse, UChicagoGRAD
Description: How well do you know the origins of improv as an art form? Did you know that improv grew out of a movement to “socialize democracy”? The ‘Improv Workshop: Exploring Connections Between Improv and Democratic Movements,’ aims to shed light on how improv can be used to promote democratic discussion. The connections between improv and democracy are vast, exemplified by common language used in both arenas. In fact, games much like the ones we will be exploring at our workshop were developed during the 19th and early 20th century as a means to imagine new approaches to government and society. The workshop will be led by Fiona Maxwell, a PhD Candidate in the History Department who is writing her dissertation on ‘Democratic Ensembles: Spoken Art and Politics at Chicago Settlement Houses, 1890-1920.’ Fiona received her BA in History and Theatre from Northwestern University. Additionally, Fiona coaches UChicago graduate students in public speaking as a UChicagoGRAD oral communications specialist, teaches youth storytelling and improv classes at the Piven Theatre Workshop, and performs in storytelling venues across the Chicago area. The event will consist of fun and creative improv exercises and improvised storytelling techniques designed to encourage public discourse and reveal the interrelations between improv as an art form and democratic deliberation. This event is co-sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy, the Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse and UChicagoGRAD.

Watch the recording: Webinar On The 2023 Elections in Argentina: Understanding the Political and Economic Impacts
Time: Monday, December 11th, 2023, 12:00 – 1:30 pm CST
Location: Virtual
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, Center for Latin American Studies, George J. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State
Description: Following the recent run-off presidential elections in Argentina on 19 November 2023, the Chicago Center on Democracy, the Center for Latin American Studies, and the Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State are hosting a virtual webinar discussion on Monday, December 11th, 2023 at 12:00 pm (noon) CST, in order to discuss how hyperinflation and the current political economic standing in Argentina has influenced voters in this election, and resulted in the election of Javier Milei as the next president of Argentina. Featuring the following panelists: Fernando Alvarez (The Charles F. Gray Distinguished Service Professor in the University of Chicago Economics Department and the College), Francisco Buera (Professor of Economics and Associate Chair of Economics at Washington University in St. Louis), Julián P. Diaz (Associate Professor at the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago), Luis Martinez (Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy), Sebastian Galiani (Professor of Economics at University of Maryland and Visiting Professor at Universidad de San Andres, Argentina), and Gisela Sin (Associate Professor at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign). The discussion will be moderated by Luis Schiumerini (Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame).

Democracy Studies Study Break
Time: Tuesday, December 5th, 2023, 6:00 – 7:00 pm CST
Location: McCormick Tribune Lounge in Reynolds Club
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: The Chicago Center on Democracy invites you to take a break from finals and celebrate the season with hot chocolate, cookies and friends! This event will be held at the McCormick Lounge in Reynolds Club on Tuesday, December 5th from 5:00 – 6:00 PM!

Chicago Center on Democracy Guided Tour of The Neubauer Collegium’s ‘Gelitin: Democratic Sculpture 7’
Time: Thursday, November 30th, 2023, 1:00 – 2:00 pm CST
Location: Neubauer Collegium (5701 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637)
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, The Neubauer Collegium
Description: Join the Chicago Center on Democracy on Thursday, November 30th at 1:00 PM for a guided tour with Dieter Roelstraete, the Curator of the Neubauer Collegium’s current exhibit ‘Gelitin: Democratic Sculpture 7.’ The exhibition’s description states: “Known internationally for their ambitious public art projects and transgressive performances, Gelitin are indefatigable partisans of the ludic impulse in art, forever honoring Friedrich Schiller’s claim that ‘man only plays when he is in the fullest sense of the word a human being, and he is only fully a human being when he plays.’ Indeed, what may appear abject, provocative, and occasionally pornographic in their art should be considered, first and foremost, from the emancipatory perspective of ‘homo ludens.’” (Neubauer). Explore the relationship between play and democracy during this guided tour of this interactive installation. The tour will focus on interacting with the exhibition through a democratic lens, analyzing the social and political inspirations behind the installation. We will meet at the Neubauer Collegium in Hyde Park (5701 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637) at 1:00 PM on Thursday, November 30th for the guided tour.

Intercultural Conversation: Democracy in Chile and the U.S.
Time: Friday, November 17th, 2023, 2:00 – 3:00 pm CST
Location: Virtual Event
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, Center for Latin American Studies
Description: The United States and Chile have both gone through turbulent times as relates to democracy in recent years. The Chicago Center on Democracy and the Center for Latin American Studies are providing a space for Chilean students from the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez and UChicago students to come together in conversation, learn from each other and share their views about the challenges to democracy in the two countries today. Learn more about the referendum and constitutional drafting matter in Chile, and in turn discuss your own experiences and views on U.S. democracy with Chilean students.

Watch the recording: Ask Me Anything About the Bill of Rights: Q&A With Prof. Aziz Huq and Prof. William Baude
Time: Wednesday, November 8, 2023, 12:30 – 1:30pm CST
Location: Cobb Lecture Hall, Room 104
Organizer: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: How well do you know one of the most foundational documents in U.S. history, the Bill of Rights? Have you ever wondered about the significance of the “well-regulated militia” clause in Amendment 2? Do you have any idea what courts considered to be “unreasonable searches” from Amendment 4? While we may all know the basics of the Bill of Rights, it is important to get a deeper understanding of what the iconic document, and its amendments, fully entail. UChicago Law Professors Aziz Huq and William Baude will be answering students’ questions about the Bill of Rights and its amendments during this lunchtime Q&A.

Voting out Autocratic Governments: Lessons from Poland
Time: Tuesday, November 7, 2023, 12:30 – 2:00pm CST
Location: Social Sciences Tea Room, 1126 E. 59th Street, Room 201 Chicago, IL 60637
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy; Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies
Description: The Chicago Center on Democracy and the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies invite you to a conversation about the implications of the recent Polish parliamentary election on October 15, 2023. The ruling PiS party (generally considered a populist, democratic backsliding party) won the largest share of votes, but even if it forms an alliance with the ideologically closest Konfederacia party, it will fall short of securing a majority in the legislature. The panel will focus on what this outcome means for the country, but also what it might indicate about the possibilities for voting out autocratic-leaning governments in other countries.This election raises additional questions about how the term “autocratic” should be used to describe governments. Is it appropriate to label a party as autocratic if it peacefully cedes control after losing an election? Furthermore, the panel will address the phenomenon of high youth support for nationalist rhetoric. It aims to explore why the electorate shifted away from PiS, how these voters were mobilized, and the reasons behind the disenchantment of some previously loyal voters.

Democracy Studies Board Game Night
Time: Friday, November 3rd, 2023, 5:00 – 6:00 pm CDT
Location: MADD Center
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, Democracy Studies
Description: Join our Student Advisory Board in our first board game night, come play Coup, Wavelength, Risk, and other democracy-related games, and get to know students in the minor!

Open House for the Minor in Democracy Studies
Time: Wednesday, November 1, 2023, 4:30 – 6:00pm CDT
Location: Pick Hall, room 505
Organizers: Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: All who are interested in democracy are welcome to gather with us to meet each other and learn about the new Minor in Democracy Studies.

Democracy and Conspiracy: What conspiratorial thinking in classical Athens reveals about democracy
Time: Thursday, October 26, 2023, 5:00 – 6:30pm CDT
Location: Kent 107
Organizers: Classics of Social and Political Thought; Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: In recent years, writers around the globe have declared the twenty-first century a golden age of conspiracy theory and democratic instability. But few have addressed a pressing question that precedes and complicates this conclusion: What if thinking conspiratorially about democracy could offer new strategies for understanding and practicing it? Are there narratives about democratic power from earlier moments of epistemic crisis that might help us be less presentist? This lecture by Professor Demetra Kasimis exposes the frequent, but often overlooked, engagement with conspiratorial thinking, secret plots, and subversive hidden networks in the prose and poetry of Athenian democracy to demonstrate how thinkers like Plato saw a creative and permanent entanglement between the idea and practice of conspiracy and the idea and practice of democracy.

White Fright: The Sexual Panic at the Heart of America’s Racist History
Time: Monday, October 23, 2023, 5:00pm CDT
Location: The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality – Community Room (5733 South University Avenue)
Organizers: Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality; Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: UChicago historian Jane Dailey will discuss her research about how resistance to African American rights was motivated not just by a feeling of supremacy, but also by fear of Black sexuality. The conversation will draw from Dailey’s book White Fright, and she will be joined in conversation by UChicago political scientist Linda Zerilli.

Social Sciences Division’s Open House
Time: Wednesday, October 11, 2023, 1:00 – 3:00pm CDT
Location: Social Sciences Quad (alternative rain delay: same day, 5-7 p.m. in Social Sciences 122 and the 1st floor of SSRB).
Description: The Social Sciences Division is hosting a division wide Open House for all majors and minors in the Social Sciences. Come learn about the Minor in Democracy Studies!

The Role of Competing Authorities in Politics and Development
Time: Wednesday, October 4, 2023, 11:45am – 1:00pm CDT
Location: Rosenwald Hall, Room 301 (1115 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637)
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Political scientist Ellen Lust will visit University of Chicago from the University of Gothenburg to discuss her research about how social institutions affect politics and development. While many scholars focus on the role of state institutions in encouraging development, the state is not the only or the primary arena shaping how citizens, service providers and state officials engage in actions that constitute politics and development. These individuals are members of religious orders, ethnic communities, and other groups that make claims on them, creating incentives that shape their actions. Professor Lust will provide a framework for elucidating these forces, in order to design future research and effective programming.

Student Activities and Resource Fair
Time: Friday, September 29, 2023, 3:00 – 5:30pm CDT
Location: Main Quad
Description: Please come visit the Chicago Center on Democracy’s table at the 2023 Student Activities and Resource Fair! During the fair, representatives from several hundred student organizations and University offices welcome students back to campus and help new students begin to make the most of their UChicago experience.

Chicago Center on Democracy Student Advisory Board Meeting
Time: Thursday, September 28, 2023, 5:00pm CDT
Location: Harper 102
Organizers: Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: All UChicago undergraduate students, both new and returning, who are interested in serving on the Chicago Center on Democracy’s Student Advisory Board are invited to share ideas, have dinner, and meet their peers at this gathering.

Academic Opportunities Fair
Time: Wednesday, September 27, 2023, 3:30 – 6:30pm CDT
Location: Harper Quad and Main Quad
Description: Please come visit the Chicago Center on Democracy’s table at the College Kick-Off and the Academic Opportunities Fair! Join Dean Hale and other members of the College administration for a cookout, music, and games to celebrate the beginning of another great academic year. All students, faculty, and staff are invited to join the festivities. Free giveaways will be handed out to the first 500 students, so be sure to arrive early. Please bring your UCID and check in at the registration table.

Undergraduate lunch – Elon Musk and the Uses of Twitter: Free Speech versus Business Strategy
Time: Thursday, May 18, 2023, 12:45 – 2:00pm CDT
Location: Neubauer Collegium, 5701 S. Woodlawn Ave
Organizers: Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy; Neubauer Collegium
Description: Twitter is often described as the “digital town square.” How does that description hold up now that the company is privately owned by Elon Musk? How well can free speech co-exist with profit motives of corporate-controlled platforms? What is the shape of the digital town square today? What alternative platforms might grow over time? David A. Kirsch (University of Maryland, College Park), facilitated the discussion. This was an undergraduate-only conversation, with lunch provided.

Democracy Studies Student Mixer
Time: Wednesday, May 17, 2023, 5:00 – 6:30pm CDT
Location: Social Sciences Tea Room (room 201, Social Sciences Research Building)
Organizers: Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: All University of Chicago students (especially undergrads) interested in democracy were welcome to attend this informal mixer to meet each other, and learn about opportunities, including the Minor in Democracy Studies, Student Advisory Board, and Democracy Core Sequence. Food, beverages, and community provided.

Democratic Backsliding: What are Its Causes? How Much Should We Worry?
Time: Tuesday, May 16, 2023, 5:15 – 6:45pm CDT
Location: Kent Laboratory, Room 107 (1020 E 58th St 1020 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637)
Organizer: Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Two dozen democracies have experienced democratic erosion in the opening decades of the 21st century, with elected leaders undermining their countries’ democratic institutions. What is causing this wave of erosion? Susan Stokes, Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, provided a lecture on this topic, with comments by Demetra Kasimis, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago.

Jamie Martin discusses The Meddlers: Sovereignty, Empire, and the Birth of Global Economic Governance
Time: Monday, May 15, 2023, 5:00 – 6:30pm CDT
Location: Seminary Co-op Bookstore, 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Organizers: Seminary Co-op Bookstore, in partnership with Law, Letters, and Society, and the Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: The Meddlers tells the story of the first international institutions to govern the world economy, including the League of Nations and Bank for International Settlements, created after World War I. These institutions endowed civil servants, bankers, and colonial authorities from Europe and the United States with extraordinary powers: to enforce austerity, coordinate the policies of independent central banks, oversee development programs, and regulate commodity prices. In a highly unequal world, they faced a new political challenge: was it possible to reach into sovereign states and empires to intervene in domestic economic policies without generating a backlash?

Cooperating with the Colossus: A Social and Political History of US Military Bases in World War II Latin America
Time: Tuesday, May 2, 2023, 5:00 – 6:30pm CDT
Location: Social Science Research Building, John Hope Franklin Room (Room 224)
Organizers: Center for Latin American Studies; co-sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Author Rebecca Herman will discuss her book, which reconstructs the U.S. military basing project advanced in Latin America during World War II in Brazil, Cuba, and Panama. Despite widespread acclaim for Pan-American unity, defense construction incited local conflicts. The stakes of these domestic fights included the consecration of social rights, the role of the state in ensuring social welfare, the relationship between race and citizenship, and the propriety of the “modern woman.” The author will be joined in discussion by the University of Chicago Professors James Sparrow and Diana Schwartz-Francisco.

The Democracy Series: A Conversation with Authors Chris Tausanovich and Lynn Vavreck
Time: Wednesday, April 26, 2023, 6:00 – 7:15pm CDT
Location: Seminary Co-op Bookstores, 5751 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
Organizers: Chicago Center for Effective Government, the Chicago Center on Democracy, and Seminary Co-op Bookstores
Description: The University of Chicago Center for Effective Government, the Chicago Center on Democracy, and Seminary Co-op Bookstores presented another installment of ‘The Democracy Series’– a joint initiative of public events featuring dialogue between book authors and experts on issues related to the state of democracy in the U.S. and abroad. Chris Tausanovitch, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Lynn Vavreck, Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics and Public Policy at the University of California Los Angeles, discussed their book The Bitter End: The 2020 Presidential Campaign and the Challenge to American Democracy.

Philanthropy and the Democratic State
Time: Tuesday, April 25, 2023, 5:00 – 6:30pm CDT
Location: Neubauer Collegium, 5701 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
Organizers: Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy, and Neubauer Collegium
Description: A conversation exploring the relationship between philanthropy and the democratic state, analyzed from both a socio-historical and an ethical perspective. What role has philanthropy played in the development of the U.S. state? How have the political uses of philanthropy shaped persisting ideas of nationhood and belonging? Are such uses compatible with basic democratic principles such as the commitment to political and social equality? Should mechanisms of democratic accountability be extended to the practice of philanthropy itself and, if so, how? More generally, how should the relationship between philanthropy and democracy be understood—ethically, historically, and institutionally?

Dine n’ Chat: Chicago Center on Democracy student session
Time: Tuesday, March 28, 2023, 6:00 – 7:30pm CDT
Location: Harper Memorial Library, Room 102 (1116 East 59th Street)
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Join the CCD for dinner and chat with us about what issues of democracy matter to you and what activities you think we need on campus! All UChicago students are welcome.

Towards Democracy: An exhibition tour of “not all realisms”
Time: Monday, March 27, 2023, 5:00 – 6:30pm CDT
Location: Smart Museum of Art, 5550 South Greenwood Avenue Chicago, IL 60637
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy and the Smart Museum of Art
Description: Please join the Smart Museum and the Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy for an exhibit tour, followed by refreshments and a group discussion. The “Not All Realisms: Photography, Africa, and the Long 1960s” exhibit addresses photography in the context of Africa’s long 1960s—amid resistance, revolution, new nationalist and transnational movements, and the stuff of daily life therein. The exhibit focuses on Ghana, Mali, and South Africa, featuring photographic prints, reprints, books, magazines, posters, and other material means through which photography’s relationships to real people and events were articulated, produced, and circulated.

Jobs in Democracy Fields
Time: Tuesday, February 28, 2023, 12:30 – 1:30pm CST
Location: Virtual
Organizer: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: A conversation about career options to support democracy, with Andrew Doty (Consultant, Rebuild Congress Initiative), Hajar Hammado (Policy Advisor, Demand Progress), Will Lutterman (Program Director, Careers in Policy and Social Impact, University of Chicago), and Andrés Marcuse-González (Recruiter, Democracy Fund).

How Democracies Live
Time: Monday, February 27, 2023, 2:30 – 3:45pm CST
Location: Harper Memorial Library, Room 130, 1116 E 59th St, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
Organizer: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: The Chicago Center on Democracy welcomed Stein Ringen (Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Oxford) to campus to discuss a “meditation on what democracy is, the challenges it faces, and how it can be defended.” He was in conversation with Tom Ginsburg (Leo Spitz Distinguished Service Professor of International Law, University of Chicago).

Tour of the Chicago History Museum’s “Facing Freedom” exhibit
Time: Saturday, February 18, 2023, 10:15am – 12:45pm CST
Location: Chicago History Museum, 1601 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60614 (shuttle will be provided from campus)
Organizer: Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: The Democracy Curriculum organized a guided tour of the Facing Freedom in America exhibit at the Chicago History Museum, led by the museum’s Chief Historian, Peter Alter, who is also the co-curator of this exhibit.

Democratic Art: New Deal Art as Prototype and Problem
Time: Thursday, February 16, 2023, 4:00 – 5:30pm CST
Location: Harold Leonard Stuart Hall (room 102), 5835 South Greenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637
Organizer: Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy; Department of History
Description: What role can (and should) art play in contemporary society? What exactly is the relationship between “art and the state?” Join the Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy and the University of Chicago’s Department of History in a conversation with Dr. Sharon Ann Musher, Associate Professor of History at Stockton University, to discuss her book Democratic Art. In her book, Dr. Musher draws on close readings of New Deal government-funded architecture, murals, photographs, and other art to determine the role that art played during the New Deal era. She then utilizes this in-depth historical analysis to examine how art can play a powerful role in contemporary society. Dr. Musher will be joined in conversation by Professors Alice Goff and Jim Sparrow.

Democratic Backsliding in Latin America
Time
: Friday, February 10, 2023, 12:00 – 1:00pm CST
Location: Virtual
Organizers: Yale MacMillan Center Council on Latin American & Iberian Studies; Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: This virtual panel discussion, moderated by Yale Professor of Political Science Isabela Mares, discussed the backsliding in Latin America, covering the ongoing political situation in Peru and the riots in Brazil’s capital earlier in the month, ultimately providing an analysis of the current state of democracy in Latin America.

Revolution: What is it and why does it happen?
Time
: Thursday, February 9, 2023, 5:15 – 6:45pm CST
Location: Kent 120 (1020 E 58th St)
Organizers: The College, Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: An in-person event exploring the question: What are revolutions and why do they happen? Lecture by Steve Pincus (History, UChicago), with comments by Lis Clemens (Sociology, UChicago) and Jim Sparrow (History, UChicago), and public conversation.

Guided tour of historical documents at the David Rubenstein Forum
Time: Monday, January 30, 2023, 5:00 – 6:00pm CST
Location: David Rubenstein Forum at the University of Chicago 1201 East 60th Street Chicago, IL 60637
Organizer: Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Democracy Curriculum organized a guided tour for UChicago students of the Art at the David Rubenstein Forum program. This exhibit features documents like an early facsimile of the Declaration, one of the first newspaper printings of the Constitution, and the first official state department printing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Crucible of German Democracy: Ernst Troeltsch and the First World War
Time
: Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 4:30 – 6:00pm CST
Location: Social Sciences Research Building, room 201 (Tea Room)
Organizers: Transnational Approaches to Modern Europe Workshop; Law, Letters, and Society; and the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Robert E. Norton, author of the first comprehensive study of Ernst Troeltsch, visited UChicago to discuss Troeltsch’s activities during the First World War. Troeltsch was one of the most famous figures of his day: a renowned historian, philosopher, sociologist, and theologian. Drinks and light refreshments will be provided. No registration necessary.

Intro to Democracy Careers
Time
: Tuesday, January 17, 2023, 1:00 – 2:00pm CST
Location: Ida Noyes Hall, West Lounge
Organizers: Fried Public Policy and Service Program; Democracy Curriculum program at the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Interested in a career focused on protecting democratic institutions and furthering the conversation on democracy? Join us for a workshop to not only learn about ‘what a democracy career means’, but to hear about tangible career paths, internship opportunities, chances to get involved with research, and what are realistic next steps and expectations.

American Democracy and the 2022 Midterms
Time
: Monday, December 5, 2022, 12:00 – 1:00pm CST
Location: Virtual
Organizers: Democracy Center at the University of Rochester; Bright Line Watch (multi-university initiative housed at the Chicago Center on Democracy); Democratic Erosion Consortium
Description: With unprecedented legal investigations focused on former president Trump and some of his supporters, widespread concerns about the willingness of candidates to concede election losses and ongoing threats of political violence, the fall of 2022 is a pivotal moment for American Democracy. Join expert panelists from Bright Line Watch and the Democratic Erosion Consortium to learn about findings from the October and November 2022 waves of the Bright Line Watch expert surveys and discuss their implications for American Democracy.

Watch the recording: Foreign Aid and Democracy
Time
: Friday, December 2, 2022, 11:30am – 12:30pm CST
Location: Virtual
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: The Chicago Center on Democracy virtually welcomed Bann-Seng Tan from Ashoka University to discuss the link between foreign aid and the promotion of democracy. He was joined in conversation with Bruce Bueno de Mesquita from NYU.

Opening the People’s Eyes (At Least Partially): Machiavelli on Civic versus Princely Leadership
Time
: Tuesday, November 29, 2022, 5:00 – 6:30pm CST
Location: Kent 107 (1020 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637)
Organizers: The College, Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: An in-person conversation that examined two of Machiavelli’s works to shed light on today’s populist vs. democratic worldviews.

The Future of Democracy in Brazil, with Dilma Rousseff, Former President of Brazil
Time
: Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 5:30 – 6:45pm CST
Location: International House
Organizers: Center for Latin American Studies, Institute of Politics, UChicago Global, with co-sponsorship by the Chicago Center on Democracy and International House
Description: Polarized as never before, Brazil has just completed a historic presidential election, one of the most consequential in its history. Former President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, joined us for a conversation about the future of democracy in the country.

Brazil at the Crossroads: The Stakes for Democracy
Time
: Thursday, October 20, 2022, 6:00 – 7:30pm CDT
Location: Saieh Hall For Economics (5757 South University Avenue), Classroom 203
Organizers: Center for Latin American Studies, with co-sponsorship by the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: An in-person conversation with Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Luís Roberto Barroso about the challenges the presidential elections pose to the country’s democracy.

Watch the recording: Roundtable 3 of 3: Referendums and Initiatives in Latin America – Spotlight on Rules and Institutions
Time
: Friday, June 3, 2022, 9:00 – 10:30am CDT
Location: Virtual
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, with Laura Escuder and Yanina Welp, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.
Description: This is the final conversation in a series of three during spring 2022 focusing on referendums and initiatives in Latin America. During this conversation, we will explore why protests are common in Latin America, while referendums and initiatives are underutilized. We  heard views from officials with direct experience of referendums and initiatives in the region.

The Democracy Series: A Conversation with Authors E.J. Dionne, Jr. and Miles Rapoport
Time:
Wednesday, May 25, 2022, 6:00 – 7:00pm CDT
Location
: Keller Center Sky Suite and livestreamed virtually
Organizers: Center for Effective Government, Chicago Center on Democracy, and Seminary Co-op Bookstores
Description: E.J. Dionne, Jr., a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a professor at Georgetown University, and Miles Rapoport, the Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School, discussed their book, 100% Democracy: The Case for Universal Voting.

New Democracy: The Creation of the Modern American State
Time:
Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 5:00 – 6:30pm CDT (reception 5:00-5:30pm, discussion 5:30-6:30pm)
Location
: Virtual and in-person (750 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL)
Organizers: American Bar Foundation, co-sponsored by the Democracy Curriculum at the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: In the period between the Civil War and the New Deal, American governance was transformed, with momentous implications for social and economic life. A series of legal reforms gradually brought an end to nineteenth-century traditions of local self-government and associative citizenship, replacing them with positive statecraft: governmental activism intended to change how Americans lived and worked through legislation, regulation, and public administration. William J. Novak shows how Americans translated new conceptions of citizenship, social welfare, and economic democracy into demands for law and policy that delivered public services and vindicated people’s rights.

Watch the recording: Roundtable 2 of 3: Referendums and Initiatives in Latin America – Spotlight on Civil Society
Time:
Thursday, May 19, 2022, 9:00 – 10:30am CDT
Location
: Virtual
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, with Laura Escuder and Yanina Welp, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.
Description: This is the second in a series of three conversations during spring 2022 focusing on referendums and initiatives in Latin America. Across the region, protests are common, while other mechanisms for citizens to express their political voice—namely referendums and initiatives—are underutilized or used as an executive weapon. Is this due to a lack of knowledge, a lack of organizational capacity, or other reasons? During this second event, we discussed the difficulties of implementing direct democracy mechanisms in Latin America, with a particular focus on the current constitutional discussion in Chile.

Environment and Democracy in Brazil
Time:
Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 12:30 – 2:00pm CDT
Location
: Virtual
Organizers: Part of the Outlook on Brazilian Democracy series, organized by the Center for Latin American Studies, and co-sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Jair Bolsonaro has been called an “environmental villain” and “the world’s most dangerous climate denier.” However, the disasters of his presidency and the threats it poses must be situated in a longer history of energy infrastructures, land management, and environmental legislation in Brazil. This panel brought together specialists in hydropower, biofuel, agribusiness, and environmental protection to discuss the past, present, and future of the Brazilian state and Brazilian democracy in their relation to the environment.

The Democracy Series: A Conversation with Author Yascha Mounk
Time:
Monday, May 16, 2022, 7:00 – 8:00pm CDT
Location
: Virtual
Organizers: Center for Effective Government, Chicago Center on Democracy, and Seminary Co-op Bookstores
Description: Yascha Mounk, SNF Angora Senior Fellow and Associate Professor of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins University, discussed his book The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart And How They Can Endure.

Watch the recording: The Democracy Series: A Conversation with Author Moisés Naím
Time:
Monday, April 25, 2022, 5:30 – 6:30pm CDT
Location
: Virtual
Organizers: Center for Effective Government, Chicago Center on Democracy, and Seminary Co-op Bookstores
Description: Moisés Naím discusses his book The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century, in conversation with Sue Stokes.

Watch the recording: Referendums and Initiatives in Latin America
Time:
Monday, April 25, 2022, 9:00 – 10:30am CDT
Location
: Virtual
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, with Laura Escuder and Yanina Welp, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.
Description: Across Latin America, protests are common, while other mechanisms for citizens to express their political voice—namely referendums and initiatives—are underutilized or used as an executive weapon. Is this due to a lack of knowledge, a lack of organizational capacity, or other reasons?

Democratic Participation and Social Movements in Brazil
Time:
Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 12:30 – 1:30pm CDT
Location
: Virtual
Organizers: Part of the Outlook on Brazilian Democracy series, organized by the Center for Latin American Studies, and co-sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: A discussion on contemporary social movements, plural demands, and democratic politics in Brazil and beyond. We brought together scholars focused on gender equality and reproductive rights, self-housing and urban mobility, conservative and authoritarian trends in social movements, and international networks of organized social action.

The Democracy Series: A Conversation with Author Deva Woodly
Time:
Monday, April 18, 2022, 6:00 – 7:00pm CDT
Location
: Virtual
Organizers: Center for Effective Government, Chicago Center on Democracy, and Seminary Co-op Bookstores
Description: We virtually welcomed Deva Woodly from the New School for Social Research to discuss her book Reckoning: Black Lives Matter and the Democratic Necessity of Social Movements.

The Democracy Series: A Conversation with Authors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
Time:
Thursday, January 20, 2022, 6:00 – 7:00pm CST
Location
: Virtual
Organizers: Center for Effective Government, Chicago Center on Democracy, and Seminary Co-op Bookstores
Description: Authors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt joined us to discuss their book How Democracies Die.

Fair Elections in the Age of Fake News: Lessons from Brazil
Time: Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 12:30 – 2:00pm CST
Location: Virtual
Organizer: Center for Latin American Studies, co-sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Brazil’s Electoral and Supreme Courts have played critical roles in ensuring the integrity of its elections and pushing back on organized disinformation campaigns. Supreme Court Minister Barroso shared his experiences and insights, discussing the implications for democratic resilience in conversation with a stellar panel of UChicago faculty.

The Democracy Series: A Conversation with Authors Alexander Bolton and Sharece Thrower
Time:
Tuesday, December 14, 2021. 6:00 – 7:00pm CST
Location
: Virtual
Organizer: Center for Effective Government, Chicago Center on Democracy, and Seminary Co-op Bookstores
Description: Join authors Alexander Bolton and Sharece Thrower as they discuss their book Checks in the Balance: Legislative Capacity and the Dynamics of Executive Power in the third installment of ‘The Democracy Series.’

Watch the recording: Democracies and International Law
Time:
Thursday, December 9, 2021. 11:00am – 12:30pm CST (12:00pm – 1:30pm EST)
Location
: Virtual
Organizers: Democratic Erosion consortium and the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: How can international law strengthen democracy in a time of rising authoritarianism? Tom Ginsburg, author of the new book Democracies and International Law, discusses this question with a set of esteemed panelists.

Film Screening: What is Democracy?
Time:
Monday, November 15, 2021. 5:45pm CST
Location
: Ida Noyes Cinema
Organizer: Democracy Curriculum program at the Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: An indoor screening of the film “What is Democracy?” This event is connected to the “Democracy’s Life and Death” course, but is open to all other invitees who are compliant with UChicago vaccination and mask requirements.

The Democracy Series: A Conversation with Author Spencer Ackerman
Time:
Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 6:00-7:00pm CDT
Location
: Virtual
Organizers: Center for Effective Government, Chicago Center on Democracy, and Seminary Co-op Bookstores
Description: Join the University of Chicago Center for Effective Government, the Chicago Center on Democracy, and Seminary Co-op Bookstores for the second installment of ‘The Democracy Series,’ a joint initiative of public events featuring dialogue between book authors and experts on issues related to the state of democracy in the U.S. and abroad. National security reporter and editor Spencer Ackerman will discuss his book Reign Of Terror: How The 9/11 Era Destabilized America And Produced Trump.

Bureaucratic Resistance to Global Autocratic Ambitions
Time: Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 9:00am-12:00pm CDT
Location: Virtual
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy and Center for Effective Government
Description: Please join us for a set of virtual panel discussions with scholars and practitioners about the prospects of bureaucratic resistance to populism across the globe.

The Democracy Series: A Conversation with Author David Stasavage
Time:
Thursday, October 14, 2021, 4:30-5:30pm CDT
Location
: Virtual, with a small in-person audience
Organizers: Center for Effective Government, Chicago Center on Democracy, and Seminary Co-op Bookstores
Description: This event marked the launch of ‘The Democracy Series,’ a joint initiative of public events featuring dialogue between book authors and experts on issues related to the state democracy in the U.S. and abroad. David Stasavage, Dean of NYU Social Sciences, will discuss his book, “The Decline and Rise of Democracy: A Global History from Antiquity to Today.”

Watch the recording: Bureaucratic Resistance to Autocratic Ambitions
May 26th, 2021
Organizers: UChicago Center for Effective Government, Chicago Center on Democracy, and Democracy Fund
Description: A panel discussion with scholars and practitioners about the prospects of bureaucratic resistance to populism in the United States.

Watch the recording: Democratic Erosion and Academic Freedom: Hungary, India, Turkey, and Beyond
May 13th, 2021
Organizers: Graduate students at University of Chicago Political Science department (co-sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy)
Description: A discussion of recent attacks on academic freedom in Hungary, India, Turkey, and elsewhere

The Great Mediation: Perspectives on Politics and the New Media
Watch keynote 1: Francesca Polletta, Professor of Sociology at UCI, “Intimacy and Conspiracy: Social Imaginaries in Digitally-Mediated Right-Wing Populism
Watch keynote 2: Chris Bail, Professor of Sociology, Public Policy, and Data Science at Duke University, “Breaking the Social Media Prism: How to Make our Platforms Less Polarizing
May 6th and 7th, 2021
Organizer: University of Chicago Department of Sociology (co-sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy)
Description: Recent populist movements have heavily relied on online mobilization. While there is a consensus that the new media environment is implicated in their success, theories and especially empirical research into the connections between populism, political affiliation and digital mediation often remain astoundingly superficial. In what ways is the media environment of the 21st century recasting the political? UChicago’s Sociology Graduate Student Virtual Conference will consider this question, among others around the topic of politics and the new media.

Watch the recording: Free Expression on Campus
April 27th, 2021, 12:45 – 2:00pm CDT
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse
Description: A high-level discussion about how to build space for inclusive and productive campus discourse.

Watch the recording: The Venezuelan Crisis: Economy, Democracy, and Geopolitics
April 9th, 2021, 10:45am – 12:00pm CDT
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, Center for Latin American Studies
Description: This panel of Venezuela experts will explore topics such as: Why has the country suffered the largest economic decline on record? Was the economic collapse a result of the democratic erosion, or independent of it? Why did the democratic decline start in economic boom times and accelerate during the bust? How does Venezuela’s democratic erosion compare to that of other countries?

Watch the recording: What Does a Democratic Public Sphere Look Like?
March 5th, 2021. 12:30 – 1:50pm CST
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse
Description: A conversation about concrete and theoretical questions around what a democratic public sphere looks like, such as: Should Twitter have banned Trump? How do we weigh the problems with media platforms against their positive impact in expanding opportunities for free expression? What is the role of government in regulating issues of free expression?

Eighteenth South Asia Graduate Student Conference
March 4th to 6th, 2021. 08:30am – 1:30pm CST
Online – More info here
Organizer: Student-organized (co-sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy)
Description: Between Comparison and Context: Global and Local Movements in South Asia.

Watch the recording: Looking back on the Trump era: How did democracy fare?
February 18th, 2021. 3:30 – 4:30pm CST
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy; Center for Effective Government
Description: A conversation about what we have learned over the past four years about the strength of democracy. How close were we to a collapse of U.S. democracy? And why were the outcomes not worse than they were? Which institutions and actors served as guardrails?

Election 2020 Teach-in, 3 of 3: Beyond the Electoral Moment
Friday, January 15, 2021. 12:00pm CDT
Online – Register here
Organizer: Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy, among others)
Description: This panel will return us “full circle” to our opening panel. With some sense of the political landscape in the United States going forward, we ask what next?

What Is Happening in Belarus?
Saturday, November 21, 2020. 12:00pm CDT
Online – More info here, and register here
Organizers: Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies (co-sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy)
Description: A round table discussion about protests and political events in Belarus, featuring human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, political scientist Michael McFaul, historian David Marples, comparative literature professor Olga V. Solovieva, and community organizer Zhanna Charniauskaya.

Fair and Free? The U.S. Election & Transfer of Power
Thursday, November 12, 2020. 12:30 – 1:30pm CDT
Online – Register here
Organizers: Project on Political Reform (Harris School), Chicago Center on Democracy
Description: Democracy in the United States of America is in the midst of an existential crisis. How can it recover? And what role can University of Chicago students play? Fresh off the heels of the the Bright Line Watch report “American Democracy on the Eve of the 2020 Election,” the Chicago Center on Democracy partners with Harris School of Public Policy’s Project on Political Reform (PPR) for a student Q&A. Faculty Chair of the Chicago Center on Democracy, Professor Susan Stokes, will answer student questions relating to the election process, risks to American democracy, opportunities to resist a plunge into authoritarianism, and lessons countries around the world can take from this fraught moment.

13th Annual University of Chicago International Education Conference: “The ‘Urban Revolution’ in Today’s Belarus and Why Women are Leading”
Monday, November 9, 2020. 6:00 – 7:15pm CDT
Online – Register here
Organizers: Center for East Asian Studies, Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies, Center for Middle Eastern Studies (co-sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy)
Description: Keynote: On August 9, 2020, Belarus, a post-socialist nation of nine and a half million, held presidential elections. After polling stations had closed, and Alexander Lukashenko, the president for the last twenty-six years, announced his victory with 80% of votes, people took to the streets. They have been protesting ever since, despite beatings by riot police, arrests, and even torture, demanding fair elections and the release of all political prisoners. The Belarusian revolution, as it is now called, became associated with the image of three women – a presidential candidate and two leaders of her team – raising their hands in the gesture of protest and solidarity. Elena Gapova will narrate the story of women emerging as the leaders of the Revolution as its most active and strong-willed participants.

13th Annual University of Chicago International Education Conference: Conference Keynote and Educator Workshop
Friday, November 6, 2020. 9:00am – 1:30pm CDT
Organizers: Center for East Asian Studies, Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies, Center for Middle Eastern Studies (co-sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy)
Description: Keynote: “Networked Protests and Democracy in the 21st Century” with Zeynep Tufekci (Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Educator Workshop: “Artistic Activism” Workshop with Stephen Duncombe (Professor, New York University)

Democracy in Crisis: Lessons from Ancient Athens
Friday, October 30, 2020. 6:30 – 8:00pm CDT
Organizers: Classics of Social and Political Thought core sequence; Democracy Curriculum (an initiative hosted by the Chicago Center on Democracy)
Description: Observers of ancient Athens considered democracy to be a precarious form of government and way of life. Plato, Aristotle and Thucydides knew that democracy was imperiled or undermined by economic disparity, plots to overthrow the government, institutional corruption, and rampant suspicion. Join Demetra Kasimis, Matthew Landauer, John McCormick, and James Sparrow as they discuss the enduringly relevant insights that classical Greek thinkers have to offer us in these deeply disorienting times.

13th Annual University of Chicago International Education Conference: “Social Protests, Democracy and Authoritarianism in the Middle East: A Framework for Understanding”
Monday, October 26, 2020. 6:00 – 7:15pm CDT
Online – Register here
Organizers: Center for East Asian Studies, Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies, Center for Middle Eastern Studies (co-sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy)
Description: The Middle East seems to be perpetually in turmoil. This region is broadly identified in the American imagination with dictators, wars, the oppression of women, extremist movements and failed states. Are these problems the result internal cultural/religious factors or are the problems of Middle East attributable to external factors connected to foreign intervention and exploitation? How can educators begin to address this topic dispassionately, objectively and honestly? What is the best pedagogical approach to adopt when teaching this emotionally charged and controversial subject?

Election 2020 Teach-in, 2 of 3: Electoral Politics and Representative Governance
Friday, October 23, 2020. 12:00pm CDT
Organizer: Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy, among others)
Description: In this second teach-in, we considered relationships between elections, institutions and policy.

13th Annual University of Chicago International Education Conference: “How Beijing has Killed Hong Kong’s Freedom and Democracy and Why American Students Should Care”
Thursday, October 22, 2020. 6:00 – 7:15pm CDT
Organizers: Center for East Asian Studies, Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies, Center for Middle Eastern Studies (co-sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy)
Description: Professor Victoria Hui will narrate Hong Kong’s struggle for freedom and democracy through two protest slogans: from “Today’s Tiananmen, Tomorrow’s Hong Kong” in 1989 to “Today’s Tibet/Xinjiang, Tomorrow’s Hong Kong” in 2020.

Watch the recording: Chile’s New Constitution and Mechanisms of Direct Democracy
Wednesday, October 14, 2020. 9:00am CDT
Organizers: Centro de Estudios Públicos (Chile), Chicago Center on Democracy, Center for Latin American Studies
Description: Mechanisms of direct democracy, such as referendums, may be an option to improve the quality of democracy. Chile’s population will vote on October 25th in a referendum to decide on whether to draft a new constitution. Two leading experts on referendums—Susan Stokes (UChicago) and David Altman (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)—discussed the Chilean referendum in the global context of how instances of direct democracy can be used and mis-used. Note: this discussion was mostly in Spanish.

Election 2020 Teach-in, 1 of 3: Popular Mobilization and Electoral Politics
Friday, October 9, 2020. 12:00pm CDT
Organizer: Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (sponsored by the Chicago Center on Democracy, among others)
Description: This panel takes a comparative and historically informed approach to the question of the relationship between protest politics and elections.

Watch the recording: The Importance of Election Integrity for Democracy
Thursday, September 24, 2020. 12:30 – 1:30pm CDT
Organizers: Cyber Policy Initiative (Harris Public Policy School), Chicago Center on Democracy

Watch the recording: Presidents, Populism, and the Crisis of Democracy
Wednesday, September 16, 2020. 12:00 – 1:00pm CDT
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, Center for Effective Government (Harris Public Policy School)

Watch the recording: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy
Monday, August 17, 2020. 11:30am – 12:30pm CDT
Organizer: Chicago Center on Democracy

Watch the recording: Preserving Democracy during the Pandemic
Friday, April 17, 2020. 11:00am – 12:15pm CDT
Organizer: Chicago Center on Democracy

Lost Illusions: Democracy, Socialism, and Bankruptcy in Latin America
Monday, March 9, 2020. 5:00 – 7:00pm CDT
Classics 110 (1010 East 59th Street)
Organizers: Center for Latin American Studies, Chicago Center on Democracy

Working-Class Legislators and Perceptions of Representation in Latin America
Wednesday, March 4, 2020. 12:00 – 1:20pm CDT
Foster Hall 107 (1130 E 59th St.)
Organizers: Comparative Politics Workshop, Chicago Center on Democracy

Clientelism and the Political Behavior of Slum Dwellers
Monday, February 17, 2020. 12:00 – 1:20pm CDT
Foster Hall, room 103 (1030 E 59th St)
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, Center for Latin American Studies

The Partisan Origins of Democracy in Latin America
Monday, December 2, 2019. 12:00 – 1:20pm CDT
Foster Hall, room 103 (1030 E 59th St)
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, Center for Latin American Studies

Watch the recording: A Comparative Perspective on Impeachment
Friday, November 22, 2019. 2:30 – 3:30pm CDT
Social Sciences Tea Room (1126 E. 59th Street, Room 201)
Organizer: Chicago Center on Democracy

Watch the recording: Is Democracy in Crisis? An Interview with Adam Przeworski
Tuesday, November 5, 2019. 3:30 – 4:30pm CDT
Michelson Center for Physics, Room 201 (933 East 56th Street)
Organizer: Chicago Center on Democracy

Watch the recording: How Democracies Die: An Interview with Steven Levitsky
Monday, June 3, 2019. 1:15 – 2:00pm CDT
Social Sciences Tea Room
Organizer: Chicago Center on Democracy

Hungary’s Ordonationalism and the Re-Articulation of Neoliberalism
Monday, May 20, 2019. 4:00 – 5:00pm CDT
Wilder House
Organizers: Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, Chicago Center on Democracy

A Conversation about Academic Publishing
Wednesday, May 8, 2019. 2:00 – 3:00pm CDT
Pick Hall lounge
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, Department of Political Science

Lunch and lecture: Reflections on Putin and the Media
Friday, May 3, 2019. 12:30 – 1:30pm
Pick Hall, room 506
Organizer: Chicago Center on Democracy

Lunch and lecture: Trumpism and American Democracy
Wednesday, April 10, 2019. 12:30 – 1:30pm
Social Sciences Tea Room
Organizer: Chicago Center on Democracy

Book launch: “Why Bother? Rethinking Participation in Elections and Protests”
Wednesday, April 3, 2019. 6:00 – 7:00pm
57th Street Books
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, 57th Street Books

Comparative Politics Workshop: Selim Erdem Aytaç
Wednesday, April 3, 2019. 12:00 – 1:20pm
Social Sciences Tea Room
Organizers: Comparative Politics Workshop, Chicago Center on Democracy

Watch the recording: Democracy and Money: An evening to discuss campaign finance reform
Tuesday, March 5, 2019. 4:45 – 7:45pm
Ida Noyes Hall – Library and Lounge
Organizers: Chicago Center on Democracy, Paul Douglas Institute, Reform for Illinois

Comparative Politics Workshop: Guadalupe Tuñón
Tuesday, March 5, 2019. 12:30 – 1:50pm
Pick Hall, Room 506
Organizers: Comparative Politics Workshop, Chicago Center on Democracy

Contemporary State-building through Democratization Processes
Monday, February 25, 2019. 4:00pm
Keller Center, Room 1022
Organizers: Colombians at UChicago, Chicago Center on Democracy

Welcome Reception for the Chicago Center on Democracy’s Graduate Student Affiliates Network
Monday, December 3, 2018. 5:00 – 6:30pm
Social Sciences Tea Room
Organizer: Chicago Center on Democracy

Lecture: Venezuela at a Critical Juncture: Challenges from Within and Without
Monday, November 12, 2018. 12:00 – 1:20pm
Foster 103 (1130 E 59th St)
Organizers: Center for Latin American Studies; Chicago Center on Democracy

Panel Discussion: The Outlook for Democracy in Brazil
Thursday, October 25. 5:00 – 6:30pm
Social Science Research Building, Room 122
Organizers: Center for Latin American Studies, Chicago Center on Democracy, Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, Program on Political Violence at CPOST

Reception and Discussion: Populism and the Erosion of Democracy
Thursday, October 18. 5:30 – 7:00pm
Social Sciences Tea Room
Organizer: Chicago Center on Democracy