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Nationalist Fervor on the Rise in the U.S. and Europe


Nationalist Fervor on the Rise in the U.S. and Europe

Presented in partnership with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Furman

Thursdays: August 29 and September 5 and September 12, 2019
Shaw Hall, Younts Conference Center (8/29 & 9/5) and McAlister Auditorium (9/12)
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Registration is open, click here, or call 864-294-2998. 
$35 for the series ($25 for OLLI members) I $15 per session ($10 for OLLI members)

We are experiencing a nationalist fervor that is energizing to some but alarming to others. The rise in the U.S. and Europe of populist nationalism is considered by many to be the single-most important political development of the 21st century. The election of Donald Trump, who was sent to the White House on a wave of right-wing populism, England’s Brexit movement, and the rise of the far-right in many European elections point to a phenomenon that is unmistakably tied to white identity, immigration, and demographic change.

Over three weekly sessions, we will look at the rise in nationalist fervor from three distinct points of focus. On August 29, we’ll examine nationalism’s connection to populism and authoritarianism and how this influences our politics and our democracy. On September 5, we will consider how white group identity and changing demographics are having an impact on our politics and our public discourse. Finally, on September 12, we will shift our focus to white nationalism as we hear one man’s journey from heir apparent in the white nationalist movement to critic of the movement’s toxic ideology, false narrative and racist views.

Are we witnessing a moment in time that soon will pass, or are we at the beginning of a new era? Join us as we delve into this topic which greatly affects us as a nation and as individuals.

To view all biographies, click here.

Session 1 I August 29 in Shaw Hall, Younts Conference Center

Nationalist Fervor, Authoritarian Rule, and the Future of Democracy

Nationalism comes in various forms, and when it embraces authoritarianism, it can have a negative impact on a democracy.  Are Western democracies strong enough to withstand the force of a nationalist fervor that seeks authoritarian rule as an answer to the many problems that exist without easy solutions?

“The Rise of Radical Politics: What Does It Mean and Why Now?”

Bart Bonikowski, Ph.D., (bio) cultural and political sociologist who focuses on the political implications of nationalist beliefs

Chris Ballard, U.S. Army ret., (bio) career military intelligence officer


Session 2 I September 5 in Shaw Hall, Younts Conference Center

Culture Wars: Multiculturalism and the Future of White Identity

People who identify strongly with their whiteness can feel threatened by shifting majorities. Should conservatives be able to express a sense of loss without being labeled as racists?   How is demographic change transforming Western politics? How should we think about the future of white majorities and the future of minorities?

Eric Kaufmann, Ph.D., (bio) author of Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities 

Ashley Jardina, Ph.D., (bio) author of White Identity Politics

Khalilah Brown-Dean, Ph.D., (bio) author of forthcoming Identity Politics in the United States

Session 3 I September 12 in McAlister Auditorium

Blood and Soil: When Nationalist Fervor is Racism

“Why I Left the White Nationalist Movement”

Derek Black, (bio) the godson of David Duke and former heir apparent to the white nationalist movement, will share his story of transformation from leader in the white nationalist movement to outspoken critic of the movement.

Sarah McCammon, (bio) NPR national correspondent

Recommended reading: Rising out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist by Eli Saslow