Speakers Bureau Partners with the American Independence Museum for Spring Lecture Series
By Nora Molloy, Speakers Bureau
February 20, 2008
Continuing the university’s mission to share our spirit of discovery,
the Speakers Bureau is pleased to be partnering with the American Independence
Museum in Exeter for their spring lecture series on March 12, 19 and 26.
“I know no way of judging of the future but by the past.” stated
Patrick Henry of Virginia in 1775. Henry’s words ring true more than
200 years later. The men behind the American Revolution knew they were entering
unknown territory when they declared freedom from Great Britain. But their
values are still cherished today, values considered traditionally “American” – greater
opportunity, freedom from monarchy, and success based upon merit, not social
Democracy is a term familiar to most, but it is a concept still evolving in
America and around the world. This free lecture series will examine the idea
of democracy and how it has changed within our government and our society.
Three distinguished UNH faculty will be taking part in the lectures. Eliga
Gould, associate professor of history, will open the three-week series on March
12 with a presentation on the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Taking place
in Philadelphia, the convention was designed to address problems in the United
States of America following independence from Great Britain.
Gould has written several award winning books and articles covering the history
of revolutionary America, British Atlantic and imperial history, and Early
American History to 1877. He is currently finishing a book on the American
Revolution and the legal geography of the Atlantic world (under contract with
Harvard University Press).
On March 19, assistant professor of classics R. Scott Smith will present “What
is Democracy and is it ‘The One’?” This presentation is based
on a white paper originally written by Smith for the Discovery Dialogs Program
at UNH. In it, Smith asks “Why do we naturally assume that democracy
is the best form of government for everyone (including ourselves), and what
exactly do we mean by “democracy” anyway?”
Using comparisons of ancient Greece and modern Iraq, Smith discusses how democracy
is not the only ingredient for prosperity, nor is it the only form of government
that can lead to equality and freedom—those values we treasure so much
in our own country.
Smith is a 2005 recipient of the UNH Faculty Excellence Award.
Concluding the series, assistant professor of communications Jennifer Borda
will present “The Rhetorical Presidency” on March 26. The term ‘rhetorical
presidency’ is borrowed from Jeffrey Tulis’s book of the same name,
in which he argues that the role of the presidency has changed dramatically
in the last 100 years with the president’s role now very rhetorical and
closely connected to the people.
Appropriate in this year of presidential elections, Borda will discuss how
presidents’ words and ideas have the ability to motivate people to action;
to provide a rationale and justification for political decisions; to foster
communities within the U.S. and the world; and to ethically set a moral tone
for who we are as a nation.
Each of these events will take place in the Folsom Tavern assembly room at
the American Independence Museum, One Governor’s Lane, in Exeter. The
museum features stories of the brave men and women who overcame their uncertainties
about freedom from Great Britain and established our country. The Folsom Tavern,
built c. 1775 by local entrepreneur Colonel Samuel Folsom, was the center of
Exeter’s political scene during the Revolution.
All events in this series are free and open to the public. For more information,
contact museum program coordinator Elizabeth Pappas at (603) 772-2622, or visit
the museum website.