Democracy Days

Schedule of Events

Sept. 15-18, 2014

U.S. flags along border of sidewalk

St. Charles Community College's 14th annual forum known as Democracy Days will explore timely issues in America. Held annually around Constitution Day, the forum's mission is to explore the history, health and functioning of democracy in America and abroad.

The Democracy Days forum is free and open to the public. All events are located in the Daniel J. Conoyer Social Sciences Building (SSB) auditorium.

"The OTHER Trail of Tears"

Noon Sept. 15, 2014
SSB Auditorium

You've heard of the Cherokee Trail of Tears, and you may have grown up hearing stories of your family's Native American heritage, but have you heard of the OTHER Trail of Tears?

Jayme Blandford, assistant professor of English, will explore the experience of more than ten tribes that were forcibly removed from the East Coast to the Ohio River valley and all the way through the St. Louis region and our own back yard before being settled in present day Oklahoma.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 15-18.

Contact Information:

Jayme Blandford
jblandford@stchas.edu
636-922-8407

"12 Years a Slave," Film

6:30 p.m. Sept. 15, 2014
SSB Auditorium

Based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the 12th year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) will forever alter his life (as published on www.imdb.com).

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 15-18.

Contact Information:

Grace Moser
gmoser@stchas.edu
636-922-8522

"Pot in Missouri?"

10 a.m. Sept. 16, 2014
SSB Auditorium

Paul Roesler, professor of political science, will discuss the trend towards legalization around the U.S. He will explore the impact of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington and the prospects of legalizing it in Missouri.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 15-18.

Contact Information:

Paul Roesler
proesler@stchas.edu
636-922-8265

"Discussing Slavery in America: Interdisciplinary Analysis of 12 Years a Slave"

11:30 a.m. Sept. 16, 2014
SSB Auditorium

An interdisciplinary panel discussion about the recent film 12 Years a Slave and the impact of slavery on America.  Multiple perspectives will be presented, including history, political science, sociology and more.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 15-18.

Contact Information:

Grace Moser
gmoser@stchas.edu
636-922-8256

"Fracking and Democracy"

1 p.m. Sept. 16, 2014
SSB Auditorium

Hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") is a method of gas and oil extraction which has raised serious concerns about damage to the environment and about the power of corporations in American life.

Michael Kuelker, professor of English, looks in particular at how fracking is covered by American news media.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 15-18.

Contact Information:

Michael Kuelker
mkuelker@stchas.edu
636-922-8256

"Propaganda in American Film"

2:30 p.m. Sept. 16, 2014
SSB Auditiorium

Propaganda is used to present a one-sided explanation of events and encourage a person to adopt a certain political position.  Despite the term's negative connotation, propaganda has been used by virtually every political movement in U.S. history.  

This presentation will explore the use of propaganda in American film from Birth of a Nation to Atlas Shrugged. The presentation will also address how to identify propaganda, and its positive and negative effects.  

Gabe Harper, adjunct faculty in history, will lead the discussion.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 15-18.

Contact Information:

Gabe Harper
gharper@stchas.edu
636-922-8398

"Uncovering James Madison's Notes"

10 a.m. Sept. 17, 2014
SSB Auditorium

Randy Beck, adjunct faculty in history, delves into the summer of 1787, when delegates from 12 states met in Philadelphia to discuss, debate and finally compromise on their personal and political opinions to create the United States Constitution. Although the proceedings were kept secret from the American public, Virginia delegate James Madison recorded in detail the daily events of the convention.

What were the Founding Fathers' thoughts on government, the American people, religion, slavery, representation in the legislative branch, and what was proposed, argued and voted on by the delegates that only James Madison recorded in his Notes of the Convention? 

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 15-18

Contact Information:

Randall Beck
rbeck@stchas.edu
636-922-8398

"Dollars and Democracy: How Our Spending Choices Influence Policy in America"

1 p.m. Sept. 17, 2014
SSB Auditorium

Boycotts are as American as apple pie, or should we say, tea. Steve Randoll, associate professor of history, gives a brief overview of boycotts and other forms of economic pressure.

Throughout American history, governments, institutions and private citizens have used their money to influence both public and private policy in America and around the world. It remains one of the most effective ways ordinary American citizens participate in the democratic process. After all, our spending choices express policy preferences whether we are aware of it or not. We might as well be aware of it.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 15-18.

Contact Information:

Stephen Randoll
srandoll@stchas.edu
636-922-8664

"American Media and Democracy"

10 a.m. Sept. 18, 2014
SSB Auditorium

In the 1999 film The Matrix,  Neo, a computer hacker, discovers that humanity has been trapped inside a computer program which projects a false reality – "the Matrix." It is Neo's job to be "the One" to free humanity from this prison.

In this presentation, Lisa Davis, adjunct faculty in political science, investigates how the American media, like the Matrix, uses its influence to alter our sense of history and truth to push their own agenda. She will encourage a discussion about what can be done by us – "the Ones" – to force the media to report the news in a more unbiased manner.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 15-18.

Contact Information:

Lisa Davis
ldavis@stchas.edu
636-922-8398

"Are We a Democracy or an Oligarchy?"

11:30 a.m. Sept. 18, 2014
SSB Auditorium

Paul Roesler, professor of political science, will discuss the impact of recent Supreme Court cases on democracy in America.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 15-18.

Contact Information:

Paul Roesler
proesler@stchas.edu
636-922-8265

"The N-Word: Is It Time to Retire This Word?"

1 p.m. Sept. 18, 2014
SSB Auditorium

Whether you pronounce the N-word with an "er" at the end or simply an "a," is it finally time to retire this word? Some are offended by the word while others find it an endearing display of kinship. This topic will be explored in an open discussion hosted by Kimberlee Vaughn, adjunct faculty in psychology.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 15-18.

Contact Information:

Kimberlee Vaughn
kvaughn@stchas.edu
636-922-8398

St. Charles Community College is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Please email access@stchas.edu with your accommodations request. It is recommended that you contact the college 10 business days prior to the event. See Accessibility for Campus Guests.

Contact Info

Michael Kuelker
mkuelker@stchas.edu
636-922-8256