Submitted by washnock on Thu, 03/28/2019

This April the Richard B. Russell Library invites attendees to dive into several topical, hot-button political issues during its annual Civic Knowledge, Civic Power series. This program seeks to bolster civic knowledge on campus and in the community by highlighting the critical role Congress plays in American politics and government. The series features short lectures and informal discussions led by faculty members from the UGA Department of Political Science as well as a keynote lecture delivered by Boston College Professor of History Dr. Heather Cox Richardson.    

The powers of the United States Congress are considerable and well established. Congress can collect taxes, coin money, declare war, raise and support armies and a navy, and make all laws necessary and proper to carry out its powers, but understanding Congress cannot be done in a vacuum or just through a listing of powers—especially as the legislative branch finds itself confronting increasingly complex issues in a contentious, hyper-partisan political environment.    Congress Week Series

The Civic Knowledge, Civic Power series is scheduled to coincide with national Congress Week—an initiative sponsored and promoted by the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress. Debuting in 2017, this annual lunch-and-learn series was created as a way to promote greater understanding at a time when surveys showed declining knowledge of and confidence in Congress. Organizers hope to engage people from both the campus and community by addressing issues that have garnered widespread attention since the 2016 presidential election. “We try to keep our programming related both to our collections and to current events. This helps researchers, students, and others draw important connections between the past and the present,” said Jill Severn, head of access and outreach for the Russell Library.

At each event, speakers will address a selected topic beginning on April 15 with Dr. Anthony Madonna discussing the origins and evolution of the National Emergencies Act of 1976. On April 17, Dr. Audrey Haynes will explore how public opinion shapes the presidential impeachment process. Dr. Jamie Monogan will conclude the series on April 22 by highlighting the current state of U.S. immigration policy.

DHeather Cox Richardsonr. Heather Cox Richardson will present the keynote lecture at 4 p.m. on April 18, 2019, in the auditorium of the Russell Special Collections Libraries Building. Entitled “Government Shutdowns and Partisan Risk: What We Can Learn from the Forgotten Debacle of 1879,” Dr. Richardson will probe the partisan nature of recent federal government shutdowns by recounting the nation’s first government shutdown. A reception will follow the event. More information on the lecture can be found here.

Partners for the series include the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs, the UGA Department of History, and Applied Politics Program at UGA.  

For more information, contact or call 706-542-5788.