Media Advisory: Tea Party conference Oct. 22

Contact: Kathleen Maclay, Media Relations
(510) 643-5651
kmaclay@berkeley.edu

ATTENTION: Reporters covering politics, social issues, government and religion

WHAT

“Fractures, Alliances and Mobilizations in the Age of Obama: Emerging Analyses of the Tea Party Movement,” a conference featuring research presentations by leading scholars and hosted by the University of California, Berkeley.

Scholars of history, political science, sociology, and race and gender will join political commentators and journalists to examine the emergence and implications of the Tea Party Movement following Barack Obama’s election as president. The conference will take place just days before mid-term elections in which Tea Party candidates are threatening to shake up the political establishment on both sides of the aisle. The conference has been in the making for more than a year, beginning with the early emergence of Tea Party candidates on the political scene.

Key questions to be addressed include:

• Is the Tea Party is a new social movement, an emerging political party, a media-driven construction, or something else?
• What are the Tea Party’s origins, ideology and constituencies?
• What is the relationship between the Tea Party and the Right?
• What is the Tea Party’s role in the 2010 and future elections, and in American politics overall?
• How do age, class and gender factor into the Tea Party’s message and membership?
• How are Tea Party activists tapping into populist, libertarian and radical currents on the Right, as well as into fear, anger and resentment among segments of the general public?

WHEN

8:30 a.m – 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 22

WHERE

The Toll Room at Alumni House, UC Berkeley. Alumni House is just northwest of the intersection of Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue. See campus map.

WHO

Delivering the keynote address will be Rick Perlstein, journalist and author of “Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America” and “Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of American Consensus.”

A full list of participants is at the Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements website. The academic experts who will present their work include:

Christopher Parker, an associate professor of political science at the University of Washington who is studying Tea Party membership
Ruth Rosen, a visiting professor of history at UC Berkeley who will discuss the Tea Party and gender
Clarence Lo, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Missouri-Columbia who will present his analysis of whether the Tea Party is a social movement
Martin Cohen, an assistant professor of political science at James Madison University and an authority on political parties
Alan I. Abramowitz, a professor of political science at Emory University and an expert on Congress and American politics
Peter Montgomery, a senior fellow at the People for the American Way who is studying the Tea Party’s relationship to the Christian Right
Bill Whalen, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution
Eric Schickler, a UC Berkeley political science professor and an authority on American politics and Congress
Lisa Disch, a University of Michigan professor of political science and of women’s studies
Charles Postel, a San Francisco State University associate professor of history and an authority on the American history of populism
Paola Bacchetta, an associate professor of gender and women’s studies at UC Berkeley

DETAILS

The conference is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. To R.S.V.P., send your full name, title, institution name, e-mail address, phone number and street address to tea.party.conference@gmail.com.

Journalists must R.S.V.P. to Kathleen Maclay in UC Berkeley Media Relations at kmaclay@berkeley.edu.

The conference is being organized by the Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements.