History series resumes with lectures on post-war world, ‘Homer goes to D.C.’

GREEN BAY — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay opens the spring-semester portion of its Historical Perspectives Lecture Series with a pair of programs in March. The programs are free and open to the public.

The first discussion takes place at 2:15 p.m. Monday, March 2, in the Christie Theatre of the University Union, located on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive.

Elizabeth Borgwardt, an author and professor of history at Washington University in St. Louis, will speak on “Transforming Human Rights: The 1941 Atlantic Charter and the Postwar World.”

Borgwardt specializes in the history of human rights, international law and international institutions, and the international history of the 1930s and 1940s. She has received multiple teaching awards and was a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Germany in spring 2008. She is the author of the award-winning book, “A New Deal for the World: America’s Vision for Human Rights.”

The second discussion takes place at 2:15 p.m. Monday, March 30, also in the University Union’s Christie Theatre.

Joseph Foy, assistant professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, will speak on “Homer Simpson goes to Washington: American Government in Popular Culture.” His presentation will explore the way popular culture affects the way citizens understand and participate in American politics. Examples will range from television shows including “The Simpsons,” “Chappelle’s Show,” “The West Wing” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” to movies such as “Good Night and Good Luck,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and “Election.”

“He argues that popular culture, for better and worse, does more than just insulate and entertain,” said Prof. Timothy Dale, a professor of political science at UW-Green Bay. “Popular culture also educates and influences the public and shapes values and preferences within democratic society.”

Foy has served as a Manatt Fellow for Democracy Studies at the International Foundation for Election Systems in Washington, D.C. He edited, and was a contributing author for, “Homer Simpson Goes to Washington: American Politics through Popular Culture,” and is a contributing author to “Stephen Spielberg and Philosophy,” “The Philosophy of the X-Files,” and “The Executive Branch of State Government.” His current research interests include democracy studies, political ethics and the politics of popular culture.