UCSB Affiliates Town Forum Examines Race, Gender, and the 2008 Elections

The historic presidential nomination campaigns of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama raise questions about gender and racial prejudices in the United States today. Among them are what particular biases the two Democratic candidates face, how their respective campaigns are dealing with those biases, and whether or not a woman or African American can be elected president.

Eric R.A.N. Smith, a professor of political science at UC Santa Barbara, will discuss these and other issues at a UCSB Affiliates Town Forum on Monday, May 5. His talk is titled "The 2008 Elections: Race, Gender, and American Voters."

The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 21 E. Constance Ave. Admission is $8 for UCSB Affiliates, alumni, or Chancellor's Council members and $10 for all others. Advance registration is recommended by calling the UCSB Office of Community Relations at (805) 893-4388.

Smith, who received his Ph.D. in political science from UC Berkeley, joined the faculty at UCSB after teaching at Brandeis University and Columbia University. His research focuses on public opinion, elections, and environmental politics. He has investigated problems such as how people organize their opinions about politics, how they learn about politics, and how their knowledge influences their opinions and political behavior. In the area of environmental politics, Smith has examined a variety of issues, including public opinion about energy, how people react to energy crises, and energy policy.

He is the author of several books, including "Energy, the Environment, and Public Opinion" (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2002), "Dynamics of Democracy" (Brown & Benchmark, 1996), and "The Unchanging American Voter" (University of California Press, 1989).

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