Skip to main content

Fitchburg State uses technology to gather information and better understand visitors’ experiences. By continuing to use this website, you consent to this usage in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Lecture to explore the Trump phenomenon

Posted 03/10/16

Explaining Trump: The Historical Origins of an Unconventional CandidacyThe historical origins of an unconventional candidacy will be explored with “Explaining Trump,” a lecture by Fitchburg State University faculty member Katherine Jewell at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24 at the Randall Lecture Hall in the Antonucci Science Complex, 333 North St. Admission is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served after the talk.

While Donald Trump’s candidacy seemed to catch Republican and Washington figures by surprise, recent scholarship in the field of American political and economic history provide some clues into the animating factors behind the billionaire’s successful performance in the 2016 primaries and polls to date. This lecture will explore developments in economic and industrial life, the relationship between media and politics in recent years, and contend with the characterization of Trump as a populist leader and consider the populist label in American political history. 

“I’ve watched my social media feeds light up with posts and musings by my historian friends regarding the Trump candidacy, and the explanations are myriad,” Jewell said. “Historians are notoriously reticent to make predictions, but my inspiration for this talk came from seeing some common themes in this current conversation that tie directly to recent developments in the field that, when taken together, point straight to the potential success of an unconventional candidate like Trump.” 

Jewell is assistant professor of history at Fitchburg State University. She is the author of Dollars for Dixie: Business and the Transformation of Southern Conservatism in the Twentieth Century, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. As a political and economic historian, she is interested in the intersection of regional and cultural identity and politics and policy. She is currently researching her next project on the history of college radio. 

Back to News