Honest Abe meets modern politics
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Could Abraham Lincoln’s 1864 bid for re-election have survived the tactics of contemporary presidential campaigns?
Kathleen Hall Jamieson
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a leading expert on political advertising and campaigns, will answer that question in her talk, “How today’s political consulting tactics would have unseated Lincoln,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, in 1505 Seamans Center (SC) on the University of Iowa campus. Jamieson’s talk is the first ever University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication M. Holly McGranahan Lecture.
Using the techniques commonly employed in political ads today, Jamieson will show how contemporary consultants would have turned the signing of the Morrill Land Grant College Act and support for the transcontinental railroad against Lincoln, blamed him for the deaths of those who fought for either side in the Civil War, and taken Lincoln’s words out of context to argue that he thought our honored dead had died in vain. The presentation will also illustrate how Lincoln’s credibility could have been undermined with attack ads from his opponents and third party groups.
“Professor Jamieson is one of the most prominent and intellectually exciting communication theorists working today,” says Meenakshi Gigi Durham, associate professor of journalism and mass communication and lecture organizer. “Her recent scholarship on partisan politics is especially relevant to the contemporary political landscape in the U.S.”
Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School of Communication and is director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author or co-author of 15 books including: Presidents Creating the Presidency, Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment, and unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation.
Jamieson’s lecture is made possible by a gift from the estate of M. Holly and Robert S. McGranahan, both UI alums. Holly earned a B.A. in journalism in 1938 and Robert earned a B.A. and M.A. in journalism in 1941 and 1949, respectively.
The McGranahan Lectureship is dedicated to bringing renowned scholars in the field of journalism and mass communication to the UI campus.