Denison Guest Lecturer Examines Emotion and Reason in Politics
Date of Event: March 1, 2007
Posted: February 19, 2007
George Marcus, author of "The Sentimental Citizen: Emotion in Democratic Politics" and president of the International Society of Political Psychology, will visit Denison University to lecture on his research in neuroscience and how emotion functions generally and what role it plays in politics. Sponsored by a Mellon Foundation Grant to Denison's neuroscience program, Marcus will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (March 1) in the Burton Morgan Lecture Hall. His talk is free and open to the public.
Professor Marcus has been on the faculty at Williams College since 1967 and also serves as the chairman of the board of trustees for the Roper Center, located on the Williams campus. He earned his bachelor's degree at Columbia University and a master's degree and doctorate in political science at Northwestern University. He also held a postdoctoral fellowship in the psychology and politics program at Yale University.
In addition to "The Sentimental Citizen," Marcus has co-authored five other books -- "Political Tolerance and American Democracy," "Reconsidering the Democratic Public," "With Malice Toward Some: How People Make Civil Liberties Judgments," "Affective Intelligence and Political Judgment," and one in press at The University of Chicago Press, "The Affect Effect: The Political Dynamics of Feeling and Thinking."
In the 1980s Marcus was director of the Public Opinion Program for Journalists, a weeklong training program held each summer at Williams College for journalists involved in poling. More recently, he has been interviewed by several major U.S. papers on the role of emotions in ongoing political campaigns or high stress political situations.
"The Sentimental Citizen" integrates traditional and contemporary theories on democracy with current empirical findings on American political behavior and political psychology. The book reformulates conception of democratic citizenship in light of recent research on the complementary and cooperative relationships between emotions, cognition, learning and action. The neuroscience research by Marcus reveals emotion to be generated by brain systems that operate largely outside of awareness, not as a form of agitation associated with belief. Marcus concludes that we should recognize sentimental citizens as the only citizens really capable of exercising political judgment and of putting their decisions into action. Attempts to purge emotion from public life, he says, not only are destined to fail, but ultimately would rob democracies of a key source of revitalization and change.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- Professor George E. Marcus, author of "The Sentimental Citizen: Emotion in Democratic Politics," will lecture on his research; 7:30 p.m., Thursday (March 1), Burton Morgan Lecture Hall (150 Ridge Road). Free and open to the public. Contact 740-587-6339 to confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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