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Monday, October 3, 2011

An unconventional look at political conventions

Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) and its partners - including Kids Voting Mecklenburg - will present “Exploding Canons: The Changing Landscapes of Political Conventions” on Friday, Oct. 14, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the UNC Charlotte Center City Campus in Uptown Charlotte.

With this installment of its multidisciplinary speakers series, CTI invites the Charlotte community to take an unconventional look at political conventions. Sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the program features five faculty members representing diverse academic disciplines from Davidson College, UNC Charlotte and Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). Speakers will offer their individual perspectives on various aspects of political conventions, as well as the Democratic National Convention to be held in Charlotte in September 2012.

“Exploding Canons: The Changing Landscapes of Political Conventions” begins with a reception in the Center City Atrium at 5:30 pm., followed by the panel discussion from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Center City Auditorium. Featured topics and discussion leaders are:

  • From Candidate to Nominee: The Rules Behind the 2012 Presidential Nominations,” Josh Putnam, visiting assistant professor of political science, Davidson College
  • Charlotte: The (Un)Conventional City,” Heather Smith, associate professor of geography and earth studies and Urban Institute faculty research associate, UNC Charlotte
  • “Political Socialization: Find Ourselves in Film,” Jeff Joyce, social studies department chair and AP government teacher, W. A. Hough High School
  • "Beyond Citizens-in-the-Making: Changing Understandings of Youth Political Identities," Jessica Taft, assistant professor of sociology, Davidson College
  • “Time to Come Together: How Convention Spaces Shape Unity and Dissent,” Dan Grano, associate professor of communication studies, UNC Charlotte

Mary Newsom, associate director of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and former editorial board member and columnist for The Charlotte Observer, will serve as moderator for the panel discussion.

Community partners include the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, UNC Charlotte Center City, the UNC Charlotte 49er Democracy Experience, and Kids Voting Mecklenburg. The “Exploding Canons” speakers series leverages the partnerships among CTI to offer educators and the public collaborative educational opportunities that highlight university and college faculty, explore diverse topics in an interdisciplinary manner, and encourage community conversation.

This “Exploding Canons” event is free and open to the public. Space is limited, so registration at is recommended. CMS teachers and administrators from all grade levels and subject areas are especially encouraged to attend. UNC Charlotte’s Center City Campus is located in downtown Charlotte at 320 E. 9th Street, at the corner of Ninth and Brevard Streets.

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