Newman University History Speaker Oct. 25 ties current election with Founding Fathers’ views

Oct 11, 2012

The Newman University History Department will kick off the 2012 History Speaker Series with the presentation “What Can We Say About ‘The Framer’s Intent?'” by Newman University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Austin, Ph.D. The lecture is drawn from Austin’s new book That’s Not What They Meant! recently published by Prometheus Press.

The event will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25 in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center inside the Dugan Library and Campus Center on the Newman campus. The History Speaker Series is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow the presentation.

Michael Austin, Ph.D.

In the lecture, which will take place one week before the United States presidential election, Austin will use samples from his book to encourage the audience to pay close attention to how campaigns and debates are truly regulated and portrayed. According to Austin, his book “is an examination of how contemporary politicians and commentators use a mythic version of our founding history rather than real history in order to make present arguments seem like they are historical arguments.”

According to Cheryl Golden, Ph.D., Newman University associate professor of history and chair of the Division of Humanities, Austin was selected because of his immense understanding of history and politics, as well as the book’s relevance to the upcoming election.

“The History Department Speaker Series offers the opportunity to engage the community in a conversation about things that matter,” Golden added.

Austin is an accomplished author with six books to his credit, including a bestselling college history textbook. He currently writes about American history and contemporary issues. He received a doctorate in English literature in 1997 from the University of California at Santa Barbara. From 1997-2008, he served as professor of English, chair of the Department of English, and dean of Graduate Studies at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va. He joined Newman University as provost and professor of English in June 2008.