School of Professional and Continuing Studies

 

Experts Examine Validity of American Exceptionalism Thesis


Speakers and guests gather to explore the relevance of the exceptionalism thesis as applied to the U.S. and other developed nations.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ST. LOUIS – April 9, 2013 – The University of Missouri–St. Louis College of Arts & Sciences and their Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice host the AE21: American Exceptionalism in the 21st Century Conference, April 25-26, 2013, at UMSL’s J.C. Penney Conference Center. Presentations and discussions examine the contemporary relevance and validity of the exceptionalism thesis as applied to a variety of institutions in the United States and other developed nations.

According to conference organizer Robert Bursik, Curators Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, "One of the deeply imbedded tenets of the American heritage is that the U.S. has played a special role in world history, not only in the distinctive dynamics that led to its establishment as a uniquely egalitarian and democratic society, but also in its perceived mission to serve as a guiding example for the rest of the world. Recently, however, the existence of such an “American Exceptionalism” has been questioned, as well as its presumed uniformly positive effects on the quality of American life compared to that found in other nations."

The hallmark of the American Exceptionalism Conference is a series of presentations and discussions that focus on the contemporary relevance and validity of the exceptionalism thesis as applied to a variety of institutions in the U.S. and other developed nations.

Key themes include:

The Conference presents Keynote Speaker Godfrey Hodgson, author and acclaimed journalist in print, radio and TV, as well as an academic and historian. Hodgson is a Fellow at Rothermere American Institute, Oxford University, a former director of Reuters' Foundation Programme at Oxford; U.S. correspondent for The Observer, The Sunday Times and foreign editor of The Independent; television reporter, documentary maker, and news anchor; and author of The Myth of American Exceptionalism (Yale Press, 2009).

Additional speakers include: David W. Garland, School of Law, New York University; Jerome B. Karabel, Department of Sociology, University of California-Berkeley; Michael Kazin, Department of History, Georgetown University; Donald E. Pease, Department of English, Dartmouth College; Rogers M. Smith, Department of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania; John C. Torpey, Department of Sociology, The Graduate Center, City University of New York; and Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, Harvard University.

Conference organizer Richard Rosenfeld, Curators Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, notes that the American Exceptionalism conference is a fitting part of the University's 50th anniversary Jubilee celebration. “This conference includes world-renowned scholars on the American experience in global context. It represents the university’s commitment to intellectual engagement and should be of interest to scholars, students, and the public across the St. Louis region and elsewhere.”

To attend the conference, the registration fee is $100 through April 17 and $125 after. UMSL faculty, students and staff qualify for a reduced rate of $75. Student scholarships are available; to apply, contact Professor Bob Bursik at bbursik@umsl.edu. For more information, including the full conference schedule and speakers’ biographies, please visit http://ae21conference.com/ or call (314) 516-5655.

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About the University of Missouri–St. Louis Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice: The mission of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJ) is to conduct and disseminate the findings of basic and applied research on crime and justice, to offer excellent teaching at the Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral levels, and to provide service to the campus, profession and community. This mission is realized via the research, teaching and service of the CCJ Department’s faculty, staff, and students. For more information, please visit http://umsl.edu/ccj.

About the University of Missouri–St. Louis School of Professional & Continuing Studies: The University of Missouri–St. Louis School of Professional & Continuing Studies provides courses, programs, conferences, and events that fulfill degree completion, professional development and personal enrichment goals for the lifelong learner. For more information, please visit http://pcs.umsl.edu.