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Behind the Headlines

Trump's America: 60 Days In

As we marked St Patrick’s Day and two months of Donald Trump’s four year presidency of the United States of America, our distinguished panel explored what his election and presidency means for the world and ourselves.

  • Dr Elizabeth Tandy Shermer (Loyola University Chicago) drew on her extensive research on American political history to discuss long-term trends right-wing populism, the US electorate’s dissatisfaction with the party system, and the citizenry’s expectations to be led by strong-men politicians.

Dr Tandy Shermer is Assistant Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago and currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the Trinity Long Room Hub in collaboration with the School of Histories and Humanities. Dr Shermer's current research explores why, how, and to what degree the funding mechanism central to the America’s market-based postsecondary education system has been exported abroad in the new millennium.

  • Dr David Kenny (School of Law, TCD) drew on his knowledge of American and comparative constitutional law to discuss how the US Constitution empowers Trump, how he might challenge constitutional principles, and the prospect of the Constitution being invoked to remove him from office.

Dr David Kenny is an Assistant Professor in the Law School in Trinity, where he teaches and researches Irish and comparative constitutional law. He previously attended Harvard Law School as a Fulbright Scholar, undertaking a masters degree in US and comparative constitutional law, and was at the time of the 2016 election a Visiting Scholar at Washington and Lee University Law School in Lexington, Virginia. 

  • Jacob Erikson (School of Religions, Peace Studies and Ecumenics, TCD) explored immigration, islamophobia, and religious resistance to Trump's Agenda.

Jacob Erickson previously taught Religion and Environmental Studies at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, and was "Ecotheologian in Residence" at Mercy Seat Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, MN. His work as a constructive theologian writes within the creative interdisciplinary fields of environmental humanities, Religion and Ecology, and ecotheology. He's a contributor to four academic books of theology, The Huffington Post, and Religion Dispatches.

  • Dr Eileen Gillooly (Columbia University) reflected on the challenges to US higher education posed by Trump’s immigration policies, by his proposed cuts to research and to federal funding for education overall, as well as on the efforts of colleges and universities to resist his agenda.

Dr Gillooly is the Executive Director of the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities and associate faculty in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in the City of New York.  Her work as a center director includes partnering with other university centers and non-profit institutions to extend the reach of the public humanities.  She is currently a co-principal investigator for the Mellon-funded Justice-in-Education Initiative, which aims to provide education to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals and to integrate the study of social justice more fully into the Columbia curriculum.

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