Election 2016: How NYU Faculty Are Shaping the Debate

Are professors the best pundits?
photo: people at a campagin rally

Throughout the most talked about presidential contest in history, NYU faculty have helped shape the conversation—weighing in with op-eds, lending expert analysis, and providing historical context for what many have called a campaign unlike any seen before. Their election-related research and commentary has made New York Times headlines and in some cases has even been cited by the candidates themselves; in a single week in August, two pieces by NYU historians topped the most-read list on CNN.com. As we close in on the culmination of a long, eventful, and (some would say) exhausting election season, we'll be tracking high-profile appearances by our faculty in major media outlets—organized by discipline below. And we invite you to join the conversation on campus at one of the election-related events on the list at the bottom of this page, which we'll continue to update through November 8.

Faculty in the News

Politics

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith, professors of politics
Patrick Egan, associate professor of politics and public policy

Journalism

Meredith Broussard, assistant professor in the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute (interviewed by Joshua Tucker, professor of politics and Russian & Slavic studies)

History

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, professor of Italian studies and history
Tim Naftali, clinical associate professor of history and public service and CNN presidential historian

Psychology

Jay Van Bavel, assistant professor of social psychology

Public Service and Public Policy

Paul Light, Paulette Goddard professor of public service
Mitchell L. Moss, Henry Hart Rice Professor of Urban Policy and Planning, and Director of the Rudin Center for Transportation

Law

Richard H. Pildes, Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law (interviewed by Joshua Tucker, professor of politics and Russian & Slavic studies)
Lily Batchelder, professor of law and public policy at NYU School of Law and an affiliated professor at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service
James B. Jacobs, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Professor of Constitutional Law and the Courts and director of the Center for Research in Crime and Justice
  • Could a President Donald Trump Prosecute Hillary Clinton? Fortune, October 10
    In a presidential campaign featuring many firsts, one of the most startling came Sunday night when Republican nominee Donald Trump, to scattered cheers from the audience, pledged to have the Democratic nominee investigated criminally, should he prevail in November. Fortune reached out to prominent legal authorities to get their views. Was what candidate Trump proposed legal? Was there precedent for it?

Media, Culture, and Communications

Charlton McIlwain, associate professor of media, culture and communication
Deborah Borisoff, professor of media, culture, and communication

Events and Exhibitions on Campus

photo: crowd cheering at the Republican National Convention

Texas delegation announces their delegate count, Republican National Convention, Cleveland, Ohio, July 19, 2016. Photo by Danny Wilcox Frasier.

Encounters: Picturing the Campaign for POTUS
721 Broadway, in Tish's Gulf + Western Gallery and 8th floor Photography & Imaging Gallery, through November 9

The Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University present Encounters: Picturing the Campaign for POTUS, an exhibition curated by Deborah Willis, arts professor and chair of the NYU Tisch Department of Photography & Imaging, and photographer Karl Peterson. The exhibition includes photographs and video by 14 photographers and photojournalists, all focused on the theme of the 2016 campaign for President of the United States. Set against the backdrop of arguably the most divisive US presidential campaign in recent times, images in the exhibition document the campaign in urban and rural settings and depict the varied desires and hopes for this country. Photographs include candid and posed images of supporting and opposing factions, reflecting candidates in both the Democratic and Republican fields including Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump.

What Will the Presidential Promises Cost?
295 Lafayette Street, Puck Building, 2nd Fl., Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue, October 4 from 5-7 pm

Join Wagner's Economic and Finance Association for an exciting discussion of the fiscal impact of Trump and Clinton’s key policy proposals! This event will bring together a panel of experts to unpack the “promises” being presented by each candidate in the 2016 presidential election, such as tax, education or healthcare. For each issue, the panel will discuss what the proposal will cost taxpayers and what it will achieve.

Fantasy Politics Launch: Draft Day
295 Lafayette Street, Puck Building, 2nd Fl., Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue, October 5 from 6-8 pm

Each week leading up to the election, competitors will be invited to predict the winners of electoral races in several states. Four rounds of play will be facilitated for four weeks, with the stakes increasing each week; the competition will culminate with the fourth found—the final prediction before Election Night. Prizes will be awarded to the top teams and individual players when winners are declared at NYU Wagner's Election Watch Party on November 8.

NYU Alumni College: Election 2016
238 Thompson Street, NYU Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life, October 7, from 8:30am-4:30pm  

Hear from faculty experts about the historical context and future ramifications of our current political climate. Register to attend in person or tune in online (for up to 30 days after the event).

Keeping Cities Strong: A Mayoral Forum with the Presidential Campaigns on Transportation, Water & Energy
333 West 23 Street, SVA Theater, October 13, from 12 pm-1:30pm

Join NYU Wagner and the U.S. Conference of Mayors for a discussion with the presidential campaigns on why infrastructure is key to both economic security and public safety. Speakers include Stephen Benjamin (mayor of Columbia, SC), Richard J. Berry (mayor of Albuquerque, NM), Mick Cornett (mayor of Oklahoma City, OK), Bill de Blasio (mayor of New York, NY), Mitchell J. Landrieu (mayor of New Orleans, LA), and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (mayor of Baltimore, MD). Representing Hillary Clinton will be Edward G. Rendell, governor of Pennsylvania (2003-2011), mayor of Philadelphia (1992-2000), and co-chair, Building America’s Future.

Political Rhetoric: The Presidential Campaign and Beyond
24 W 12th St, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, October 19 from 6:30-8:30 pm

NYU SPS Division of Language and Humanities hosts this special panel on political rhetoric, which—from the current US presidential election to the United Kingdom’s historic Brexit vote—has the power to build communities and create rifts in society that have lasting global repercussions.

Democratization of the Image
250 Bowery, ICP Museum, October 25 from 6:30-8:30 pm

Tisch photography and imaging chair Deb Willis introduces a discussion about the challenges Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other “democratizing” social media platforms pose to photojournalists’ authority. What defenses are there against this dispersal of cultural authority? Are there strategies available for the professional photojournalists to embrace it? How is the authority of the image itself undergoing transformation?

The Making of the Presidents: The Biographers of Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Obama on the Election of 2016
40 Washington Square South (Vanderbilt Hall, Greenberg Lounge), October 25 at 6:30 pm

Just two weeks before the election that will determine the next occupant of the White House, four of the country’s preeminent political journalists will convene for a panel discussion of how we got to our current political crossroads. The speakers include: David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker and author of a biography on Barack Obama, Jacob Weisberg, chairman and editor-in-chief of Slate and author of a biography on Ronald Reagan, David Maraniss, associate editor at The Washington Post and author of a biography on Bill Clinton, and Jonathan Alter, a contributing correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC, who is writing a biography of Jimmy Carter. Journalist Lesley Stahl, correspondent for CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” will moderate.

Inside American Politics Insiders Talk @ NYU Washington, DC
The Constance Milstein and Family Global Academic Center, October 25 at 6:30 pm

Join a discussion hosted at NYU Washington, DC with a group of American political insiders as they discuss the current electoral scene in the lead up to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Republican and Democratic strategists will assess current political dynamics as election day quickly approaches. Panel includes Alumna S.E. Cupp (Gal '10). Moderated by David Gregory.

The NYU Press Centennial Lecture: “Race, Citizenship, and the 2016 Election”
55 Washington Square South, Judson Memorial Church, October 27 at 6:30 pm

The New Yorker's Jelani Cobb, author of The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress, will talk with NYU historian Greg Grandin, author of Kissinger’s Shadow: The Long Reach of America’s Most Controversial Statesman and The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World.

Inside American Politics Election Talks—Global Video Conference
October 25 and November 3, various local times and locations

Join the NYU Brademas Center and La Pietra Dialogues for discussions on the Presidential election from NYU New York and NYU Washington, DC with journalists and political experts. This global conversation will allow students and faculty to interact with those covering and contributing to the political discourse and process in the United States.

"The Night Before Election Day: The 2016 Campaign and America’s Image in the World"
42 Washington Mews, Deutsches Haus, November 7 at 6:30 p.m.

NYU’s Center for European and Mediterranean Studies and Deutsches Haus at NYU present a panel discussion on the 2016 presidential elections, featuring scholars from German speaking countries. The panel will touch on issues of domestic and foreign policy and ask what the campaign can tell us about the way the world sees the United States.

Inside American Politics Election Night Extravaganza
Kimmel Center Rosenthal Pavilion, November 8 from 6-11 pm

Join the NYU Brademas Center for an election night extravaganza in New York City in the Rosenthal Pavilion at the NYU Kimmel Center.  Watch the election results among friends, peers, faculty and administrators with live music, food and fun.  Watch election coverage from CNN and FOX News streaming on the big screens, and follow #NYUelection16 to connect and experience reactions from students at NYU academic sites around the globe.

Join the NYU Brademas Center for an election night extravaganza in New York City in the Rosenthal Pavilion at the NYU Kimmel Center. Watch the election results among friends, peers, faculty and administrators with live music, food and fun. Watch election coverage from CNN and FOX News streaming on the big screens, and follow #NYUelection16 to connect and experience reactions from students at NYU academic sites around the globe.

Inside American Politics Insiders Talk @NYU Florence
November 14-15

Join a two-day conference, convening at NYU Florence, with political experts. Panels will analyze American voter behavior, trends, insights and perspectives and consider how recent domestic and global events, dominating the news cycle, have influenced public opinion in the 2016 election. Participating journalists and political operatives will debrief, many for the first time, after months on the campaign trail.