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Themester 2020 will explore democracy 

Since 2009, the College of Arts and Sciences has dedicated the fall semester to a specific theme to explore current affairs on campus. 

The Fall 2020 Themester will be about democracy. Aligning with the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, the themester will offer a range of courses about proposed topics such as global democracy, capitalism, activism, free speech and the election for undergraduate students across the university. 

“We’re hoping that this is a broad discussion of what democracy is beyond the U.S. case,” political science professor Regina Smyth said.  

Smyth and her colleague Timothy Hellwig proposed the 2020 theme of democracy. 

“Democracy exists not only in our government, but in our daily interactions, in the way we speak to each other, what we speak about, how we speak about it,” Smyth said. 

Junior Maya Goldfarb, a member of next year’s themester student committee, said she hopes to expand students’ definitions of democracy to include individual actions and dialogue. 

“I know a lot of people can feel discouraged from voting," Goldfarb said. "I'm from Tennessee, a state that always goes red in presidential elections, so it can feel pointless casting your vote for a democratic candidate." 

Yet, she said she hopes students will continue to express their voices and values through dialogue with each other. 

Themester Director Tracy Bee said she encourages student leaders and organizations to propose event ideas for the themester. These proposals will be reviewed by faculty and students on the Themester Advisory Committee. Student can email to propose ideas or ask questions about the theme. 

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