Each election cycle has its own unique landscape. Muhlenberg's Department of Political Science seeks to shine a nonpartisan light on these critical issues ahead of Election Day with a regular series that brings influential speakers and thinkers to campus and invites our own community scholars a platform to discuss and dissect.

Every year, the college also holds an event to mark Constitution Day by inviting guest speakers to campus. Often those invited to speak are selected based on the themes of an ongoing Election Series or the College’s Center for Ethics series.

The 2022 Midterms and the Future of U.S. Democracy

The 2022 midterm elections will feature the elections of all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 34 U.S. Senators, 36 governors, and thousands of statewide and local offices. More broadly, the results of 2022 midterms promise to offer valuable insights into the current state of American politics and culture and the future of U.S. democracy.

Brian Mello, professor of political science and director for the Center for Ethics, teaches a class on campus.For example, what do the midterms tell us about contemporary developments in election law and voting rights at the local, state and national levels? What are the main issues and events that are influencing voters in the midterms? What do the midterms mean for the 2024 presidential election? How should we interpret the results of the midterms regarding the overall health of U.S democracy? The 2022 midterm elections series thus promises to foster lively public discourse and civic engagement on some of the most important contemporary political issues in the United States.

The 2022 Midterms and the Future of U.S. Democracy” is a nonpartisan lecture and event series coordinated by the Muhlenberg College department of political science. Co-sponsorship and support for the program has been provided by the College’s Lectures and Forums Committee, the Office of the Provost, the Endowment for Political Discourse and Dialogue, the Department of Media & Communication, Pi Sigma Alpha (the political science honor society), the College Republicans, the College Democrats, the Center for Ethics and ‘BergVotes.

2022-2023 Event Schedule

Women, Representation & the 2022 Elections
Tuesday, February 21, at 7 p.m. via Zoom Webinar
Nadia E. Brown, professor of government and director of women’s and gender studies at Georgetown University
Laurel Elder, professor of political science and chair of the political science department at Hartwick College

Electoral Reform in the Commonwealth
Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at Miller Forum in Moyer Hall
David Thornburgh, senior advisor for the Committee of Seventy & Chair of Ballot PA
David Thornburgh is a nationally recognized “civic entrepreneur” who has launched a series of innovative initiatives to tackle tough community problems. He was named President and CEO of the Committee of Seventy, the Philadelphia-based good government group, in November 2014. The Committee of Seventy has been a champion for a better political process, better government, and engaged and informed citizens since its founding in 1904.

Constitution Day Event
Thursday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. via Zoom Webinar
Franita Tolson, George T. and Harriet E. Pfleger professor of law at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law
Tolson's scholarship and teaching focus on the areas of election law, constitutional law, legal history, and employment discrimination. She has written on a wide range of topics including partisan gerrymandering, political parties, the Elections Clause, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments.

The Biden Doctrine, the Midterms and the Future of American Foreign Policy
Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Great Room at Seegers Union
Dominic Tierney, professor of political science at Swarthmore, senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and former contributing editor at The Atlantic

Election Postmortem
Friday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m in Rooms 108-110 in Seegers Union
Discussions with Muhlenberg faculty on the outcome of the midterm elections

Elisabeth Anker Lecture, Co-Sponsored Event with the Center for Ethics
Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at Miller Forum in Moyer Hall
Elisabeth Anker, associate professor of American studies and political science and the director of the film studies program at George Washington University
Freedom is the highest ideal in American politics, but its legacy is complex. Throughout American history, freedom has supported emancipation, personal rights, and individual liberty, but has also supported white supremacy, economic exploitation, and misogyny. These “ugly freedoms” legitimate the right to harm and subjugate others. This talk will examine the ugliness of freedom, from the history of slavery to the January 6 insurrection. But it will also highlight visions of freedom that emphasize the flourishing of all people, not just a privileged few.

Contact Information

Brian Mello

Professor of Political Science, Department Chair
Address Muhlenberg College Political Science Ettinger Hall 2400 Chew Street Allentown, PA 18104