Plymouth State University to Host Sidore Lecture Series Focused on Election Issues and Fact-Checking

The Plymouth State University (PSU) Saul O Sidore Lecture Series will touch on some of the top issues facing voters ahead of the November 2020 election. This fall’s presentations will explore the role of race, fact-checking in the age of fake news and the renewed appeal of socialism. The free, Tuesday evening series is slated for September 17, October 22, and November 5 in the University’s Silver Center for the Arts in Plymouth.

On September 17, Alison McLetchie, Ph.D., of Claflin University in South Carolina will present, “The Southern Strategy: The Role of Race in U.S. Elections.” Taking a historical approach, McLetchie will discuss ways in which the political and electoral system, political parties and politicians have used race, racialized language, race-baiting and racial groups to shape the U.S. electoral process. McLetchie asserts that these manipulations create a version of democracy that is uniquely American.  

On October 22, Gregory Samuels, Ph.D., of the University of Montevallo in Alabama will present, “Promoting Critical Thinking Through Media & Racial Literacy in an Era of Fake News.” Samuels will encourage attendees to consider controversies connected to a lack of understanding or distortions of media and racial literacy in recent history. He will lead an exploration of social justice initiatives centered on race and racism to promote critical thinking and fact-checking to encourage more accurate and truthful media and racial literacy for students and the community at-large.

On November 5, Harold Meyerson, editor of The American Prospect, will present, “Should America Become More Socialistic?” Meyerson will discuss how the United States did not develop socialist and social democratic parties, while other industrialized democracies did. In recent years, a record number of Americans have begun to view socialism in a more positive light. Meyerson will explore what a more socialist America would look like, and why some Americans would like the U.S. to move in that direction.

The series will continue in March and April 2020 with presentations on immigration and border security; health care and economic growth policies; and the risks of nuclear escalation.

All lectures take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Silver Center for the Arts on Main Street, Plymouth, in Smith Recital Hall. Lectures are free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended. For reservations or to arrange special accommodations, call (603) 535-ARTS.

Named for humanitarian and New Hampshire businessman Saul O Sidore, the series brings a variety of speakers to Plymouth State University to address critical issues and events in politics, society and culture, topics that reflect Sidore’s interests. For more information visit: