Faculty lecture to focus on use of Spanish in 2019 Democratic political primaries
McKillop Library will host the first of its faculty lecture series for the spring 2022 semester, and this one is with Dr. James G. Mitchell, professor and chair in the Department of Modern Languages. Entitled “¡Basta ya de español! Spanish-speakers reject pandering by would-be presidents,” the lecture will be held virtually on Thursday, Feb. 10, from 4-5:30 p.m. To register for the online event, go here.
As the Democratic primary season began in earnest in the fall of 2019, every candidate in the oversized field of Democratic challengers was seeking to unseat Donald Trump and looking for an advantage. Some touted their executive experience, while others relied on their numerous plans to reform government or their status as Washington outsiders.
Still others tried to use their ability to speak Spanish as a way to differentiate themselves from the field and to appeal to the growing Latinx electorate in the U.S. However, this use of Spanish may have backfired, and Dr. Mitchell will share his analysis as to why these efforts by candidates failed.
Join Dr. Mitchell as he explores how the use of Spanish language by candidates during the Democratic primary season in the fall of 2019 was viewed through the lens of media analysis. This included debate performances, campaign events and depictions — often satirized — of candidates in popular culture on shows such as Saturday Night Live.
Dr. James G. Mitchell earned his doctorate in romance studies with a specialization in second language acquisition from Cornell University in 2001. An employee of Salve Regina since 2006, he’s a professor of French, Italian and linguistics, and he is currently the chair of the Department of Modern Languages.
Dr. Mitchell’s overarching research specialization is in second language acquisition, specifically aspects of classroom acquisition and second language pedagogy. However, over the last decade his research agenda has been solidly focused on the use of second languages and the portrayal of second language speakers in popular media in the U.S. — as well as the attitudes these representations convey about the groups they purport to depict.
The lecture will be held virtually on Thursday, Feb. 10, from 4-5:30 p.m. To register for the online event, go here.
Featured photo is by Getty Images/Natalie_