What Studying Putin’s Russia Can Teach Us about the United States: Masculinity, Misogyny, and U.S. Elections in the Trump Era

Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 12:30pm to 1:45pm
color book cover of Trumping Politics as Usual

Vladimir Putin has long been known for his macho displays, and Donald Trump for his misogynist pronouncements. In both the U.S. and Russia, machismo and misogyny play fundamental roles in politics; the former is used to legitimize particular politicians as strong leaders, and the latter to undermine opponents as weak. In their lecture, while drawing parallels to Russia, Professors Robert Boatright and Valerie Sperling will focus on their new book about masculinity and misogyny in the U.S. political context, exploring how Donald Trump’s misogyny in the 2016 presidential race changed the way Congressional campaigns were waged in 2016 and 2018, and how the Trump factor is likely to affect the 2020 elections.

Valerie Sperling is Professor of Political Science at Clark University. Her research lies mainly at the intersection of Russian politics and gender studies. She is the author of Sex, Politics, & Putin: Political Legitimacy in Russia (2015), and co‐author of Courting Gender Justice: Russia, Turkey, and the European Court of Human Rights (2019). Sperling’s most recent book, co‐authored with her Clark colleague, Robert Boatright, is Trumping Politics as Usual: Masculinity, Misogyny, and the 2016 Elections (2020).

Robert G. Boatright is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Clark University and the Director of Research for the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on the effects of campaign and election laws on the behavior of politicians and interest groups. He is currently completing a book manuscript on how American politicians discuss political corruption.

Rochelle Ruthchild is a Center Associate at the Davis Center and a Resident Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University. She is the author of Equality and Revolution: Women’s Rights in the Russian Empire, 1905‐1917 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010) as well as articles and reviews about women in Russia and the Soviet Union. She is on the Board of the Association for Women in Slavic Studies. As a second‐wave activist, she was part of the 1971 International Women’s Day march featured in the documentary film “Left on Pearl: Women Take Over 888 Memorial Drive, Cambridge.”


Valerie Sperling, Professor of Political Science, Clark University; Center Associate, Davis Center
Robert G. Boatright, Professor and Chair, Political Science Department, Clark University
Moderated by Rochelle Ruthchild, Resident Scholar, Women's Studies Research Center, Brandeis University; Center Associate, Davis Center

Sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

For more information, please call 617-495-4037.


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