Political heavyweights Tom Nichols, Sarah Kendzior to speak in October

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 6, 2017 — Drury University’s Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship kicks off its 2017 speaker series in October with two of the most active voices in America’s online political landscape today, representing views from both the left and the right.

From the left, St. Louis-based writer and journalist Sarah Kendzior will speak at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 3. From the right, political scientist and author Tom Nichols will speak at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 30. Both events will be held at Lay Hall Auditorium and are open to the public.

The Center’s theme this year is “Politics, Activism, and Voice: A Toolbox for Democracy,” with speakers and events focused on empowering citizens to engage with government and civic life.

“Tom Nichols and Sarah Kendzior both exemplify what it means to be actively engaged in American political life,” says Dr. Daniel Ponder, professor of political science and director of the Meador Center. “They are academic experts in their field, regular commentators on the national stage, and passionate writers who care deeply about the future of our democracy.”

Kendzior is best known for her reporting on St. Louis and coverage of the 2016 presidential election. Her best-selling essay collection, “The View From Flyover Country,” was published in 2015. She is currently an op-ed columnist for the Toronto-based Globe and Mail, and has written for POLITICO, The Guardian, Slate, The Atlantic, The Chicago Tribune, Fast Company, The New York Times, and more. She is a frequent guest on NPR, Al Jazeera, BBC World Service and other outlets, and is a recurring guest on MSNBC’s “AM Joy.” Kendzior holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Washington University. Her academic research focuses primarily on the authoritarian states of the former Soviet Union and how the Internet affects political mobilization, self-expression, and trust.

Nichols is a professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College in Rhode Island. He is a former Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and taught international relations and Russian affairs at Dartmouth College and Georgetown University before joining the War College. He is the author of several works on foreign policy and international security affairs, including “No Use: Nuclear Weapons and U.S. National Security” and “Eve of Destruction: The Coming Age of Preventive War.” His most recent book, “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters,” was published this spring. Nichols is also a five-time undefeated “Jeopardy!” champion, and is listed in the show’s Hall of Fame. This week he was named to POLITICO’s annual list of “50 idea blowing up American politics – and the people behind them.”

Both Nichols and Kendzior are extremely actively on Twitter, where they engage issues and their fellow citizens daily. They have nearly 400,000 combined followers. You can follow them at @RadioFreeTom and @sarahkendzior.

More speakers in the 2017 series will be announced throughout the year.

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