Series looks at Democracy, Insurrection, and the myth of American Exceptionalism

Smoke rises amid mobs assaulting the captiol on January 6, 2021.

Eight speakers will present on a variety of themes—historical, political, and legal—in an effort to explain and locate the January 6 insurrection within its greater context.

Beginning January 19, 2021, at 7:00 p.m, the Utica College Center for Historical Research, in conjunction with the departments of history and political science, will host a series of talks titled “This is Not Who We Are,” Or Is It?: Democracy, Insurrection, and the Myth of American Exceptionalism.”

Eight speakers will present on a variety of themes—historical, political, and legal—in an effort to explain and locate the January 6 insurrection within its greater context. On that day in Washington, D.C., the United States Capitol was stormed in a riot against the 117th Congress Congress by supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump in an attempt to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election. The violent day left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer.

All talks begin at 7 p.m. and are streamed live on Zoom and on the Utica College Center for Historical Research Facebook page,

Following the individual presentations all presenters will gather for a virtual roundtable.

  • January 19: “My Protest is Not Your Insurrection: The Ethics of Opposition” - Robert Halliday, Professor of Philosophy, Utica College
  • January 21: “(White) American Democracy: The Challenges of Democratic Transitions with Undemocratic Institutions” - Daniel Tagliarina, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Utica College
  • January 27: "Race and Reform in the Early Progressive Era: How the South's Lost Cause Triumphed in the Urban North" - Clem Harris, Assistant Professor of History, Utica College
  • January 28: “Creating the Myth of "The November Criminals": Propaganda, Nazism, and the Lessons of the Beer Hall Putsch from 1923 to the Present” - Peter DeSimone, Associate Professor of History, Utica College
  • February 2: “Domestic Terrorism vs Protest: What's Illegal, What Does the Government Prosecute, and What Could Change in the Future" - Eric Halliday and Rachael Hanna, Harvard University School of Law
  • February 4: "1863 and the "Very special" mobs of Early America" - Sherri Cash, Associate Professor of History, Utica College
  • February 11: "The Impact of the Capitol Insurrection on the Modern Presidency & U.S. Elections" - Luke Perry, Professor of Political Science, Utica College
  • February 17: Concluding Roundtable

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